To set out an understanding between UK Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties in Scotland (Scottish Academy) on the respective roles and remits of the two organisations and how they can best work together.
The UK and Scottish Academies are separate organisations with their own governance, policy priorities and work programmes. However, they have the same College membership and similar aim and objectives.
The organisations have developed good working relationships but the Chairs of the two bodies felt it would be helpful to set down an understanding of the respective roles and remits of the organisations to help ensure continued mutual understanding and good working relationship.
- Areas of activity
The UK Academy operates across the whole of the UK and also has members in Ireland. As far as is possible and unless otherwise stated, the UK Academy seeks to develop its policy positions and guidance on a four-nation basis. This is based on the premise that many of the issues and challenges in health and care whether around workforce, education and training, clinical guidance, public health or health disparities are essentially similar in nature across the UK although health service structures, delivery mechanisms and policy priorities may vary between the four nations.
The Scottish Academy’s remit relates primarily to Scotland. When seeking to influence issues that are “reserved matters” (i.e., matters where responsibility has not been devolved to the Scottish Government) they will seek to work in partnership with the UK Academy.
- Remit and activity
It is agreed that seeking to define precise activities which should be the preserve of one organisation or the other is unlikely to practical or helpful. Rather the organisations recognise the following principles
- As set out above, the UK Academy’s policies and guidance will, as far as possible, be generic across the four nations. The UK Academy would not produce policy or guidance or comment on issues solely relating to Scotland unless invited to do so by the Scottish Academy.
- The Scottish Academy will manage all issues relating the delivery and organisation of health and care in Scotland
- The Scottish Academy will be responsible for engaging with the Scottish Government and agencies of all devolved health and care issues in Scotland
- The UK Academy would not expect to engage directly with the Scottish Government ministers or officials. There may be occasions when the UK Academy is required to contact Scottish Government on a four-nation issue and it would inform the Scottish Academy prior to any contact.
- The Scottish Academy would not expect to engage directly with the UK Government ministers or officials. There may be occasions when the Scottish Academy is required to contact the UK Government and it would inform the UK Academy prior to any contact.
- The UK Academy may engage with the Scottish CMO on four country issues but, as a matter of courtesy, would inform the Scottish Academy of discussions. The UK Academy would not however expect to discuss healthcare policies or issues relating solely to Scotland.
- The UK Academy may engage with agencies in Scotland such as National Education Scotland (NES) or Health Improvement Scotland (HIS) in relation to their involvement in four nation issues. They would not discuss issues solely relating to their activity in Scotland.
Both Academies commit to keeping each informed of developments which might impact on the others work adopting a “No surprises approach”
Both Academies agree to send each other copies their publications and Council minutes for information.
The Chairs of the Academies should seek to keep in regular contact and communication.
The Chair of the Scottish Academy has observer status on the UK Academy Council.
Similarly, the Chair of the UK Academy has observer status on the Scottish Academy.
It is hoped that good and regular communication should stop any issues becoming a dispute.
If either organisation does have a concerns over an action taken by the other this should be raised with between the respective Chairs or with the Chief Executive of the UK Academy. Ultimately the two Academy Councils will decide on their respective positions.
This MOU will be reviewed every three years to ensure it remains current and relevant.
Chair UK Academy
Chair Scottish Academy