FCI develops a model job description for a Chief Clinical Informatics Officer (CCIO)

29 September 2021

Despite clear recommendations “to strengthen and grow the CCIO field” in the Wachter report  (2016), clinical informaticians across the four UK nations continue to describe unwarranted inconsistencies in the remits of their roles. 

To help address this issue, the Faculty of Clinical Informatics (FCI) called upon a multi-professional working group of its members to develop an example of a model job description for a Chief Clinical Informatics Officer (CCIO), utilising the FCI Core Competency Framework. The group was chaired by Professor Lesley Holdsworth, Clinical Lead for Digital Health and Care, Scottish Government.

"It's been a real pleasure to work with this talented and knowledgeable group on producing this guidance and a model JD for our highest level digital leaders. We hope this will help with the overall professionalism of this speciality and help those in it aspiring to be in these positions with a  professional development framework that should support individuals to be in positions of influence and accelerate this important agenda across both health and care throughout the UK." 
Professor Lesley Holdsworth
OBE PhD FCSP FWCT FFCI, Clinical Lead for Digital Health and Care, Scottish Government

The proposed model job description and linked guidance are now published, see below, alongside a form welcoming feedback that will inform later iterations and future work in this area. 

“The Faculty of Clinical Informatics CCIO model job description sets out the skills and capabilities that are needed at the highest level in well led health and care organisations to ensure they deliver safe and effective digital transformation of services. It is a practical application of our published work on the core competencies of clinical informaticians.  Our next steps in the Faculty will be to support organisations with developing the multidisciplinary teams which will form the Office of the CCIO.” 
Anne Marie Cunningham 
MPH MRCGP FFCI, Vice Chair FCI Council, Chair FCI Professionalism Standing Committee, Digital Health CCIO Advisory Panel member. 

In line with nationally endorsed guidance (Wachter report, 2016, Topol Review, 2018) this new guidance, published by the FCI, describes the CCIO as:

  • the single most senior clinical informatician within an organisation

  • an executive role with an associated salary to reflect this

  • a role that can be fulfilled by an individual from any professional background who can demonstrate competencies as outlined within the FCI Competency Framework. 

A key principle of the role is that the individual will work with their multi-professional lead informatics colleagues and provide leadership to the ‘Office’ of the CCIO.

The FCI Competency Framework provides a tool to inform personal development plans of those in the Office of the CCIO.

The working group collected a sample of 41 existing job descriptions for senior clinical informaticians across the four nations. These job descriptions were reviewed against assessment criteria that were developed based on the six domains of the FCI Competency Framework. The study confirmed the anecdotal evidence that there was unwarranted variation, demonstrating the requirement for national guidance to help standardise the CCIO role.

On 22 October 2021, a joint FCI-Digital Health webinar will facilitate a discussion about this new guidance and ask:

  • if it’s fit for purpose?

  • whether it can make a difference to help standardise this role?

  • what other environmental factors are needed for CCIOs to be given the recognition and authority they need in order to achieve a better patient experience?

For more information about the webinar and to join, register here.  

Download guidance for the role of CCIO and model job description

Download the project report

Provide feedback on the model CCIO job description via this form

For further  information  and  requests  for  interview ,  please  contact  Jessica Greenhalgh, Communication and Marketing Manager, Faculty of Clinical Informatics: Jessica.Greenhalgh@fci.org.uk or Tel: 0207 451 6797 Mob: 07538251602