Appraisal and Revalidation

Appraisal and revalidation

The service resumed from 1 April 2021 with appraisers and appraisees embracing the ‘Appraisal 2020’ format. In March 2022, Maurice Conlon, Clinical Lead for NHSE Professional Standards confirmed that he was working with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and other partners, including the GMC and British Medical Association, to develop a settled format for appraisal, based on the successful Appraisal 2020 model.

We are pleased to report that on 8th June 2022, the Academy (AoMRC) published the updated ‘Medical Appraisal Guide 2022’ and ‘Medical Appraisal Template 2022’ describing the new format. This is available on the Academy website https://www.aomrc.org.uk/

Maurice states:

You will find that it is very resonant with the Appraisal 2020 format. In particular, the essential principles are maintained, of shortened written preparation, a prime focus on the appraisal as a catalyst of professional development, and an offer to the doctor to include an option to review health and well-being as a component of professional development. I am pleased to tell you that our internal report on the impact of the Appraisal 2020 model affirms the positive impact of this approach, in similar fashion to similar evaluations by individual regions, the Academy and GMC. This is at a late drafting stage and will be shared with NHS England when finalised.

NHS England will now adopt the new Medical Appraisal Guide 2022 as its format for medical appraisal. For doctors connected to a NHS England responsible officer, who use one of the main electronic portfolio providers, this should involve minimal change, as we are assured by providers that they will update their products promptly.

I hope that doctors will continue to find the refreshed approach to their appraisal valuable. Good patient care depends on doctors who are flourishing in their work. It is important that through appraisal we recognise the efforts that each doctor is making in their unique working circumstances and support them to positively shape their development in that context.

Please be assured that GP appraisers have the skills to listen, provide support and signpost to local and national services and the Professional Standards Appraisal & Revalidation Offices are also a point of contact should you require any help or advice.

Appraisal 2022 – some useful information

The revised Medical Appraisal template is similar to its predecessor. There is a continued focus on professional well-being and personal development and the revised template includes markers for which sections require completion and which are discretionary. There are a few new questions in the supporting information but on the whole the updated template should feel very familiar with some subtle tweaks.  The appraisal process should continue to make it easy to evidence supporting information for appraisal so that quality time can be spent on the appraisal discussion.

Please note the new ‘Medical Appraisal template’ is not a replacement for the MAGMAF. It should not be used as a stand-alone appraisal form. The electronic providers are in the process of updating their toolkits to ensure that they reflect the required changes as detailed in the template. The MAG form is no longer supported, and its layout is not in keeping with the Appraisal 2020 or the 2022 model.

As referenced in the attached:

This Medical Appraisal Template differs from the MAGMAF in that it is not expected to function as a standalone appraisal form. A functional appraisal platform also needs to include the ability to carry key demographic and historic information forward from year to year to prevent duplication of effort, share the previous appraisals and PDPs for that doctor, and attach supporting information. It must be possible to respond to sign off statements and capture a new agreed PDP and appraisal summary, and the appraisal output statements, including comments to the responsible officer if appropriate. Importantly, there must be the facility to lock down, save and share the final mutually signed off version.

Clarity and Fourteen Fish incorporate the Appraisal 2022 changes.

Remote appraisals

Remote working will continue for the foreseeable future.  Appraisal meetings are conducted virtually, using any mutually agreed format which assures confidentiality.  The method used should ensure that the GP and the appraiser can see each other.

Most queries about appraisal should be directed to your appraiser in the first instance, although the Appraisal Teams are also on hand to help you with postponement requests and to answer any concerns.

The Appraisal Teams contact details are as follows:

Thames Valley Appraisal Team email: england.tv-appraisals@nhs.net

Thames Valley Revalidation Team email: england.tv-revalidation@nhs.net

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Appraisal and Revalidation Team email: england.hiow-appraisals@nhs.net

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Appraisal and Revalidation Team email: england.southeast-revalidationandappraisal@nhs.net

Revalidation information

As expected, there has been an increase in deferral recommendations with the impact of the pandemic crisis but please note that a deferral recommendation simply postpones your revalidation date, it has no impact on your licence to practise. If you have concerns about whether your supporting information meets the GMC requirement for revalidation, please contact your Appraisal & Revalidation team to discuss your query.

The GMC recently increased the “notice period” for revalidation from 4 to 12 months. This means that the Responsible Officer can make a positive recommendation for a revalidation-ready doctor from one year prior to their revalidation date.

In preparation for Responsible Officers to submit a revalidation recommendation to the GMC, there needs to be at least 3-4 weeks between a pre-revalidation appraisal and a revalidation date.

The latest newsletter South East Appraisal and Revalidation newsletter can be found here  and the summer edition of the newsletter will be published very soon!

GMC Revalidation Guidance: https://www.gmc-uk.org/registration-and-licensing/managing-your-registration/revalidation

Professional Standards Team Complaints Process

The South East Professional Standards Team strives to manage cases fairly, sensitively and transparently whilst protecting patient safety and supporting practitioners.  When we do not get something quite right, we look to learn from our mistakes, share the learning and change systems and processes where necessary.

