This information sheet sets out the rationale for the NHS England position that doctors and designated bodies should discontinue use of the Medical Appraisal Guide Model Appraisal Form (MAG form) and shift to an alternative vehicle.
The MAG form was developed primarily as a specification to illustrate a suitable format for appraisal in line with the Medical Appraisal Guide published in 2013. In the early stages of revalidation it served a secondary function as a working appraisal vehicle, given the limited options for other formats then. It is referenced as such in section 126.96.36.199 of the NHS England Medical Appraisal Policy. This information sheet should be read as an addendum to this section.
There are now several alternative resources offering cost-effective options and added functionality compared with the MAG form. More than one of these offer to import data from an existing MAG form.
In addition, the functionality and reliability of the MAG form is diminishing as information technology evolves. There is no IT support available when problems arise with the MAG form and it is now incompatible with many newer computer operating systems, with increasing reports from appraisers of it malfunctioning after transfer from the doctor. Furthermore, the approach of sharing the MAG form by email between doctor, appraiser and organisation is increasingly undesirable in terms of good personal data handling.
In 2022 The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges published the revised Medical Appraisal Guide 2022, and the specification for a suitable appraisal format consistent with this is now set out in the accompanying medical appraisal template 2022 template. This template does not have the secondary function to act as a vehicle for appraisal that the MAG form did. Doctors and designated bodies still using the MAG form are therefore advised that now is the time to move to another vehicle. There are numerous benefits to this, not least that online providers have adapted their models to reflect the improved focus on professional development, wellbeing and reduced burden of the 2022 format. Other benefits include increased functionality and security compared with the MAG form.
Doctors making this transition may approach their professional standards teams for further advice.
This information sheet is relevant to all designated bodies in England.
Released April 2023.