Consultant Appraisals

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What is a medical appraisal?

The scrutiny of medical professionalism was formalised in the UK through the introduction of revalidation by the General Medical Council (GMC) in 2012. 

Your annual appraisal informs the revalidation process. A medical appraisal is a process of facilitated self-review supported by information gathered from the full scope of your work. 

The annual appraisal and supporting evidence are key to demonstrating your GMC fitness to practise whatever your branch of practice.


Objectives of your medical appraisal

Medical appraisal can be used for a number of purposes, including:

  1. To reflect on an individual's practice and performance with their appraiser
  2. To help doctors plan their professional development
  3. To identify learning needs
  4. To ensure doctors are working in line with the organisational priorities
  5. To demonstrate that doctors remain up to date and fit to practise

The appraisal process is an important source for agreeing and monitoring personal development objectives.

Whilst it interacts with the job planning process, the two should be kept separate in order to mitigate any conflicts of interest.


Different groups of doctors

The GMC framework for appraisal and revalidation sets out the broad areas that all doctors are expected to address and the responsibilities of both doctors and employers in the process, but there are some differences:

Junior doctors

Doctors in training will revalidate through the Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) and will not need to participate in the appraisal process as described in this guidance.

View appraisal guidance for junior doctors

Clinical academics

Clinical academic staff follow broadly the same appraisal process. However, as they are employed by both the NHS and a higher education institute a set of principles has been agreed to integrate the responsibilities of both parties in appraisal, disciplinary and reporting arrangements.  These are known as the Follet Principles.

View appraisal guidance for clinical academics


Appraisal and revalidation

An outcome of the appraisal is that it informs the revalidation process

Effective appraisals that satisfy the GMC's requirements will form the basis for the responsible officer's (RO) recommendation on an individual's fitness to practise.

Whilst most doctors will receive a positive recommendation, ROs have a responsibility to inform the GMC of any concerns about a doctor's fitness to practise, a doctor's refusal to engage with the process, or of the need for a deferral.

It is important that these issues are addressed as they arise and not solely when the revalidation recommendation is due.

Get the knowledge on what you need for your revalidation