Lay Member / Public Involvement at Keele University School of Medicine

 

Opportunities available as a member of the public include:

  • Lay interviewers: members of the public who take part in the interviews of prospective medical students
  • Lay members of committees: members of the public who sit on School Committees

For information on how to apply, see our contact details.

For documents for current lay members see our current lay members of the School page.

Lay interviewers of prospective medical students

About the Role of a Lay Interviewer

What does it involve?
Part of the selection process for students to enter onto the Medical Degree involves prospective students taking part in a series of mini interviews. Currently, two interview stations are with a lay interviewer (a member of the public). Each station is a five minute interview with an individual student and you will interview a series of students within a half-day session. You would only be asked to do one station in a session.

  • One station is asking them about their application to the university and their motivation to study medicine and any caring experience. This involves reading through parts of their application.
  • The other station is asking the candidate questions around current issues which are raised on a short video they watch beforehand (you are given a choice of videos). 

Your role is important in enhancing the quality of our selection decisions.

What is the time commitment?
Each session takes half a day and people usually do two half days a year (although this could be more if you wish).

Will I get paid?
The roles are voluntary, therefore there is no payment to cover your time. However reasonable travel expenses will be covered and refreshments are usually provided.

Where will the volunteering role take place?
Normally at the David Weatherall, School of Medicine building on Keele University Campus.

It’s a lot of responsibility to decide whether a prospective student should enter Medical School, what if I get it wrong?
Your view is just as important to us as the views of clinicians or academics, and your score will count the same as the other interviewers'. However, you will not have to make a judgement on whether the School should accept a prospective student, only score their answers to the questions you ask. Furthermore, prospective students will undertake a series of mini-interviews and the mark from each of these is added together. No one person takes the final decision to accept a student or not.

Why do you want lay interviewers?
We want to select future doctors that the public are happy with, which is why your view is really important to us. You know what qualities you would like a doctor treating you or your family to have. You may also offer a different perspective to a practising doctor or academic. Finally, you, as a potential patient should have a say in selecting the doctors of the future.

What will I gain from the experience?
As well as knowing that you have positively contributed to the selection of future doctors, you will hopefully enjoy the role and perhaps learn new skills. You may gain experience valuable for future employment, grow in confidence, meet new people, or be challenged and opened up to new ideas.

Will I be trained?
You will receive mandatory equality and diversity training, an induction to the School of Medicine and to your role. You will be fully prepared and supported in your role.

Who are we looking for?
Anybody who is interested in young people and in selecting medical students. You will need good communication skills, be reliable and able to maintain confidentiality. The time commitment is not onerous, but you will need to be able to commit to various hours during the working day. We are looking for people from all backgrounds and there are no education or work experience requirements at all. For an overview of the skills we are looking for, please read our Skills profile lay interviewer.

How do I apply?
To apply, please see our contact details for further information.

Lay Committee Members

About the Role of a Lay Committee Member

What does it involve?
You will sit upon a School of Medicine committee as a lay member (representing the public voice). 

How does it work?
You will become a lay member of a particular committee and will be invited to attend the meetings. There are usually two lay members per committee. If you are unable to attend a particular date then you just send your apologies. 

Will I get paid?
The roles are voluntary therefore there is no payment to cover your time. However reasonable travel expenses will be covered and tea/ coffee are usually provided.

What is the time commitment?
Meetings tend to be a couple of hours (during the day) and their frequency varies. Most are every few months so you will probably attend about four a year.

Can I choose which committee to be on?
Yes, you can express an interest in particular committees. However it will depend on whether there is a vacancy on that committee. 

What committees are there?
Please see our list of committees tab for the full list.

Will I be listened to?
Everyone on the committee has an equal voice and your opinion will be as important as anyone else’s. Members have respect for each other, and everyone is given a chance to speak if they wish.

Will it be intimidating?
Hopefully not! Keele School of Medicine is a friendly place and you will receive all the training and support you need. You will get the opportunity to meet the Chair in advance and to observe the meeting before you formally take part. 

Why do you want lay members on committees?
We want the School of Medicine to reflect what the public wants from the medical profession. Therefore it is essential for the public to be involved right from the start of a doctor's training. We respect your opinions as a potential patient and as a representative of the public and want a greater diversity of opinion in decision making and different perspectives brought to the School.

Will I be trained?
You will receive mandatory equality and diversity training, an induction to the School of Medicine and to your role. You will be fully prepared and supported in your role.

What will I gain from the experience?
As well as knowing that you have positively contributed to medical education and the training of future doctors you will hopefully enjoy the role and perhaps learn new skills. You may gain experience valuable for future employment, grow in confidence, meet new people or be challenged and opened up to new ideas.

Who are we looking for?
Anybody who is interested in medical education and in shaping the training of future doctors. People who want to get involved, and are able to express their personal views and opinions whilst considering the wider interests of the general population. You will need good communication skills, be reliable and able to maintain confidentiality. The time commitment is not onerous, but you will need to be able to commit to various hours during the working day. We are looking for people from all backgrounds and there are no education or work experience requirements at all.

For an outline of the skills we are looking for, please read our Skills profile lay member of committee.

How do I apply?
Please see our contact details page for further information.

List of School of Medicine committees

Undergraduate Course Committee
Is the main committee concerned with the undergraduate medical degree. It provides strategic leadership on curriculum, assessment, admission, student professionalism and welfare.

Admissions
Considers admissions to the undergraduate medical degree including UCAS and interviews, Widening Participation and monitoring of application data.

Assessment
Determines the criteria for progress through the course. They oversee the methods of standard setting to ensure consistency. Monitors assessment data and ensures suitable feedback and mock assessment.

Student Professional Development and Welfare
Considers student professional development (appraisals, portfolio development) and student welfare (pastoral and academic support and careers development).

Health and Conduct 
Students are referred to this committee if there are concerns about their health or conduct and decisions are made on the action to be taken.

Progress 
Students are referred to this committee if there are concerns about their progression through the Medical Degree (i.e. failing assessments) and decisions are made on the action to be taken.

Marketing and Recruitment
Looks at marketing and recruitment for undergraduate and postgraduate courses. This includes events, materials and widening participation.

Athena SWAN
Aims to raise the profile of women in science. They look at gender balance, address issues and progress initiatives to support submissions for Athena SWAN awards.

Patient Safety Group
Monitors reports from hospital trusts and GPs as well as any concerns raised by students.

Ethics
Reviews research project proposals (mainly medical education research) to ensure that research activity is designed and conducted with due consideration for ethical issues. The majority of this work is carried out by email.

Postgraduate Course Committee
Concerns postgraduate courses, taking reports from course leaders, considering developments, student progression, external examiner reports and marketing.

Current lay members of the School

Thank you for being a lay member of the School of Medicine!

In the box below are a few useful documents.

Please contact Susan Farrington if you have any questions or need any further information (s.m.farrington@keele.ac.uk).