The widespread implementation of SEA has been developed as a priority by local Clinical Governance leads. But the technique can be varyingly interpreted: when is SEA really SEA? So there’s a need to clarify what, from a Clinical Governance point of view, is ‘essential’: what needs to be achieved for SEA to be properly working? This has now been formally agreed. The following criteria are offered:-

Frequency and regularity of Meetings

Meetings to take place at least four times a year, reasonably spaced.

Notification of meetings to team members

All team members are given proper notice of SEA meetings.

Facilitating attendance

The team shows that efforts have been made to enable appropriate staff to attend.

Multidisciplinary representation

A variety of members attend regularly, including administrative and non-practice employed staff.

Record of Meetings

Every meeting is recorded, with at least a record of which staff groups were represented.

Documenting Action Points and their results

These are clearly recorded, demonstrating actions taken and are available for reference by absent team members.

Link to Personal Learning and Practice Development Plans

Individual team members (and the team itself) can show that SEA activity has contributed to these, through discovering training / education needs, reflective activity or personal (or joint) learning.

Summary of the above available for Clinical Governance discussion and sharing

The team is able to present a summary of the events discussed, decisions taken, and resulting actions for Clinical Governance purposes beyond the practice / within the PCG (individuals’ involvement always being protected with complete in-practice confidentiality).


Richard Westcott / Jonathan Stead- May 2000