What is medical appraisal?

“Appraisal allows me to stand back from my work and think about how I can improve what I am doing…” Consultant physician

Medical appraisal is a process of facilitated self-review supported by information gathered from the full scope of a doctor’s work.

It is a protected time, once a year, for each doctor to focus, with a trained colleague, on their scope of work. This includes:

  • looking back at achievements and challenges and lessons learnt, including reviewing the previous year’s personal development plan objectives
  • looking forwards to their aspirations, learning needs and the recording of new personal development plan objectives.

The appraisal process

Medical appraisal is undertaken annually at a meeting between a doctor and a colleague who is trained as an appraiser. The appraiser is a trained and skilled individual whose skills and competencies are described in the document Quality Assurance of Medical Appraisers (NHS Revalidation Support Team, 2013)

There are three stages in the medical appraisal process:

  1. Inputs to appraisal, including a record of the doctor’s scope and nature of work and relevant supporting information
  2. The confidential appraisal discussion
  3. Outputs of appraisal, including the doctor’s personal development plan and a summary of the appraiser discussion and the appraiser’s statements.

Further information is given in the Medical Appraisal Guide (NHS Revalidation Support Team, 2013).