Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA)

150 candidates 2006-2008


The Brief

Unusually this training programme, commissioned by the HFEA, targeted the training needs of those regulated rather than those of inspectors.

The first test tube baby prompted legislation to control the complex social and clinical issues arising from the fertilisation of human eggs through IVF and assisted conception. Further legislation controlled the international traffic in human tissue.

Compliance in clinics and research centres is managed overall by the Person Responsible (PR), although all clinicians, medical staff and scientists have a duty to comply with IVF regulation responsibilities.

We were asked to provide a thorough grounding for PRs in the regulatory framework and to provide an introduction to quality management.

The Solution

Two distance learning workbooks were produced including an assessment package in 2007. There was an accompanying CDROM plus a helpline. The programme enabled the HFEA to bring all PRs up to speed on the new legislation. It also enabled the PR to better understand the regulations and the scope for their interpretation.

The Evaluation

We were commissioned by the HFEA to assess the training programme’s effectiveness via one to one interviews. The evaluation recognised the benefit of the programme to PRs such that, for some, it had became a desktop reference. However, there was an anticipated frustration at the time such a programme demanded from very busy professionals.