After you apply for a treatment and storage licence - clinic inspections
Once a completed treatment and storage licence application has been received and processed by the HFEA, arrangements will be made for an inspection visit.
HFEA has a statutory duty to inspect clinics and report on their suitability to offer a range of services and treatments. These visits are carried out by teams of people who have expertise the IVF sector or a related field.
How long will it take to become licensed?
The HFEA is committed to processing 90% of licence applications within four months of receipt of a properly completed application form.
Inspection of your clinic
Before undertaking an inspection, the HFEA’s compliance department will notify you in advance of the process and procedures to be followed so you are clear what will be required, have an opportunity to prepare and to minimise potential disruption to licensed activities being undertaken.
The purpose of a routine inspection is to:
assess the extent to which centres comply with the Act; licence conditions, directions and the provisions of the Code of Practice
provide an independent and professional perspective on the running of the centre
promote good practice so that centres can improve the quality of service they provide to patients and donors
provide centres with a positive learning experience
provide centres with the opportunity to feed back on their experience of the inspection process, in order to assist the Authority to continually improve its procedures
give patients reliable information about a centre’s compliance with statutory and other obligations, and about the quality and safety of licensed activities undertaken at that centre.
All inspections will be:
evidence based, consistent, proportionate and open to scrutiny
undertaken in a professional and courteous manner
be focused on risk
aim to add value for centres and service users.
After your clinic has been inspected, the inspection team will prepare a report on your centre for the HFEA Licence Committee considering the application.
The HFEA Compliance department will assess and report on whether your application:
- meets the statutory requirements of the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Act 1990 (as amended)
- meets the requirements of the HFEA Code of Practice, Standard Conditions and the Authority's Directions.
Clinics will receive a copy of the inspection report within 28 days of the inspection taking place. Persons Responsible and their team will have 10 days to comment on the report, correcting any factual inaccuracies or responding to recommendations made by the inspection team.
Inspection reports are considered by a licence committee or an executive licensing panel who decide whether the licences should be granted or varied dependent upon the evidence in front of them.
Feedback – post inspection questionnaire
The HFEA is always striving to improve systems and processes to ensure that standards within the sector are consistent and fair. With this in mind, PRs are sent a post-inspection questionnaire to complete to provide feedback on the inspection which has just taken place.
You can obtain more information about the licensing process from:
Phone: 020 7291 8200
Page last updated: 27 September 2009