All new interactive Code of Practice for IVF clinics

Fertility regulator launches its 7th Code of Practice

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has launched the 7th edition of its Code of Practice, the Standards under which fertility clinics operate in the UK.  For the first time, the Code will be available online with a brand new, interactive format which allows clinics to have instant access to the latest version.

Unlike the previous Code of Practice, the interactive online service means that professionals can:

  • instantly view any changes or additions to UK standards
  • use the new search function to find specific information more quickly
  • link through from HFEA Standards to relevant pieces of legislation and related professional guidance (e.g. counselling or use of drugs).

The format of the new Code of Practice has also been revised following broad consultation with healthcare professionals along with more in-depth work and testing with the clinicians who are responsible for their centres. The revised Code is now divided into two distinct sections to help professionals access information faster and also make it easier to comply with the law and conditions of licence.  The first section, Standards, outlines the regulations required to be met by either the law or as a condition of licence.  Section two, Guidance, offers support and advises clinicians on how to successfully meet the standards. 

The new Code of Practice incorporates the standards required by the new European Tissue and Cells Directive which will be implemented on 5 July 2007. The online Code has therefore been developed to make it easy for clinics to click through from each HFEA Standard to see which specific piece of legislation it relates to, and to guidance from relevant professional bodies, such as the British Infertility Counselling Association (BICA).

Angela McNab, Chief Executive, HFEA commented:

"We want to work with clinics to provide them with the very best resources. The new laws from Europe will bring some changes for fertility clinics, and so when putting together the new Code of Practice we wanted to create a working document that was very functional and easy to access. 

"After consulting a broad range of professionals and testing new ideas with them directly, I am confident that the Code's new, interactive format will make life easier for clinics and inspectors, who both need fast access to specific and up-to-date information."


Notes to editors

Screen shots of the new online version of the HFEA's Code of Practice are available on request, or please visit the HFEA website.

The HFEA is the independent regulator for IVF treatment and embryo research. Our role is to protect patients and the public interest, to drive improvement in the treatment and research sectors and to provide information to the public and policymakers about treatment and research.

The HFEA was set up in August 1991 as part of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. The HFEA's principal tasks are to license and monitor clinics that carry out in vitro fertilisation (IVF), donor insemination (DI) and human embryo research. The HFEA also regulates the storage of gametes (eggs and sperm) and embryos.

For further information please contact the HFEA press office.

Contact the press office

HFEA Press Office
Tel: 020 7291 8226


Out of hours urgent press contact: 07771 981 920 (for media enquiries only.)

Page last updated: 11 March 2009

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