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New Guidance, Audit Guide and Technical Data Aid for MROs

Published: 7 January 2020

Notice of revisions to Guidance on MoJ Qualifying Criteria, Audit Guide and MRO Technical Data Aid

MedCo has today written to MRO users to notify them of 3 updated documents:


The Guidance document assists MROs with the interpretation of the Qualifying Criteria (‘QC’) published by the MoJ on 25 October 2016. This updated Guidance will supersede the current Guidance (issued on 14 May 2018) from 24 February 2020. In the meantime, Audits will continue to take place using the current Guidance.

The updated Guidance has been produced following queries and feedback received by MedCo and through the course of audits conducted during the last 12 months. The document also incorporates material from MedCo’s Conferences (particularly on quality) and covers matters for the first time that are less common but nonetheless important e.g. DBS checks when examining vulnerable patients.

The majority of the updates relate to the Minimum QC. The content of the FAQs to MedCo Guidance Document published in January 2019 has also been incorporated into this version of the Guidance and the FAQ is being withdrawn as a result. A new FAQs document may be produced in the future, if needed.

Representatives from MedCo met with representatives from AMRO and CMA to discuss the proposed changes to the Guidance allowing an opportunity for AMRO and the CMA to raise any significant concerns that affect their membership. Feedback was provided and considered, resulting in changes to the documents which have now been approved by both MedCo’s Audit Committee and Board.

This updated Guidance represents a logical extension from the previous version. Notable changes include:

  • Updating provisions currently incorporated by reference to AMRO’s Protocol C. As a result, all AMRO Protocol C references have been removed and replaced by MedCo’s equivalent provisions, and updated for the latest developments. The areas affected are 1.9 (complaints handling), 1.13 (contract management, clinical and non-clinical quality) and 1.16 (SLA 6).
  • Referencing the new Examination Guidelines document that is applicable primarily to medical experts that sets out recommended minimum appointment times and the maximum number of appointments per day.
  • Simplifying the Geographical Coverage provisions. This includes moving the fixed/mobile section from the Minimum to the Additional QC, where it appears at 2.2.3 in a more simplified form.
  • Clarifying the boundaries as to what MROs should do for themselves where administrative agencies, software providers and platforms are involved. This largely affects sections 1.1 and 1.13.
  • Assisting MROs in meeting their obligations under MedCo’s Ethics Policy (1.8), by providing more guidance on its practical implementation.
  • Facilitating differentiation amongst MROs e.g. by providing examples of what represents minimum standards and best practices e.g. section 1.13 on recruitment.
  • Refining the SLAs. The existing SLA numbering has been retained to avoid confusion, but 2 new SLAs are included (numbered 0 and 12 respectively), the 3 SLAs linked to quality (3, 6 & 8) have been refined and some of the performance targets for Tier 2s have been reduced.
  • Administrative changes e.g. moving certain provisions from the General Principles section of the Guidance to the new MedCo Rules and Policy documents and providing additional clarification on how the provisions in this updated Guidance will be considered by MedCo in relation to the existing Guidance.

Audit Guide

The Audit Guide has been reviewed and updated in a similar way to the Guidance. This document has also been reviewed by AMRO and CMA and has been approved by MedCo’s Audit Committee and Board.

The updates to this document are fewer and more concentrated in comparison to the Guidance. The main changes are in relation to the audit process for New MRO registrations and any MROs re-registering following any changes in status e.g. suspension (Section 2.2).


MRO Technical Data Aid

The MRO Technical Data Aid has been updated to reflect changes made in the Guidance and Audit Guide documents.


These documents will become effective from 24 February 2020 and copies can be found in the Document Library on the MedCo Website, using the MRO Audit filter.


If you require any further information, please contact [email protected]

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