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Clinical Excellence Awards and other awards

Guidance on the payment of local Clinical Excellence Awards (CEAs)

This UCEA briefing note:

  1. Outlines the different merit pay schemes for consultant clinical academics across the UK
  2. Provides guidance for HEIs on the rationale for the NHS funding of local CEAs

Payment of local Clinical Excellence Awards

Clinical Excellence Awards - England and Wales

CEAs recognise and reward NHS consultants and academic GPs who perform ‘over and above’ the standard expected of their role. Awards are given for quality and excellence, acknowledging exceptional personal contributions.

In order to access a CEA a clinical academic must have an honorary contract with the NHS. 

The Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards (ACCEA) administers the Scheme. It is managed on the Committee’s behalf by a full-time Secretariat in the Department of Health in England and Wales has a Secretariat in the Welsh Assembly Government.

Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards - A Guide

Distinction Awards - Scotland

Distinction Awards are similar to CEAs. The Scottish Advisory Committee on Distinction Awards (SACDA) acts on behalf of the Scottish Ministers by taking decisions on which NHS consultants will receive awards and reviewing existing awards on a regular (five-yearly) basis, using a system based on peer review with employer and lay input and the evidence submitted by consultants in their curricula vitae.

SACDA implements the scheme as directed by the Scottish Government. The awards budget has been frozen by the Scottish Government since 2010. No awards have been granted and there has been no progression through the scheme. Existing awards remain subject to review by SACDA.

Clinical Excellence Awards - Northern Ireland 

CEAs are given to recognise and reward the exceptional personal contribution of consultants who show commitment to achieving the delivery of high quality care to patients and to the continuous improvement of Health and Social Care. Go to the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety Northern Ireland for more information. 


Page updated June 2017