Having considered the five component areas of our healthcare system (Person, Organisation, Environment, Technology & Tools, Tasks) the SEIPS model then encourages us to consider the Processes this system is used to support. To use a computing analogy; the five component parts represent our hardware, Processes and the software it runs.

Healthcare processes can be considered across two domains; namely, Care processes and Other Supportive processes.

Care processes include each step along a patient's journey, from pre-hospital care, through to operation and post-operative care, and can be considered in isolation or linked together into care pathways.

These Care processes are deeply influenced by additional Supportive processes; which include processes such as Research, Recruitment & retention, Training & regulation, and Quality Assurance. 




Care Processes

Many of the College’s activities focus on specific processes within the care pathway. These are accessible via the RCSEd course library. The ICONS (Informed Consent, Sharing the Decision) course was developed in response to the inadequacies exposed by the Montgomery case and aims to develop skills and knowledge to implement best practice in sharing complex decisions. The ‘Ward Round Toolkit’ on-line resource, developed in conjunction with the Health Foundation, helps to develop non-technical skills and a consistent approach to practice. The PSG are researching the implementation of Duty of Candour legislation.



Other Supportive Processes

‘Best care’ evolves as research identifies new medicines, techniques, or methods for care delivery and so simply standing still for too long is to jeopardise safety. The College supports a strong research agenda; encompassing basic science, translational and clinical research through its grants programme. It has awarded over £7million over the past 20 years.

Recruitment and retention of staff remains a key aspect of College activity. At each step of the career pathway, individuals are encouraged and enabled to take -up and enjoy a fulfilling career. Resources are on hand to help navigate this career.

Surgeons Quarter, the hospitality wing of RCSEd, also acts to provide financial and other support to College activity. As a charity, the College is run on a ‘not-for-profit’ basis and any profit generated from its commercial/hospitality activity is used to support its other core activities. During the COVID pandemic 10 Hill Place, the College Hotel, was used to provide free accommodation to frontline healthcare staff.



Patient Safety Resources - Processes



RCSEd Courses


Informed Consent: Sharing the Decision (ICONS) Course


Shine Ward Round Tool Kit


Duty of Candour webinar


RCSEd Research, Travel & Award Opportunities


RCSEd Research Report - 206 - 2018


RCSEd Career Support


Surgeons Quarter


Surgeons Quarter provides free accommodation for frontline healthcare staff


Learn more about the other areas of the SEIPS model here.

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