National Clinical Impact Awards - NCIA (Formerly Clinical Excellence Awards)

Clinical Impact Awards recognise and reward NHS consultants and academic GPs who perform over and above the standard expected of their role.

In 2021, a consultation on the national Clinical Excellence Awards (CEA) sought to increase the number of awards and broaden the diversity of award holders. The National Clinical Impact Awards (NCIA) is an updated awards scheme that is simpler, more relevant and with wider reach. The awards are designed to recognise, reward and retain dedicated clinicians who lead the way in the provision and improvement of patient care, demonstrating national impact by going above and beyond their demanding roles.

Awards are given for quality and excellence, acknowledging exceptional personal contributions. There are three levels of award available in England and Wales. National 1 (lowest), National 2 and National 3 (highest). A fourth Local Award level is available in Wales.

To be considered for an award, consultants will have to demonstrate achievement in developing and delivering high-quality patient care, and commitment to the continuous improvement of the NHS.

The awards are co-ordinated and awarded by the Advisory Committee on Clinical Impact Awards (ACCIA), sponsored by the Department of Health and Social Care.

Clinical Impact Awards 2022

The 2022 National Clinical Impact Awards round opens on Wednesday 27 April and will close at 17:00 on Wednesday 22 June 2022. Late applications will not be accepted under any circumstances. However, see below for an earlier deadline if you would like a college citation.

Who can apply for an award?

The Advisory Committee on Clinical Impact Awards (ACCIA) will accept applications for national awards from consultants working for the NHS in England and Wales. ACCIA no longer renews awards, all awards going forward will be classified as new. Awards will be held for 5 years, after which a further new award can be applied for.

Making an application

To make an application, go to the ACCIA the applicants’ guide and application form before submitting an application via the ACCIA Portal.

Please note the following significant changes that the ACCIA have made to the application:

  • you only need to submit one online application for scoring
  • you can only have one ranking and citation from one relevant national nominating organisation (NNO)
  • the aim after the transition period is for up to 600 new NCIAs each year in England – split 330 x N1 at £20,000, 200 x N2 at £30,000 and 70 x N3 at £40,000 – with up to 37 awards in Wales
  • scoring groups and numbers are balanced to optimise committee diversity and help to avoid unconscious bias
  • applications from those with a disability or extenuating circumstances are welcomed with the relevant supporting information
  • all applications are scored against the same criteria
  • each region has an equal opportunity for success with an indicative number of awards at each level (N1, N2 or N3) based on application numbers
  • tied applications are rescored by the National Reserve Sub-committee (NRES), along with those identified through national governance review
  • regional sub-committees and the main committee recommend applicants for national awards to ministers for them to approve
  • each region’s highest scoring applicants are pooled nationally and rescored by the N3 committee to agree those most deserving of the highest award – those who are unsuccessful at N3 receive an N2 award
  • if you successfully gain an award, it will last 5 years, backdated to 1 April 2022

Guidance can be found on the BMA website for Fellows and members who are considering applying for NCIA awards and would like more information on the current situation and potential financial consequences.


For the 2022 round, ACCIA is introducing new arrangements for the submission of citations by nominating bodies, such as the RCR. These are:

  • Citations can only be provided for new applications only
  • Citations can only be provided for who are ranked highest by the RCR – with a strict cap placed on the total number of citations available. The RCR NCIA committee will oversee the scoring of applications to produce an ‘RCR ranked list’

Applicants with new applications wishing to be included in the scoring and ranking exercise, with a view to obtaining an RCR citation, should submit their application forms to by 15:00 on Wednesday 11 May 2022. We accept this is a tight deadline and therefore, we accept that candidates may continue to tweak their applications online. We will use the information submitted by May 11 to score and rank application forms. The RCR is committed to promoting equal opportunities. We value diversity, promote equality, and challenge discrimination. We encourage and welcome applications from people of all backgrounds.

An applicant who requests a citation from us but does not achieve a ranking place can continue with their application but will not be eligible for a citation.

Informing you of the outcome of your citation request

We will acknowledge receipt of your citation request within 24 working hours. If you do not receive an acknowledgement, please get in touch via

The RCR will notify all applicants by 14 June 2022, whether they have been successful for College support. For those who are successful, it is your responsibility to submit your application via the ACCIA portal, as the RCR ranking and citation can only be applied if your application has been uploaded.

Applicants should be aware that it is their responsibility and not the College’s to ensure that they complete the form on ACCIA’s website and submit it before the closing date – 17:00 on Wednesday 22 June 2022.

Contact us

Please contact the RCR National Clinical Impact Awards team at .