Alison Pettigrew

Head of Quality and Standards

Role at Hull York Medical School

Alison joined Hull York Medical School in 2010 as the Programme Director for the Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education. Over the past seven years she has held a number of positions across the School, including Associate Dean for Quality, and Academic Lead for Postgraduate Taught Programmes. She took up a newly created post of Head of Quality and Standards in January 2014 with an ambitious programme for change across the School. 


Prior to her work in Hull York Medical School, Alison has worked extensively in the NHS as a diagnostic radiographer, and in Higher Education in a diverse range of roles, including responsibilities at both undergraduate and postgraduate level such as medical imaging, medical ethics, multi-professional education, learning and teaching, curriculum development, and the management of change and leadership. Alison also has a proven track record of measurable impact in the business sector. At a national level she has managed a diverse range of projects, including the Activity Based Funding project for clinical research in the UK.


Alison’s early interests in research were informed by her postgraduate studies in Medical Ethics at Keele University, which led her to become Vice-Chair of the University of Teesside Research Ethics Committee. The publication of subsequent papers on ethical issues in health care research followed, not least the avoidance of futile research often undertaken by students as an integral feature of taught programmes.

Since then, and having worked at the Clinical Research Network Coordinating Centre in Leeds, Alison has led a national project to design and implement an innovative Activity Based Funding model with particular focus on study complexity, and recruitment patterns to individual and groups of studies. She has also led an investigation into study costings, achieving costings for 566 studies, 377 of which were unique, and allowing direct comparisons of service support costs, research costs and others. Alison also completed a multi-faceted project focusing on the need for collaboration across the 103 clinical research networks in England.

Working on postgraduate programmes for four years at HYMS provided opportunities to focus on the impact of professional development on professional practice. This included the indication that success on programmes such as the PGCME can influence not only an individual’s teaching practice, but also their clinical practice through development of negotiation, listening and reflective skills, all of which impact relationships between doctors, colleagues and patients. Of particular interest was the need for evidence that this may well provide a significant return on initial investment, both in terms of time and finances.

More recently as an MBA student at University College London, Alison has focused on issues of financial management and governance of Higher Education institutions. The development of strategy as well as working with a peer group from across the world has provided new ideas for project and collaborative working.


Alison’s teaching role is now much more limited but she still very much enjoys delivering stand-alone workshops. Recently these have included:

  • Professionalism and Fitness to Practise
  • Microteaching
  • Learning and Teaching in Clinical Education
  • Assessment and Feedback in Clinical Education
  • Bold Conversations
  • Calgary Cambridge – Model and Implementation

Consultancy : Best Practice in the Management and Academic Governance of the Medical School within the University of Kurdistan Hewler. Fieldwork in Erbil, Northern Iraq undertaken in  April 2017.

International Collaborative Initiative : A New Horizon. Rawalpindi Medical University and Hull York Medical School. Fieldwork in Islamabad, Pakistan undertaken in December 2017.

External roles

External Member : Quality, Learning and Teaching Committee, University of London Worldwide

Honours and awards

Making a Difference in the Workplace Award : July 2018