Human Tissue Authority

The regulator for human tissue and organs

Independent Assessors FAQs

Please see below for a number of frequently asked questions from a specific category. Simply select one of the questions of interest, the answer will then appear below. For the complete list of categories please visit the main FAQs page.

Independent Assessors interview potential donors and recipients to ensure the requirements of the Human Tissue Act 2004 and associated Transplant Regulation 2006 have been met. Independent Assessors submit a report of their interview to the Human Tissue Authority and the Human Tissue Authority then make the decision on all cases.

Independent Assessors do not have a role in determining the medical suitability of the potential donor or recipient and have no involvement in the living transplant programme of the hospital or Trust.

Transplant centres take the lead on recruiting for new Independent Assessors as they are best placed to judge how many Independent Assessors they need to manage the number of donors and recipients they have. There is a person specification for the role of Independent Assessor which can be found in the Guidance for transplant teams and Independent Assessors. There is also a webpage specifically for Independent Assessors here.

Once an application form has been received the Human Tissue Authority will request a reference. Once a reference has been received, all applicants are required to undergo training for the role. The Human Tissue Authority generally runs an Independent Assessor training day for new Independent Assessors twice a year (generally in April and November).

All Independent Assessors are expected to undertake a minimum of two cases every year. How many cases Independent Assessors undertake will depend on the size of the transplant centre and number of donors and recipients they have.

Independent Assessors and Living Donor Coordinators are encouraged to work together in order to achieve a good caseload balance. Some Independent Assessors prefer to have dedicated time set aside for independent assessments, while others have more flexibility in their commitments.

Reviewed and updated December 2013