ROAN information sheet 18: NHS England appraiser exceptional expenses


The NHS England appraisal policy states that the payment per appraisal will be at a set rate which takes into account “normal” appraiser expenses.

It is helpful to provide guidance on what may be considered exceptional appraiser travel expenses and to agree an approach for NHS England to apply equitably and transparently in all circumstances.


The following principles apply:

  • In most cases there are no exceptional expenses to consider. Across NHS England, exceptional expenses should apply in only a very small minority of cases, and excessive travel should be avoided.
  • Exceptional expenses should be approved only when all reasonable options for avoiding them have been exhausted. An adequate explanation about why the doctor and appraiser cannot meet midway or the doctor travel to the appraiser will be required.
  • Arrangements for paying exceptional expenses should apply to any appraisals undertaken by appraisers on behalf of NHS England if appropriate under the terms of this guidance.
  • Appraisers should not be expected to bear the cost of “exceptional” appraiser travel expenses.
  • Exceptional expenses should be defined, and approved by the responsible officer commissioning and quality assuring the appraisal, in advance of the appraisal discussion. A clear record of the amount approved should be provided to both the appraiser and the administrative team responsible for making the payment to the appraiser in advance.
  • Where the appraisal is for a doctor who works in a body outside NHS England, for example the responsible officer of another designated body, the doctor should normally do the travelling and to claim reimbursement according to their own travel expenses policy if appropriate.
  • Every payment of exceptional expenses should be recorded and explanation made in the annual report.
  • Any exceptional expenses payment must also comply with the NHS England Business Expenses Policy, available on the NHS England intranet.

This information sheet is relevant primarily to NHS England responsible officers.

Released June 2018.