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NHS England has developed an updated version of the MAG form for use by doctors for their medical appraisal from April 2016.
Why an updated MAG form?
The form has been updated for a number of practical reasons:
- In response to feedback received since the original form was launched in 2012 – to improve the overall user-experience/friendliness of the form for doctors and appraisers
- To enhance the appraisal outputs, in particular by prompting doctors to record reflection more effectively
- To refresh the function of the form as an illustrative specification for appraisal, based on statutory requirements and the Medical Appraisal Guide, on which the medical appraisal process is based
- To ensure that there is a freely available appraisal format suitable to support medical appraisal in England
- To amend the ‘Year of appraisal’ field, which expires in 2016-17 in the original form
Concept and purpose
The MAG form illustrates the functional requirements for a medical appraisal vehicle, consistent with the Medical Appraisal Guide.
The principle concept and purpose of the form is a stand-alone, interactive pdf that allows doctors and appraisers to enter information and attach documents before and after the appraisal meeting. The form can be downloaded and once saved, can be worked on whilst not having to be online. It has been designed with the appraisal meeting in mind, in a logical manner that mirrors how the appraisal conversation may flow.
The original MAG form has been and still is popular with a large number of doctors and designated bodies across all sectors. NHS England has therefore updated and refreshed the form that reflects the current requirements for medical appraisal and to ensure a continued free and generic resource for any doctor in England to record their annual appraisal.
MAG form as illustrative specification
The MAG form is also an illustrative specification for providers to base their own appraisal products on. Providers are encouraged to match their appraisal vehicles to the format, layout and content of the MAG form as closely as possible to meet the statutory requirements for medical appraisal and revalidation.
Changes to the updated form
Revisions to the form have been carefully considered after wide consultation with doctors, appraisers and responsible officers from various heath care sectors, including feedback over the four years the original form has been in use.
The refreshed form will be more effective in delivering enhanced appraisal outputs for doctors and whilst it has an improved look/feel and improved user-friendliness, it should still be familiar with the same number of sections and similar categories to the original form.
Summary of improvements:
Here is a brief list of the main improvements that users should benefit from:
- More focus on reflection by doctors in each section, including the outcome of their learning, action taken and next steps.
- Annual form now, rather than a five-year form. Still a stand-alone, interactive pdf form.
- Orientation now landscape and navigation bar now down the left side on each page rather than at the end of each section, with new Previous and Next section buttons.
- Tables in each section – ability to select from specific roles or cross-role, first identified in the ‘Scope of work’ section.
- Sections colour-coded by administration, preparation for appraisal, and appraisal discussion categories.
- New appraiser summary comments now feature at the end of each section, which are pulled through to the ‘Summary of appraisal discussion’ section.
- Additional general information contained in the footer.
- Date of appraisal year anomaly updated – original form’s selection ended with 2016/17.
- Both sections covering PDP from last year and next year made more consistent so information can easily be copied through from one appraisal to the next.
- Probity section bolstered up to reflect requirements around professional indemnity.
- New ‘Appraisal checklist’ section incorporated to guide doctors through the preparation process.
- New functionality to print and save some specific and a range of sections eg an ‘Appraisal Outputs Report’.