Decontamination

The basis document that sets out the roles of Authorising Engineers and other positions is set out in the Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 00, Policies and Principles of Healthcare Engineering. This document describes the structure and the core suite of eight subject areas for guidance.

Chapter 3 of HTM 00 summarises the professional support and management structures required to implement the HTMs for the role of Authorising Engineer (Decontamination) (AE(D)):

The Health Service management and policies has been devolved by Central Government to the offices of the Devolved Administrations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Therefore the guidance issued in all four sections of the UK must be taken into account and utilized.

In the HTM 00 it is stated that “The AE will act as an independent professional adviser to the healthcare organisation. The AE should be appointed by the organisation with a brief to provide services in accordance with the relevant HTM. The professional status and role required may vary in accordance with the specialist service being supported.

 The AE will act as assessor and make recommendations for the appointment of Authorised Persons (APs), monitor the performance of the service, and provide an annual audit to the DP (Designated Person). To effectively carry out this role, particularly with regard to audit, the AE should remain independent of the operational structure of the healthcare organisation.” [Paras. 3.16 and 3.17 – HTM00]

HTM 01-01 sets out the guidance for Management and Decontamination of Surgical Instruments (Medical Devices) used in acute care.

Part A – Management & Provison

Part B – Common Elements

Part C – Steam Sterlization

Part D – Washer-Disinfectors

Part E – Alternatives to Steam for the Sterilization of Reusable Medical Devices

Paragraphs 6.30 – 6.58 of HTM 01-01 Part A sets out the Staff roles and responsibilites for all undertaking decontamination or management of decontamination, including that of the AE(D).

Further to the HTM 01.01, the roles and detailed responsibilities of both the AE(D) and AP(D) are set out in HTM 01.06 for flexible endoscope decontamnation, and HTM 01.05 for Dentistry

IHEEM maintains a Register of Authorising Engineers (Decontamination).   Applications to IHEEM are invited from practitioners to who wish to be considered for entry into the assessment programme for progress towards registration.

Click here for details of how to work towards registration.