ACCP OSF: Diagnosing Death for Donation after Circulatory Death

The growth of the ACCP role, combined with the 100% increase in donor numbers over the last 10 years, means that for some units the ability for ACCPs to diagnose death in the context of DCD is vital for service provision and ensuring every donation opportunity can be facilitated.

To enable Advanced Critical Care Practitioners (ACCPs) to diagnose circulatory death in the context of DCD organ donation the following competency document has been developed.

The local Clinical Lead for Organ Donation (CLOD) and ICU Clinical Lead must agree and ensure local governance arrangements are in place with activity reviewed and reported to the CLOD.


The aims of this Advanced Critical Care Practitioner (ACCP) DCD competency are to:

  • Enable ACCP training to a nationally agreed standard by FICM and NHSBT for the diagnosis of death in the context of DCD organ donation.
  • To describe the core theoretical knowledge, practical skills and professional judgment required of an ACCP in the diagnosis of death in the context of DCD organ donation.
  • The competences identify knowledge, common and specialist elements, which are deemed essential to the role, while allowing for flexibility within local settings to meet service needs.
  • Each individual practitioner will take professional responsibility for their autonomous practice including acknowledgement of their limitations and when to ‘refer the patient on’ to medical colleagues or other appropriate professionals.

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