Important information about changes to appraisal support tools and appraisal vehicles

As you may be aware, NHS England is making changes in relation to support systems/tools for the medical revalidation process of doctors with a prescribed connection to it.

Revalidation Management System (RMS)

NHS England has commissioned a system for managing the revalidation of any doctors connected to it. One of the many features of the Revalidation Management System (RMS) is that details from a doctor’s appraisal can be added to it in order to maintain a dashboard of that doctor’s status in their individual revalidation cycle.

RMS is not an appraisal vehicle and will not act as a replacement for current appraisal tools used such as Equiniti, Clarity or the MAG Form.

Appraisal vehicles for recording appraisal

If you are a doctor currently using an appraisal vehicle commissioned by NHS England such as Equiniti or Clarity, please understand that NHS England will not be commissioning this vehicle after 31 March 2016. You now need to make a decision about your future arrangements, bearing in mind that you have a personal professional responsibility to maintain your own appraisal records in a secure manner. Essentially, you need to make a choice between maintaining your existing vehicle through a personal arrangement with the provider, or to transfer to another vehicle. If you decide to transfer to another vehicle you will need to ensure that you download all of your appraisal documentation from your current system and store it securely. This should be completed before NHS England’s contracts expire on 31 March 2016.

The NHS England Medical Appraisal Policy indicates that medical appraisals for doctors with a prescribed connection to NHS England may be undertaken using the Medical Appraisal Guide Model Appraisal Form (MAG Form) or another format which, as a minimum, replicates the information presented in the MAG Form. The MAG Form illustrates the functional requirements for a medical appraisal vehicle, consistent with the Medical Appraisal Guide. The MAG Form also functions as a suitable no-cost option for an appraisal vehicle accepted and recognised by NHS England.

Whichever vehicle you decide to use, you will be responsible for ensuring that your appraiser has access to your system and understands its functionality. You must also ensure that your appraisal information complies with the Medical Appraisal Guide and is available in a format that permits it to be uploaded to the RMS. In terms of this latter point, if your appraisal can be downloaded as a pdf or Word document, this will be acceptable.

In practical terms, if you continue to use your existing vehicle, which is currently commissioned by NHS England, via a personal arrangement with the provider, or if you use the MAG Form, both of these options will be acceptable without further discussion with your responsible officer. If you are considering changing to a different vehicle you need to consider whether it will meet the above criteria. If in doubt as to whether your intended vehicle will meet the above requirements, you should discuss the matter with your responsible officer’s team before making a decision.

Refresh and update of the MAG Form for 2016/17

Work is currently underway to refresh and update the MAG Form. This will not be a radical overhaul of the existing form, rather some subtle modifications intended to improve the look, feel and user-friendliness of the form, along with enhancing the outputs and effectiveness of the appraisal process for both doctors and their appraisers. The updated version will remain as a stand-alone, interactive pdf document and should be available in March 2016.

The Medical Appraisal Guide Model Appraisal Form (v0.03 NHS Revalidation Support Team, 2012) is an interactive pdf that allows doctors and appraisers to enter information and attach documents before and after the appraisal meeting. It has been designed with the appraisal meeting in mind, in a logical manner that mirrors how the appraisal conversation may flow. Before downloading the form, doctors and appraisers should review the MAG Model Appraisal Form User Guide (NHS Revalidation Support Team, 2012).


  1. John king says:

    Sir, I am registered with Equiniti like many other more doctors , do I have the option of staying with Equiniti and privately pay the annual membership fee which they will be asking for? thank you

    • NHS England says:

      Dear John,
      Thank you for your query. You are correct in that you can continue to use and pay personally for Equiniti’s services, or any other appraisal vehicle. However, although not compulsory, we would encourage use of the new MAG form (due March 2016), which is intended as an example of a repository that holds the information required for a medical appraisal. It has been designed with the appraisal meeting in mind, in a logical manner that mirrors how the appraisal conversation may flow. It is also intended as a practical demonstration of the information in the Medical Appraisal Guide: A guide to medical appraisal for revalidation in England, version 4 (NHS Revalidation Support Team, 2013 [reissued with updated hyperlinks September 2014])<>
      Kind regards,
      NHS England

  2. Dr.Jaddugadde Ravindra says:

    I had to use this form for an appraisal. One of the major issues is that – we cannot email this if it exceeds 10 Mb. They have to email several of their documents in separate emails. This is very uncomfortable. Could this issue be resolved so that all in one place can be made available to the appraiser?
    Or can all of this be uploaded to RMS by the appraisee so that appraiser can access it there and use it?

    • NHS England says:

      Hi Dr Jaddugadde Ravindra

      Thank you for your comment.

      The capacity of the updated form will still have a limit of 10Mb. However, unlike the original form, the updated form is an annual form only and not a five-year form. This decision was taken after extensive feedback by users. It will also make the new form more stable and allow for more memory to be utilised by both doctors and appraisers. With that in mind, doctors are still encouraged to carefully consider the balance between quality v quantity of content.

      Kind Regards
      NHS England

  3. diane bamberger says:

    I am trying to decide whether to pay Clarity to continue to use their database or transfer to using a MAG form. Unfortunately the links to the MAG form on this website do not seem to work. One of the pages talks of updating the MAG forms and a new one becoming available by the end of march. Is this the reason I cant access the links? I have tried on my work PC and my home Mac.
    If this is the case, is it at least possible to have view of one of the old ones as Clarity have set a deadline of 31 Jan for payment if I choose to continue with them.

  4. Wendy Warren says:

    At present we use the Responsible Officer Database which has the dashboard included, will the revalidation management system replace this and will it be an improved system.

    Many thanks

  5. Onikepo Adeoye says:

    Some have used the MAG Form for up to 3 appraisal meetings. How will information on the old MAG Form which transfers when you create a new form be uploaded to the new form when this is released. The current MAG Form stores information for the 5 year cycle and for those of us who have used it from the onset we now have 3 years worth of information uploaded to the form.

    • NHS England says:

      Hi Onikepo

      The new MAG form is an annual form and so will only store data from one appraisal year – unfortunately, the information held on the old MAG form cannot be transferred to the new one. However, once basic data has been input onto the new form this can be saved as a template to use each year. You can continue to use the old form within your current five-year cycle, but note that the form’s field for selecting ‘year of appraisal’ ends at 2016-17, which is one of the reasons we are updating it.

      Kind Regards
      NHS England

  6. Esther Gladman says:

    Can you tell me if the MAG form is actually currently available please – I cant see it when I click the link to download to my Mac despite having the latest adobe software.
    If it is available please can you email it to me and I will see if i can tackle it from there. Thankyou

  7. John Constable says:

    Does this mean that my provider Clarity can ask for my annual subscription now in November [which was the month I used to pay it before the NHS started commissioning the service] even though the NHS is still commissioning the service until 31/3/2016?

  8. Ikechukwu Azuonye says:

    I hope that this review will address some of the sections of the MAG form. that doctors appeared not to be clear about:

    Section 6 of 21 should have the heading Last Year’s Personal Development Plans and their Achievement.

    Section 7 of 21 should be headed Continuing Professional Development (CPD) During this Appraisal Year.

    Section 15 of 21 should be headed Personal Development Plans for the Next One Year.

    Yours sincerely,
    Ikechukwu Azuonye