Human Tissue Authority

The regulator for human tissue and organs

Anatomy sector compliance updates report: 2017/18


All establishments licensed in our Anatomy, Post-Mortem, Public Display and Research sectors are required to provide us with periodic updates of licensing information and to complete a compliance questionnaire. The data from this collection helps us to maintain oversight of the sectors we regulate, guide our regulatory approach for each sector, and inform the scheduling of site-visit inspections. We call these ‘compliance updates’ and we collect them every two years.

In October 2017, we completed a collection of compliance updates for the Anatomy sector. Anatomy sector establishments include organisations that use donated bodies or body parts for education and training, including medical schools and surgical training centres in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

This report presents a snapshot of the key findings from the data collection, identifying trends and themes we found from Anatomy sector submissions. We hope that this report will be useful to people working in the sector, as well as to members of the public who have an interest in body donation.

The data we collected in the 2017 round of compliance updates shows information from all 37 establishments licensed in this sector. This includes two establishments newly licensed during the 2016/2017 period.

HTA-licensed Anatomy establishments reported high levels of compliance with our standards. This corresponds with the low levels of shortfalls identified during the inspection of Anatomy establishments and our view that there is a widely-held respect for the gift of body donation and a genuine commitment to uphold the dignity of the deceased. This view is supported by feedback provided to HTA staff during inspections, workshops and conferences.

How we gather compliance data

We carefully analyse the data we receive from compliance updates. If we require further clarification on any aspects of the data, we follow these up with individual establishments. Compliance data is evaluated along with information such as the length of time since the last inspection to prioritise establishments for future HTA inspections.

Compliance updates are submitted electronically, through the HTA Portal. As part of the submission, we ask establishments for feedback on the process. In 2017, the feedback we received from the Anatomy sector was positive, with the majority of establishments indicating that they found both the portal and submission process to be user-friendly. We will continue to monitor this feedback as part of our commitment and focus on continuous improvement for future compliance updates.

Last updated on: 24 May 2019