ROAN information sheet 7: Scheduling appraisal for short term doctors

Simple rule to help improve appraisal rates for doctors in short term placements

  • At the start of every new placement the responsible officer of the engaging designated body must establish the doctor’s appraisal due date and schedule the doctor’s appraisal if their appraisal due date falls within the time that they remain connected to the designated body


Appraisal rates for doctors moving around the system undertaking short-term contracts in a variety of organisations remain lower than for other doctors.

The rule above is taken from the NHS England Medical Appraisal Logistics Handbook. The following is also stated about the appraisal due date:

  • Every doctor should have an appraisal due date. This remains fixed from year to year, regardless of whether an appraisal in one year is early or late.
  • Where a doctor does not have an appraisal due date, their appraisal due date is the last day of the twelfth month after their last appraisal.
  • If they have not had a previous appraisal, their appraisal due date should be agreed with them by their responsible officer.

(Some bodies, including NHS England, use a doctor’s birth month as an easy-to-remember appraisal due date. Provided that doing so does not unduly skew the timing of a doctor’s appraisal or the body’s processes this may be a useful approach when setting an appraisal due date for a doctor who does not have one.)

Following network discussions, responsible officers have agreed to adhere to this rule, to support appraisal rates for these doctors and for fairness across organisations. Doctors are encouraged to be aware of their appraisal due date and to share this with their responsible officer as soon as they form a prescribed connection.

Where a designated body does not normally arrange appraisals throughout the year, they are expected to be flexible in enacting the above rule, to support doctors in short term placements.

Where a doctor’s due date falls within the period during which they hold a connection to a designated body but their appraisal does not take place by the appraisal due date, then the missed appraisal will be recorded within that designated body’s AOA for that appraisal year.

This information sheet is relevant to all designated bodies in England.

Released December 2017.