What is a Medical Appraisal?
A medical appraisal is a yearly meeting between a doctor and a colleague with expertise as an appraiser. A process in which you have a structured self-review supported by information gathered from different aspects of your work. The evidence you choose to gather is essential to prove you meet the standards for practising set by the GMC, regardless of your specialty. You should contact your appraiser responsible officer if you need any extra help.
A medical appraisal can be used for various purposes including:
- Demonstrating ongoing competence and fitness to practice
- Reflecting on your personal practice and performance with your appraiser, helping your responsible officer’s recommendation for revalidation to the GMC
- Assisting in planning your professional development
- Identifying areas for learning and improvement
- Ensuring alignment with organisational priorities
The appraisal process plays a vital role in setting and tracking personal development goals. Although it overlaps with the job planning process, the two should be kept separate to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.
What are the stages of an appraisal?
There are 3 stages in the medical appraisal process. The initial phase involves gathering information for the appraisal, followed by a private appraisal discussion. The last stage is the outcome of the medical appraisal.
Here are the details you should include on your appraisal form:
1 – The scope and nature of your work
Clearly outline what work you’ve been doing during the time period of your appraisal.
- The scope and nature of your work – Simply outline the work you’ve been doing during the time period of your appraisal
- Continuing Professional Development (CPD) – In this section, simply outline all of the courses, teachings, and seminars you’ve attended within the duration of the appraisal that has earned you CPD points. If this is your first appraisal within the NHS, you can mention this under reviews and record of annual appraisals.
- Quality improvement projects (QIP’s) – In this section, mention all of the QIP’s you have completed, explaining what they was about and what you did to complete them.
- Significant events – If you have previously been included in a significant event then you will have received an email from somebody within the Trust. You should mention the details in this section.
- Achievements – The next section you should detail your achievements. You could share the journey that brought you to your current position in the UK and then mention what you aim to achieve in the future.
- Additional information – Here you should talk about any information you believe is relevant for your appraisal. This may be any mandatory training you’ve completed or an activity outside the hospital that you think is worth mentioning. As for the PDP proposal, provide clear bullet points showing what you intend to achieve by the next appraisal.
Once your appraisal has taken place, both you and the appraiser will agree on a new PDP, including personal goals for the upcoming year (or, where appropriate, for a longer period).
What is a Medical Revalidation?
Medical revalidation is the procedure through which the GMC confirms the ongoing validity of a doctor’s license to practice in the UK. All doctors seeking to maintain their practice license must engage in the revalidation process. Revalidation aims to offer increased confidence to patients, the public, employers, and fellow healthcare professionals that licensed doctors are current and capable of practising.
How does revalidation work?
Revalidation is based on a close examination of a doctor’s performance through an appraisal. Each doctor usually connects with a senior doctor within their organisation, known as the responsible officer, through a formal arrangement based on employment or contracts.
The responsible officer assesses your fitness to practice and provides a recommendation to the GMC. This suggestion is based on your annual appraisals spanning five years, as well as information drawn from the organisation’s clinical governance systems. Following this, the GMC will decide whether to renew your license based on the responsible officer’s recommendation.
The responsible officer ensures that appraisal and clinical governance systems are of good quality in their organization. Improving these systems helps doctors enhance their practice, making healthcare safer and better. It also helps identify doctors needing attention early, allowing for better intervention.