Conflict of interest or appearance of bias

The responsible officer regulations require each designated body to appoint one responsible officer (except for NHS England which may appoint several). However, where a conflict of interest or appearance of bias exists between the responsible officer and one of the doctors, an alternative responsible officer must be nominated or appointed.

In deciding whether to appoint an alternative responsible officer, designated bodies will need to demonstrate that:

  • they have complied with the responsible officer regulations
  • doctors have been treated fairly and equitably.

RST Briefing: Responsible Officer Conflict of Interest or Appearance of Bias

This paper sets out the process to be used by all designated bodies in England to provide the designated body with confidence that decisions are consistent, fair and equitable.

Application for the Appointment of an Alternative Responsible Officer on Grounds of Conflict of Interest or Appearance of Bias (RST, 2014)

This application form can be used as a template for doctors to use when requesting a change of responsible officer.