Selected Medical practitioner (SMP)
The Selected Medical Practitioner (SMP) sometimes also referred to as a Suitably Qualified Medical Practitioner is a Doctor employed to conduct IOD reviews etc. This is a very important role and the SMP should make decisions impartially and independently. Unfortunately, since HOC46/2004, many SMP's have shown bias towards the financial interests of the police authorities who have employed them and the role has become tainted. The role of SMP has become unpopular with Doctors and in late 2017 the SMP for Staffordshire suddenly withdrew his services part way through a review programme.
Under the current Regulations, the SMP is required to determine disability through 'earning capacity' and this is acknowledged to be a difficult task which is open to manipulation and abuse. Freedom of Information requests have revealed that, in certain forces, SMP's can command very high fees and is therefore considered to be the reason why some practitioners are attracted to the work.
It is not surprising that SMP's are distrusted. Many IOD's have complained about the unprofessional and bad attitude of certain SMP's.
Selected Medical Practitioner (SMP/FMA)
Guidance on the Qualification Requirements for Force Medical Advisors
Occupational Health Service. Standards for Accreditation.
List of SMP Providers (May 2014)