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What is Guidance?

Under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, the HFEA is required to give guidance to licensed centres about 'the proper conduct of activities carried out in pursuance of a licence'.

This guidance is contained in the HFEA Code of Practice, which is currently in its 8th edition.

New HFEA guidance takes the form of a Chair's Letter, a Chief Executive's Letter or Directions and is usually incorporated into the subsequent edition of the Code of Practice.

  • Chair's letters

    Chair's letters notify licensed centres of changes to HFEA policy. Sent by the Chair of the HFEA, the letters tell centres what they are expected to do in light of the policy change.

  • Chief Executive's letters

    Chief Executive's letters notify licensed centres of changes to HFEA operating procedures. They also provide relevant information about developments at the HFEA.

  • Directions

    Directions are essentially rules. They can be "General" which apply to all centres or "Special" which apply to particular licensed centres.

  • Inspecting surgical procedures

    Following agreement with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), on 1 October 2013, we will be extending our remit to include the inspection of surgical procedures carried out in connection with HFEA licensed activity.

  • Multiple Births Minimisation Strategy: achievements and compliance

    In January 2009 we set the Year 1 maximum multiple birth rate at 24%. This was the first step in our policy to reduce what professional bodies and patient groups recognise as the single biggest, and avoidable, risk of IVF treatment.

  • Retrieval of storage of gametes where patients are unable to consent

  • Special Direction applications

    Special Directions for import or export is effectively special permission given by the Statutory Approvals Committee allowing a licensed fertility clinic to carry out an import or export despite not meeting the requirements of General Directions 0006.

  • Surrogacy and legal parenthood

    On 1 October 2013, we will be changing our guidance and consent forms on legal parenthood for intended parents involved in surrogacy arrangements.

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Page last updated: 02 June 2016

Frequently used guidance

Find quick links to the guidance most often referred to by those working in licensed centres or the patients that they care for.

You can also see when that guidance is due to next be reviewed.

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