ROAN information sheet 1a: Simplifying appraisal preparation for doctors – a statement to doctors from responsible officers in England

Your annual appraisal should be a rewarding professional event. Preparing for it should take you away from your patients for as little time as possible. Some doctors spend a lot of time preparing, perhaps uncertain about what, or how much, to include. To help you prepare, the responsible officers in England have agreed the following:

  • For CPD and quality improvement, be selective; think ‘reflection’. Your appraiser is primarily interested in your ability to reflect with insight on your practice. Honest reflection on a few well-chosen items, where you demonstrate your learning and actions to improve patient care, is preferable to bland reflection on many.
  • Efficient preparation allows your priorities to be the focus of the appraisal meeting.
  • Appraisal is a chance to reflect on all your work, so include information about things you are proud of in all your roles and remember that some information may relate to more than one role.
  • If uncertain about what to include, your appraiser is your first port of call for advice.
  • If your organisation has requirements about the information you need to present, they should make this known to you and help you to provide it.
  • For both CPD and quality improvement, reflection on organised learning and national, local, organisational or personal data and audit are valuable options (and may be required depending on your specialty or work). Reflecting on incidents and cases may also be valuable CPD provided you document your learning.
  • Occasionally your responsible officer might ask you to discuss something specific to you with your appraiser, in which case they will make you aware of this in good time.
  • The NHS England Doctor’s Medical Appraisal Checklist is a good reference. This is carefully written to match both GMC requirements and Academy of Medical Royal Colleges guidance.

It is hoped that this advice will help you prepare efficiently for a supportive and stimulating appraisal that helps you improve your care for patients.

June 2017

Released June 2017