Local clinical excellence awards: from 1 April 2022

Information and resources for employers running Local Clinical Excellence Awards (LCEA) for the April 2022-2023 award round and future award rounds.

16 March 2023

The contractual entitlement to access an annual award round ceased on 1 April 2024. The annual award round from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024, which was based on evidence before 1 April 2023, was the final Local Clinical Excellence Award round.

Pre-2018 LCEAs will be retained and these awards shall remain pensionable and consolidated. The value of these awards is frozen. Pre-2018 LCEAs are awards granted prior to 1 April 2018 under local clinical excellence awards schemes in place as of 31 March 2018. The review process for these awards has been removed. Schedule 30 of the consultant contract will be updated to reflect these changes and we expect publication to be later in 2024.

National position on LCEAs following negotiations

Following the end of negotiations that did not reach an agreement, Schedule 30 has now been updated to remove redundant terms. The Schedule has been updated in agreement with Trade Unions to show the terms and conditions for Local Clinical Excellence Awards (LCEAs) from 1 April 2022.

Information for pre-2018 LCEAs and the four years covered by the interim arrangements from 2018/19-2021/22 can be found in previous versions of the terms and conditions.

More information on previous award rounds can be found on the pre-1st April 2022 web page.

Variations to previous arrangements can be implemented in consultation with your joint local negotiating committee (JLNC) or other consultant representative bodies where no JLNC exists. This should be a process of incremental improvement, and we hope that it will offer opportunities for you to incentivise and reward this vital part of your workforce in ways which works for your trust, and your doctors.

Schedule 30 requirements

There are some fixed contractual requirements, as set out in schedule 30 such as:

  • awards must be non-pensionable and non-consolidated
  • the need for processes for appeals and reviews of pre-2018 awards.*

*The contract does stipulate that reviews of pre-2018 consolidated awards need to be carried out. The underlying principle being that we move towards a state of rewarding current excellence.


We have developed resources to help with designing your LCEA arrangements. 

  • Our Excel based tool and user guide have been designed to help employers ensure the minimum level of funds for LCEA investment in 2022/23.

    Access the financial tool and user guide

  • These flowcharts demonstrate the interactions between local clinical excellence awards (LCEA) and National Clinical Impact Awards (NCIA).

    Access the flowcharts

  • We created a guide setting out the eligibility criteria for LCEAs under the new arrangement.

    Access the eligibility criteria guide

  • Employers have informed us that most have applied equal distribution to the 2022/2023 award year with plans to return to a competitive award round for 2023/2024.

    In terms of designing new LCEA arrangements we have discussed three broad options with employers:

    • Design a new award scheme in agreement with JLNC (which meets the contractual requirements as well as the needs of the organisation).
    • Run a scheme based on 2018-21 guidance (with some adjustments locally to address the issues which we know exist with the old arrangements).
    • Distribute available funds equally among eligible consultants (with enhanced access criteria).

    We are developing guidance to help employers design succession schemes, if your trust has a scheme in development or you did something new for the 2022/2023 award round we would be interested in talking to you so that we can share learning with employers. 

    Please e-mail

    Further guidance will follow.

  • We heard from employers that most postponed reviews for the 2022/2023 award round. 

    Further guidance for the 2023/2024 award round will be provided shortly. 

  • 1.  Are level 9 award holders eligible to be included in the investment fund calculation and to receive an award?  

    Schedule 30 of the consultant terms and conditions para 8 states the arrangements from 1 April 2022:

    "For these purposes ‘eligible’ will be defined as substantively employed consultants with at least one year’s service (on 1 April of the award year) at consultant level who do not hold an NCEA or a distinction award."

    Therefore, those with Level 9 awards are included in the funding calculation and are eligible to receive an award (by the fact that they are not mentioned). Access the eligibility criteria. 

    2. Do consultants retain their pre-2018 LCEA when they retire and return? 

    Schedule 30 of the consultant terms and conditions para 11 states:

    "with effect from 1 April 2023, a consultant with a pre-2018 LCEA who retires, or partially retires, and returns to the same employer will retain their pre-2018 LCEA."

    Prior to 1 April 2023 existing LCEAs cease on retirement. 

    3. Can clinical academics apply for an LCEA? 

    Clinical academics who are not substantively employed by NHS organisations, but instead hold honorary contracts with them, are not ‘eligible’ for the purposes of the calculation of the LCEA fund. However, the expectation of the parties is that clinical academics will continue to be considered eligible to apply for LCEAs. Where a clinical academic is accepted as eligible to receive an award, additional funds will need to be provided by the employer to ensure that funding is not diluted for those with a contractual right to be considered eligible. 

    4. Consultants who work part time are entitled to awards as per the LCEA guidance. Should we pro-rata the payment? 

    Historically, LCEA payments have been pro-rated for those consultants who work part time. 

    As the 2003 TCS are silent on the payment of LCEAs to part-time consultants, there is scope for the employer to determine whether LCEA payments for part-time consultants remain pro-rated or they receive full payments. However, there are several points to consider. 

    Part-time consultants will benefit from statutory protection under the Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less FavourableTreatment) Regulations 2000 but that only requires that part-time workers do not suffer less favourable treatment than comparable full-time workers on a pro-rata basis.

    Employers are not obliged to provide part-time consultants with full payments and there may be a risk in doing so in terms of discrimination claims from full-time workers. In addition, a full payment to a part-time consultant, when they have not been included in the calculation of the fund as a separate full-time consultant (it being the case that FTE are used under the terms of Schedule 30), will dilute the pot of money available for distribution. We, therefore, suggest that a standard pro rata approach is taken to payment. 

    5. If a consultant does not re-apply for a national award do they revert to a local award? 

    If a consultant held an NCEA and it is due to expire and has been unsuccessful when applying for a new award they will revert to either a Level 7 or 8 Pre-2018 LCEA or will not receive an award as determined by the NCEA renewal scores as set out in Schedule 30. 

    Those receiving a pre-2018 LCEA will be subject to LCEA review process after 3 years.  

    If their NCEA is not due to expire the NCEA is retained until they successfully achieve an NCIA or expires, whichever is sooner.  

    If a consultant does not re-apply for a national award, they will retain their NCEA until expiry and are not eligible for the reversion arrangements. 

    6. When are employers notified of the outcome of National Clinical Impact Awards (NCIA) applications? 

    The Advisory Committee on Clinical Impact Awards (ACCIA) usually inform employers in January of each award year of the outcomes of national applications. 

    7. How are additional programmed activities (APAs) enhancements funded for those in receipt of an NCIA? 

    No central funding is provided for the necessary enhancement of APAs worked by holders of national awards so the cost will need to be met by the employer. 

    8. Can a consultant choose to decline a national award to retain their LCEA? 

    A consultant can apply for both a local and national award, but they cannot hold both.  

    Therefore, the consultant should consider prior to making a national award application the requirement to forfeit their local award if they are successful in securing a national award. 

National Clinical Impact Awards (NCIAs)

Access guidance from the Advisory Committee for Clinical Impact Awards (ACCIA) on the National Clinical Impact awards.

If you have any questions surrounding NCIAs, please email