Revalidation: appraisal and supporting information


05 / 5 / 2011 3.14pm


Improving SAS appraisal guide

This guide (published June 2013) aims to support employers to ensure that their SAS employees are able to engage fully with the appraisal process.

The guide is based on many of the common concerns expressed by SAS doctors in the appraisal workshops we ran in early 2013, and includes practical advice based on feedback, ideas and experience from SAS doctors themselves. It also sets out the steps that employers can take to acknowledge and develop SAS doctors' skills.

The principles apply equally to trust doctors.

Download Improving SAS appraisal: a guide for employers.  

Improving SAS appraisal webinar

Around 65 delegates attended a webinar on 17 June 2013 which focused on how to improve appraisal for SAS doctors.

Graham Russell, Associate Director at the Revalidation Support Team, shared examples of how barriers to appraisal can be overcome.

Dr Anthea Mowat,  BMA Staff, Associate Specialists and Specialty Doctors Committee Joint Deputy Chair provided tips on how meaningful supporting information can be collected.

Graham and Anthea were joined by Chris Pratt, Policy Officer, Registration and Revalidation at the General Medical Council, to answer key questions from the audience.

You can listen to the audio from the webinar while viewing the slides, or you can download the slides separately.

Appraisal and revalidation

All NHS staff, including doctors, are expected to have annual appraisals. The appraisal process is central to ensuring the whole workforce is engaged, training and development needs are recognised, and that all staff are working to the highest standard.

There is a clear responsibility for employers and their staff to make sure this takes place.  It is essential that doctors ensure that their managers, who are usually also doctors, provide regular and effective appraisals.

Effective and regular appraisal will be at the heart of revalidation so it is essential that well managed processes are in place now. The primary aims of medical appraisal are:

  • to identify personal and professional development needs of doctors
  • to ensure that doctors are adhering to the GMC’s Good Medical Practice framework (see below). 

An appraisal will usually take place between the subject doctor (appraisee) and a colleague (the appraiser) familiar with their work and it is expected that this will take place annually in line with the organisation’s business and planning cycle. It is expected that there will normally be five consecutive appraisals in a revalidation cycle of five years.

The GMCs Good Medical Practice Framework

The General Medical Council’s Good Medical Practice Framework for appraisal and revalidation sets out the broad areas which should be covered in medical appraisal and on which recommendations to revalidate doctors will be based.

The Framework is based on Good Medical Practice (GMP), the GMC's core ethical guidance for doctors, updated in 2006, which sets out the principles and values on which good practice is founded. GMP is used to inform the education, training and practice of all doctors in the UK. The Framework sets out clearly what the GMC will require a doctor to do at their appraisal, in order to revalidate.

Appraisal guidance and model form 

The Revalidation Support Team (RST) published the following guidance in April 2012 to support doctors and employers in delivering appraisal to support revalidation:

  • The Medical Appraisal Guide, which describes how medical appraisal can be carried out effectively. It is designed to help doctors understand what they need to do to prepare for and participate in appraisal and for appraisers and designated bodies to ensure that appraisal is carried out consistently and to a high standard.  The MAG should be read in conjunction with GMC guidance which sets out generic requirements for medical practice and appraisal.
  • The Medical Appraisal Guide model appraisal form.  The form provides a simple example of how information may be collected for medical appraisal and revalidation. It is an interactive PDF which can be used for the full five-year revalidation cycle. Doctors and appraisers can enter information and upload documents into the form before, during and after the appraisal meeting.  The RST has also put together a user guide and an organisation guide to help with use of the form.

Visit the RST website to access these resources.

Supporting information

During their annual appraisals, doctors will use supporting information to demonstrate that they are continuing to meet the principles and values set out in Good Medical Practice. 

The GMC guidance 'supporting information for appraisal and revalidation' sets out requirements for every licensed doctor on the six types of supporting information they  will need to collect for appraisal by themselves (e.g. CPD) and with the help of their employer (e.g. clinical audit data and complaints).

  • Download the guidance on supporting information for appraisal and revalidation from the GMC website 

Specialty specific guides for supporting information

The GMC guidance documents are supported by guidance from the medical royal colleges and faculties, which give the specialty context for the supporting information required for appraisal.

Clinical Academics will also be expected to undergo revalidation, the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) has published revised appraisal guidance for the appraisal of this staff group. Further information on this new guidance can be found on our Clinical Academic pages


GMC patient and colleague questionnaires for doctors

The General Medical Council (GMC) published final versions of its questionnaires in april 2012 to help employers and doctors collect feedback from patients and colleagues. 

Patient and colleague feedback is one element of supporting information that the GMC requires doctors to collect and reflect upon as part of revalidation.

Using a questionnaire enables colleague and patient views about a doctor’s practice to be gathered in a systematic way. The questionnaires are free for employers and doctors to use and have been extensively tested. They   Good Medical Practice'.based on the GMC’s core guidance '

The GMC has also developed instructions for using the questionnaires and detailed information has been developed for appraisers on interpreting and handling feedback results.

For more information and to download the documents, visit the GMC website.

Improving SAS appraisal webinar - audio and presentations

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