What you need to know - guidance and legislation
Licensed centres should familiarise themselves with the role of the HFEA and relevant guidance and legislation.
The role of the HFEA
The HFEA regulates the use of gametes and embryos in fertility treatment and research. We inspect and issue licences to fertility centres offering IVF and other assisted reproductive techniques and to centres undertaking human embryo research.
Official guidance and legislation
Under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, the HFEA is required to give guidance to licensed centres about 'the proper conduct of activities carried out in pursuance of a licence.
To access the complete legislative guide to licensing treatment, storage and research centres, read the HFEA’s Legislative guide to licence applications:
What guidance and legislation is in place?
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (as amended) sets out the UK's legal stance on fertility treatment and research.
Statutory Storage Period for Embryos and Gametes - OPSI website
Code of Practice
The HFEA has a statutory duty under the HFE Act to produce a Code of Practice that gives guidance to fertility clinics about the proper conduct of HFEA-licensed activities.
The Authority has the power to issue Directions to clinics under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. Directions are essentially rules that clinics need to follow.
HFEA Compliance and Enforcement Policy (PDF 180 KB)
The purpose of the inspection process, and the principles underpinning the Authority’s approach to the inspection of licensed centres, is set out in the Compliance and Enforcement policy. The policy also sets out the process for reporting clinic incidents.
Page last updated: 02 November 2012