ROAN Information Sheet 44: Update for Responsible Officer network on professional standards matters: appraisal and Framework of quality assurance

This information sheet is relevant to all designated bodies in England

Released March 2022

Dear Responsible Officers and teams,

Professor Powis last wrote to you on 30 April 2021 about professional standards activities in 2021/22. I am writing to provide an update from April 2022.

Feedback continues to affirm the Appraisal 2020 model as a vehicle for professional support and development. Work continues between partners across the UK, including the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, General Medical Council and British Medical Association, to consolidate the benefits of what was intended initially as a temporary change in the context of the pandemic into a permanent format for ongoing use. When complete, it will therefore replace the Appraisal 2020 model. Because it will be based on the 2020 model this will be a minor shift for doctors and appraisers. The main appraisal systems providers have indicated that they will adapt their products rapidly once finalised so doctors using one of these systems will experience minimal disruption.

In the meantime, Appraisal 2020 will remain the default model for doctors connected to NHS England and NHS Improvement. Responsible officers are similarly encouraged to maintain its use in their designated bodies until the new model is available. As before, responsible officers who have not yet shifted to the 2020 format are encouraged to do so and to adopt the new format when released.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have also begun work on systems to support professional governance that support assurance but maintain the reduced burden on doctors that the changes to appraisal have achieved. This will take shape in 2022-23, again in discussion with partners.

The 2021-22 Annual Organisational Audit (AOA) is being stood down once more, given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as in 2021 organisations can report their appraisal data in their annual board report and statement of compliance, submission of which will be requested in the Autumn. The intention is to undertake an amended AOA in April 2023. We will share the indicators for this in the next few weeks.

Thank you to all Responsible Officers and professional standards colleagues for your continued flexibility and fortitude, whether in your usual roles or redeployed to support the pandemic response. We in the Professional Standards central team look forward to working with you to restore and develop professional standards functions in ways that help our dedicated workforce to give of their best for patients.

Yours sincerely,

Maurice Conlon MBE FRCGP
Clinical Lead,
Professional Standards Team | Medical Directorate