Northern Ireland SAS committee

The Northern Ireland SAS committee represents all staff, associate specialist and specialty doctors working in Northern Ireland, and handles issues including contracts, the SAS charter and the career development proposal.
Location: Northern Ireland
Audience: SAS doctors
Updated: Monday 16 March 2020
Voting card article illustration

​NISASC (the Northern Ireland staff, associate specialist and specialty doctors committee) is a standing committee of the BMA, representing all SAS doctors working in Northern Ireland. Its remit is to consider and act on matters affecting SAS doctors, including contractual matters.

Some of the external groups and bodies we liaise with on behalf of SAS doctors in Northern Ireland include the:

  • General Medical Council
  • DoH (Department of Health) NI workforce policy directorate
  • DoH SAS charter review team
  • HSC NI trusts.


Our priorities

  • Work with external stakeholders in reviewing the NISASC charter implementation.
  • Take forward the recommendations of the NISASC career development proposal.
  • Represent SAS doctors in Northern Ireland to ensure their voices are heard.

We also promote the policies of the UK SAS doctors committee:


SAS charter

The Northern Ireland SAS charter sets out the responsibilities of SAS doctors and their employers, providing a commitment to support and enable SAS doctors to realise their potential to deliver the best patient care and contribute fully to health services. It was developed by NISASC in collaboration with the DoH (Department of Health) in Northern Ireland and the HSC Trusts to help advance the careers of those working in this grade. 

The charter recognises the pivotal role SAS doctors hold in the delivery of high-quality care and the significant contribution they make not only to patient care, but in leadership, education, research and governance. SAS doctors bring experiences and specialist care, possess individual and often highly specialised skills, and undertake broader roles through activities such as teaching and audit. 

To ensure the charter is implemented throughout trusts, the DoH NI has commissioned a review in partnership with the BMA. This work is in progress; it is envisaged that a toolkit and action plan for trusts will be available towards the end of 2019. 

If you have any questions in relation to the NI SAS charter, please contact Patricia Mills ([email protected]).  


Career development proposal

NISASC is committed to developing the role of SAS doctors as a valued and integral part of the medical workforce in Northern Ireland. We have been focusing on the SAS career development proposal to help improve opportunities for training and development, information sharing and educational networking.

The career development proposal recommends:

  • a SAS lead: BMA Northern Ireland recommends that each trust appoints a SAS doctor with specific responsibilities for the development of SAS doctors in their trust. This role should take account of each trust’s business objectives and report to the medical director
  • resources: each trust should identify adequate resources to support the work of the SAS lead
  • an associate dean: we recommend that an associate postgraduate dean/regional coordinator for SAS doctors is appointed and funded by the Department of Health to deliver quality management and enhancement for CPD for SAS doctors on a regional level
  • associate specialists: we recommend that the associate specialist grade is reopened subject to the (Northern Ireland) 2008 contractual terms for associate specialists.


Our people

NISASC has 12 directly elected voting members, representing all trusts in Northern Ireland.

Chair: Carole Cairns, Belfast Trust

Deputy chair: Leanne Davison, Belfast Trust





Our meetings

We hold four meetings a year to discuss the latest issues affecting SAS doctors in Northern Ireland. Only committee members may participate in votes on NISASC business, but SAS doctors who are BMA members are welcome to attend in a non-voting capacity as part of the BMA committee visitor scheme.

Upcoming meetings:

  • Wednesday 3 June 2020

All our meetings take place at:

BMA Northern Ireland
16 Cromac Place
Cromac Wood

​For more information email Patricia Mills ([email protected]) or call 028 9026 9658.


Get in touch

If you are interested in finding out more about the work of the NISASC or want to tell us what our priorities should be, email [email protected].