What is the Donor Centre of Excellence scheme?

The Donor Centre of Excellence (DCoE) scheme, established in 2014 and run by the NGDT, is a prestigious kite mark awarded to HFEA-licensed treatment centres which have demonstrated exceptional donor-centric practice in the recruitment and treatment of egg and sperm donors. The aim of the DCoE scheme is to encourage fertility clinics to strive for excellence beyond their pure clinical practice with traditional fertility patients. This is demonstrated by clinics treating potential and actual gamete donors as generous and special human beings, and with the dignity, respect and sensitivity they deserve. The DCoE accreditation recognises, celebrates and rewards fertility clinics which reach this gold standard in gamete donor care.

Who can apply for Donor Centre of Excellence accreditation?

Any HFEA-licensed treatment centre which recruits egg and sperm donors for fertility treatment services can contact us to discuss how they can apply for DCoE accreditation. The DCoE accreditation scheme is not just open to those clinics which already excel in this field. The DCoE scheme also aims to support other clinics which may be on their own journeys to achieving best practice in donor care.

How long does the Donor Centre of Excellence accreditation process take?

On average, the DCoE accreditation process takes six to nine months. Once a clinic has received accreditation, we will review that accreditation annually.

What does becoming a Donor Centre of Excellence involve?

Over a six- to nine-month period, we will conduct a rigorous assessment of all aspects of a clinic’s donation procedures and processes. Judged against a matrix of evidence-based principles and requirements aspects in which clinics will be expected to excel and exhibit best practice before, during and after the donation process include:

  • offering personalised care
  • paying close attention to detail
  • providing clear donor-centric information
  • flexibility
  • commitment
  • dedication
  • discretion
  • offering donor choice
  • clinic facilities (from car parking to sperm sample production rooms to thank you mementoes).

Why become a Donor Centre of Excellence?

There are many reasons why a clinic should strive to become an accredited Donor Centre of Excellence:

  • Improved donor retention and commitment
  • Benefit from the NGDT’s expertise and support
  • Best practice NGDT training
  • NGDT preferred referral clinic status.

Current Donor Centres of Excellence include:



Donor Satisfaction Survey

The DCoE scheme was, in part, inspired and informed by the findings of our 2012 Donor Satisfaction Survey produced by Dr Laura Machin at Lancaster University.

The largest survey of its kind to give donors a real voice, the report detailed the experiences of 153 donors: 72 egg donors, 48 sperm donors and 33 potential donors responding to an online questionnaire comprising open and closed questions about their donation experience.

read the report here

“At the core of the ‘Donor Centre of Excellence’ award scheme is recognition of those clinics which embrace and value the selfless individuals who choose to donate their eggs and sperm to help infertile strangers have a family. Crucially, the donors and patients receiving care and treatment in Donor Centres of Excellence are likely to receive a noticeably higher standard of service than others may experience elsewhere.”

Laura Witjens


In The Media

Over the last ten years there’s been an increase in egg and sperm donors coming forward in the UK. This didn’t happen by accident. Media coverage, in whatever way, shape or form, has an important role to play. The more media inches, the more awareness, the more donors come forward.

It is as simple as that.