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Receiving feedback

The GMC states that no single piece of feedback will be considered in isolation.

However, negative feedback does need to be addressed in your appraisal and should be an opportunity to reflect and learn. Don't just ignore it; instead talk it through with your appraiser or RO.

Read the GMC's guidance on Colleague and patient feedback in revalidation

Frequently asked questions

  • For colleague feedback, must they all be doctors?

    No, colleague feedback can be from anyone you work with including non-medical staff.


  • Do colleagues need to be based in the UK to give feedback?

    You are being revalidated on your UK practice only so if your colleague is someone you worked with while you were overseas, possibly not. However, if your colleague is someone who is based overseas that you work with as part of your UK practice this could be valid.

    To be absolutely sure, you should discuss this matter with your RO.


  • How old can the references be?

    Any reference or colleague feedback you use must be from within the five years of your current revalidation period.


  • What is the minimum number of comments from colleagues needed to be gathered?

    The GMC does not give a minimum number of comments as doctors work in many different settings. You will need at least one to meet the criteria, however. Your royal college may also set a figure to check their individual guidance.

    Many multi-source feedback (MSF) systems allow for between 20 and 30 comments, however this may not be possible in some instances. If you are concerned about this, discuss it with your appraiser or RO.


  • Can I access the information for compliments and complaints from patients?

    This would depend on the systems in place where you practice. It is best to talk to either a practice manager, a department administrator or the Trust offices.


  • Most compliments are verbal. Can they be used as evidence?

    Yes, you can ask patients if it is ok to document these compliments in your portfolio and reflect on them if appropriate.


  • Can I use the patient's name regarding their feedback?

    No, as this would breach patient confidentiality.


  • Gathering patient feedback can be difficult. How can I make it easier?

    Patient feedback must be independently sought and administered. The NHS Revalidation Support Team website has more information about how to do this.

    Read the Colleague and patient feedback guidance


  • Can I use my Registrar Patient Satisfaction questionnaire and MSF toward my revalidation?

    The GMC does not prescribe where you gain your patient feedback from, however they have produced guidance to make sure the feedback you are gathering is sufficient. If you have any concerns about what questionnaires to use, speak with either your appraiser or RO.

    Read the GMC's guidance on Colleague and patient feedback in revalidation