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Invited review service

This page introduces the RCOG’s invited review service, designed to help employers, commissioners and managers provide safe and sustainable services that improve outcomes for women’s health.

What is an RCOG invited review?

We regularly receive requests for reviews of obstetric and gynaecology (O&G) services, or of individual clinical practice, from organisations that provide, plan or commission O&G services and have concerns about:

  • An individual’s clinical performance
  • Patient safety
  • A healthcare organisation’s ability to provide effective training in O&G
  • Workload issues
  • Aspects of delivery of a whole service
  • Potential for service redesign/configuration

We provide three types of review:

  • Service review: carried out in response to an invitation to visit and comment on a current service, including meeting the clinical team, managers and other stakeholders, with a focus on safety and quality
  • Individual performance review: carried out following a request to examine the clinical practice of an individual doctor who is causing concern; other requests, such as a case note review or an independent second opinion, also fall into this category
  • Configuration review: carried out when commissioners and healthcare organisations need clinical assurance of proposals for significant changes to local O&G services

Case studies

For examples of the kind of guidance the RCOG can provide to help you deliver improved patient outcomes, please read our case studies.

Invited review service brochure

Download our brochure to find out how the RCOG can help you

Invited review case studies brochure

Download our case studies brochure and find out how the RCOG has helped other organisations

What are the benefits of an RCOG invited review?

The key benefits of RCOG invited reviews are:

  • Clear procedures and templates to focus the review
  • Experienced obstetric and/or gynaecology assessors providing clinical assurance, perspective and breadth of knowledge
  • Formal involvement of additional experienced clinicians in midwifery, anaesthesia, neonatology and surgery, if required
  • Quality-assured report endorsed by the RCOG
  • Follow-up of the recommendations and action plans
Shared Learning from Invited Reviews 2013-2014
Shared Learning from Invited Reviews 2013-2014 [PDF]

This booklet highlights the findings, recommendations and some examples of good practice gathered from various Invited reviews.

Who can request an invited review?

We welcome enquiries from healthcare organisations (usually the Medical Director or CEO) and Responsible Officers. We are happy to discuss, in confidence, how the RCOG can help you and to determine the nature and extent of assistance required, without obligation.

Contact us

Please contact Farrah Pradhan on  or +44 20 7772 6240 to find out more about the RCOG invited review service and how we can help.

For more information about the service, please read the document below:

Invited review service DocumentProfileBoxType 1
RCOG invited review service [PDF]

This document sets out the governance, structure and operational process we follow when we receive a request; how we determine the appropriate response; and how the response is followed through, including the review and follow-up process.

For further information, please read the RCOG invited review service appendices.


Becoming an assessor

If you are an experienced obstetrician and/or gynaecologist and would like to know more about becoming an assessor for the RCOG invited review service (including criteria and benefits), please contact Farrah Pradhan on fpradhan@rcog.org.uk.

CPD for external assessors

External assessors on invited reviews, ARCP panels and deanery visits can claim 5 credits per visit or panel. If you are an external assessor for service reviews, deanery visits and ARCP panels, the maximum number of credits claimable in each 5-year CPD cycle is 25 across the three kinds of activity.

Elsewhere on the site

Audit & quality improvement
Find out about the College’s national audits and other projects aimed at improving the quality of women’s health services
Guidance for commissioners
Resources to support commissioners and health service managers with responsibility for commissioning high-quality women’s health care