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.

This guidance 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.

This form can be used to submit notification of an alternative responsible officer to the relevant Higher level responsible officer.