For information and resources specific to Sessional GPs please visit our Sessional GPs section
Medical appraisal is:
- an annual meeting between a doctor and a colleague who is trained as an appraiser
- a process of facilitated self-review supported by information gathered from the full scope of a doctors work (all roles a doctor holds which require a GMC licence to practice).
It has 4 main purposes:
- To enable doctors to enhance the quality of their professional work by planning their professional development.
- To enable doctors to consider their own needs in planning their professional development.
- To enable doctors to consider the priorities and requirements of the context(s) in which they are working.
- To enable doctors to demonstrate that they continue to meet the principles and values set out in Good Medical Practice, and therefore inform the responsible officer’s revalidation recommendation to the GMC.
Participation in annual appraisal is a mandatory GMC requirement to retain a licence to practice and it forms the basis of revalidation (see below).
It is organised on an NHS England Area Team (NHSE North West and NHSE North East) with clinical Appraisal Leads and an administrative team who work within national policies and procedures.
Some key points to note:
- A doctor is allocated an appraiser by the NHSE team, however, there is a process to reallocate should there be any conflict of interest from either party
- There is, at the moment, not one mandated form of documentation or electronic toolkit that must be used, however, doctors are encouraged to use an electronic toolkit such as Agilio/Clarity, Fourteen Fish or GP tools. As a minimum, the Medical Appraisal Guide 2022 template should be completed.
- Most appraisals are carried out based on birth month of the doctor being appraised. Within this framework the doctor should have a window of 84 days prior to the end of their birth month. No doctor should be appraised less than 9 months or more than 15 months from the previous appraisal. Should the allocated month be unsuitable we advise you to contact the relevant appraisal team to amend this where possible.
- The storing and sharing of appraisal information must follow strict data protection rules.
NHSE NW Appraisal Lead: Dr Lesley Atherton firstname.lastname@example.org
NHSE NE Appraisal Lead: Dr Di Jelley email@example.com
NHSE NW Appraisal and Revalidation general queries: firstname.lastname@example.org
NHSE NW Appraisal and Revalidation general queries: email@example.com
Any doctor experiencing problems with the appraisal process, or who considers they are being treated unfairly by the Area Team should contact the LMC Office.
Appraisals post COVID-19
To allow doctors to focus on the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, the appraisal process was paused in March 2020. In most of the UK, they were then resumed in October 2020.
Since the restart, Medical appraisal 2022 has been introduced as the new approach to appraisals. It is a streamlined appraisal format that meets revalidation requirements and places more focus on health and wellbeing. It is also intended to reduce pre-appraisal paperwork requirements.
The meaning of the term Revalidation is ‘the evaluation of a medical practitioner’s fitness to practise’ (Medical Act, 1983). The process of revalidation is one in which doctors need to positively affirm to the General Medical Council (GMC) that they are up to date and fit to practice based on the principles and values of Good Medical Practice. This is required every five years where each doctor’s Responsible Officer will recommend him or her for revalidation by the GMC and the process by which this is done will partly be based on evidence of the doctor’s participation in the appraisal process.
To administer the process of revalidation each doctor is associated with a “Responsible Officer (RO)” who makes recommendations to the GMC about their fitness to practice. For the vast majority of GPs the Responsible Officer is the Medical Director of NHS England for the area in which they practice. For our area these are:
- Dr Gareth Wallis (Medical Director & Responsible Officer at NHS England North West)
- Dr Jonathan Slade (Medical Director & Responsible Officer at NHS England Cumbria & North East)
- Dr Yasmin Khan (Medical Director & Responsible Officer at NHS England Yorkshire and the Humber)
You can find details of your Responsible Officer on the GMC Website under your own entry here. If you do not have an RO, or are incorrectly connected contact the GMC.
Mandatory requirements for revalidation over a 5-year cycle (based on UK practice only):
- Information about a doctor’s full scope of practice
- Probity and Health statements
- Evidence of CPD appropriate to a doctor’s role(s)
- Evidence of engagement in Quality improvement activity
- Declaration of any significant events or serious incidents
- Collection of, and reflection on, patient feedback
- Collection of, and reflection on, colleague feedback
- Declaration of any complaints made about the doctor
Useful resources for appraisal and revalidation:
Medical Appraisal Guide 2022 – Academy of Royal Colleges
Guidance on supporting information for appraisal and revalidation - GMC
RCGP - Evidence of fitness to practice, collating feedback, quality improvement activity and SE.
RCGP Mythbusters guidance on supporting information for appraisal and revalidation
NHS England Appraisal Guidance
CPD GP tools – free learning material
E – learning for health care – For information on statutory and mandatory training
FourteenFish Appraisal Toolkit – Appraisal Toolkit for Doctors