Fit and Proper Person Test for board members

Classification: Official
Publication reference: PRN00238


  • Integrated care board chairs
  • NHS trust and NHS foundation trust chairs

Dear Chair

Fit and Proper Person Test for board members

Today we have published the Fit and Proper Person Test (“FPPT”) Framework. This is in response to the recommendations made by Tom Kark KC in his 2019 Review of the FPPT.

The Framework also takes into account the requirements of the Care Quality Commission in relation to directors being fit and proper for their roles.

The FPPT applies to executive and non-executive directors[1] of integrated care boards, NHS trusts and foundation trusts, NHS England and Care Quality Commission – interim as well as permanent appointments.

Please familiarise yourself with the Framework and the accompanying documents on our website – in particular the guidance for chairs.

In summary, these are the next steps we as organisations will need to take to implement the Framework: 

1. New data points are being added to ESR to record the testing of relevant information about board members’ qualifications and career history.

Each organisation will need to let all board directors know about this as soon as possible, to advise them of the areas that will be considered under the FPPT assessment, what details will be stored and where, who will have access and the purpose of reaching a conclusion about whether a board member is fit and proper. 

Board members can then object if they have concerns regarding the proposed use of their data. As a participating data controller, you will need to consider these concerns and amend the approach if necessary. 

2. From 30 September 2023, please use the new board member reference template for references for all new board appointments.

3. From 30 September 2023, please complete and retain locally the new board member reference for any board member who leaves their position for whatever reason, and record whether or not a reference has been requested.

We are currently finalising, working with system colleagues and wider stakeholders, a new NHS Leadership Competency Framework (LCF) for board level roles. We will share this with you by the end of September, so that it can be implemented by 31 March 2024, alongside the FPPT Framework.

The forthcoming LCF will help inform the fitness assessment in the FPPT in line with the recommendation in the Tom Kark KC Review on professional standards. It will support the development of a diverse range of skilled and proficient leaders to deliver the best outcomes for our patients, workforce and wider communities.

A new board appraisal framework will also be published, incorporating the LCF, by March 2024 and we will ask you to use this for all annual appraisals of all board directors for 2023/24.

In addition to the guidance on our website, we will be running a series of roadshows and we will share further information with you about these shortly.

Thank you for your continued support with this important programme. Please email if you have any questions about how to implement the Framework and to share any feedback on it.

Yours sincerely

Richard Meddings, Chair of NHS England

* Individuals referred to as ‘Directors’ within Regulation 5 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. This includes those who are members of other professional registers, such as the General Medical Council or Nursing and Midwifery Council and who should additionally be assessed against FPPT under this framework if they are a board member at an NHS organisation.