Appraiser FAQs

  1. How do I know if I can become an appraiser?
  2. How can I find out about appraiser vacancies, and how do I apply?
  3. What knowledge and skills do I need?
  4. I’m a new appraiser. What training do I need?
  5. Can I be an appraiser after I retire? If yes, for how long can I carry out the role after retirement?
  6. Who can I talk to about becoming an appraiser?
  7. What background info should I read?
  8. Are there any forms I can use for appraisal?
  9. What do I do if I’m having problems using a form?
  10. Once I have completed an appraisal do I have anything further to do?

1. How do I know if I can become an appraiser?

If you are a clinician, you need to be able to demonstrate that you are a sound, up-to-date practitioner, as defined by your organisation’s appraisal process.

The role of medical appraiser is an important professional role. If you are a doctor you will need to include this role in your scope of work. You need to consider your own development needs within your own appraisal and personal development plan.

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2. How can I find out about appraiser vacancies, and how do I apply?

Contact your responsible officer to find out whether your organisation needs any additional appraisers. Application processes will vary from organisation to organisation, so you will need to check this with your responsible officer.

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3. What knowledge and skills do I need?

You should be the most appropriate appraiser for the doctor, as defined by your organisation’s appraisal policy. You do not necessarily need to be the doctor’s line manager, practice in the same specialty or even be a licensed doctor, unless specified in the policy. You will need to understand the professional obligations placed on doctors by the GMC and the importance of appraisal for the doctor’s professional development.

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4. I’m a new appraiser. What training do I need?

You will need to organise appraiser training, which should be available locally through your appraisal lead or responsible officer.

This training is a two-day training programme, designed to give you the skills and knowledge you will need to undertake medical appraisals for revalidation. You can get an idea of the content by viewing the materials here.

Please note that you’ll be expected to undertake appropriate continuing professional development as an appraiser, and to attend peer networking sessions.

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5. Can I be an appraiser after I retire? If yes, for how long can I carry out the role after retirement?

There is nothing in the GMC’s guidance to prevent doctors acting as appraisers after retirement. However, you will need to check with your responsible officer and your organisation’s appraisal policy.

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6. Who can I talk to about becoming an appraiser?

Talk to your own appraiser or other appraisers about the role, and look through the job description, person specification and any other materials provided by your organisation. Discuss the role with the appraisal lead, appraisal co-ordinator or responsible officer, and you’ll learn more about the specific process you would need to go through to become an appraiser.

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7. What background info should I read?

The GMC has set out generic requirements for medical practice and appraisal in three main documents:

The Medical Appraisal Guide describes how medical appraisal can be carried out effectively, consistently and to a high standard. You should also familiarise yourself with guidance from your medical royal college or faculty, which gives the specialty context for the supporting information required for appraisal.

You can find the Medical Appraisal Guide here and the specialty guidance here.

You could also assess yourself using the ‘Competency framework for medical appraisers’, in Quality Assurance of Medical Appraisers (NHS Revalidation Support Team, 2013) or view the example appraisal training materials here.

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8. Are there any forms I can use for appraisal?

Your responsible officer or clinical appraisal lead should tell you whether you need to use a specific form for your appraisal. This should be detailed in the appraisal and/or revalidation policies.

Your designated body may find it helpful to use the MAG Model Appraisal Form (NHS Revalidation Support Team, 2012), an interactive pdf that allows doctors and appraisers to enter information and upload documents into the form before, during and after the appraisal meeting. This generic form will suit the needs of most organisations and can be used free of charge.

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9. What do I do if I’m having problems using a form?

Your designated body should let you know who to contact if you are having any technical problems with any electronic appraisal systems or forms. If you’re unsure you should contact your appraisal or revalidation office.

If you are having problems using the MAG Model Appraisal Form, please refer to the User Guide. Please note that NHS England does not provide IT support, so if you need further help, please contact your local IT support contact.

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10. Once I have completed an appraisal do I have anything further to do?

Your Responsible Officer will have mechanisms for you to transfer the relevant appraisal outputs into the designated body’s revalidation information system. For example, in NHS England this would involve entering the data into the Revalidation Management System or RMS.

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