If a practitioner has a concern regarding the handling of their case by the Professional Standards Team, the following processes should be followed:

  1. Contact the relevant Head of Professional Standards, outlining your concern. For Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Thames Valley please contact Jeniene Scott – jeniene.scott@nhs.net.  For Kent, Surrey and Sussex please contact Karen Crossland – karen.crossland@nhs.net.
  2. The Head of Professional Standards will review the concerns and provide a response to the practitioner within 4 weeks.
  3. If the practitioner remains dissatisfied with the response, they should contact the appropriate Medical Director/Responsible Officer. For Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Thames Valley, please contact Dr Shahed Ahmad – shahed.ahmad1@nhs.net. For Kent & Medway, Surrey and Sussex, please contact Dr Alison Taylor – alisontaylor7@nhs.net.  The complaint and the initial response will be reviewed and the outcome of the review will be shared with the practitioner within 4 weeks.

All learning identified will be shared at Professional Standards Team meetings and any necessary changes to systems and processes implemented.  Where appropriate, learning will also be shared with regional Heads of Professional Standards and Medical Directors/Responsible Officers and the national Professional Standards team.  An annual review of all the learning and adopted changes will be undertaken and a report shared with the appropriate stakeholders

Further support

Please access our ‘Sources of Support Guide’ for information, advice and signposting to services here.

NHS England wants to ensure GPs are aware of the opportunities and funding available to them in their careers and to reinforce the investment that is being made to recruit and retain valued GPs across England.

The GP Career Support Hub has been created as a central information point with resources to support GPs at varying stages of their career – from newly qualified doctors to those approaching the end of their career.

The site is available on FutureNHS and provides information, guidance and support on career development, training, mentoring, appraisals, career options/flexibility, wellbeing, pay and pensions to enable GPs to realise fulfilling and rewarding careers in general practice..

To visit the GP Career Support Hub see https://future.nhs.uk/GPCS/grouphome

In Thames Valley, we have access to the free confidential GP mentoring service, and the access to a Locum Chambers in association with NASGP.  There is also a Fellowship Programme for newly qualified GPs to have a structured induction to Practice, PCN and System in our region, as well as regular one to one contact with local mentors, backfilled CPD and peer support.

In Kent, Surrey and Sussex, you can access similar support here: Welcome to the Sussex Training Hub – Sussex Training Hub

In Hampshire & Isle of Wight, you can access further information here:  https://wessex.hee.nhs.uk/general-practice/gp-training/

Frequently Asked Questions

Appraiser allocation

You will be notified by automated email as soon as possible before your appraisal month who your appraiser is, with their contact details.  At this point you will need to log into your toolkit and match yourself to your allocated appraiser.

Clarity

NHS England does not administer the CLARITY toolkit (any dates/appraisers are not put on there by the team).   Any queries relating to CLARITY must be directed to their helpdesk and not to the Appraisals Team.  Please either email doctors-appraisals-enquiries@clarity.co.uk or call 0845 113 7111

RMS – Sign off of appraisal

Please sign off as soon as possible after your appraisal date, you will be reminded to complete the process by automated emails from the appraisal system.  Appraisers – Please note you must upload the completed Appraisal from any of the toolkits and complete the appraisal output summary.

Primary Care Support England

You may have started to work in a new area of the country recently.  In order to make any changes to your status on the performers list, to ensure that you are assigned to the correct designated body for appraisal and revalidation purposes, you should inform PCSE.

The new online service replaces the form paper-based NPL1, NPL2 and NPL3 forms, offering new applicants and existing performers an easy to use process to join the performers list, notify PCSE of any change in circumstances and keep their information up to date.  It would also be very useful if you could let the appraisals team know of any changes as well.

Notice regarding feedback surveys for appraisal and revalidation

There is no pressure for you to have surveyed patients or colleagues during the pandemic.  If you are due to be revalidated and need the surveys in order to be revalidation ready, then your RO will recommend a deferral of your revalidation to the GMC, to allow time for these to be completed in the following year.  This will be viewed as a neutral act which will not have a detrimental effect on your good standing with the GMC or as a GP.  When you do start the process, email patient surveys are preferred during the pandemic. The patients selected should be identified by an independent third party, and the results collated and analysed independently as well.

The RO and Appraisal Leads are aware that GPs have different work environments and if a GP would find gathering data a problem, please be in touch with your allocated appraiser well before the appraisal meeting, for advice.

The rationale behind all this is GMC guidance:

“Those asked to give you feedback must be chosen from across your whole scope of practice. You should use standard questionnaires that have been validated and are independently administered to maintain objectivity and anonymity. You must agree any alternative approaches with your responsible officer. You should not personally select those asked to give feedback about you, and you should make sure the method used for collecting feedback allows responses to be obtained from a representative sample.”

Visit the RCGP website to read about all the supporting information for appraisal.

Responsible Officer and Appraiser Network

Responsible Officer and Appraiser Network Information Sheets. They cover a broad range of topics, from logistics to support consistency between designated bodies, clarification/promotion of existing guidance, to suggestions and resources for appraisers to offer doctors who they are appraising.

General Appraisal and Revalidation information

NHS England Guide to Revalidation

The service is non-acute, but they have a 24/7 crisis line – text ‘NHSPH’ to 852

BMA Wellbeing service (Tel: 0330 123 1245) offers six free counselling sessions with trained therapists and a number of other resources

Our NHS People online support for all NHS staff. This is provided by NHS England in partnership with the Samaritans, through a helpline and text service, offering support and resources including coaching, bereavement care, mental health and welfare support.
Text ‘frontline’ to 85258 any time or ring 0300 131 7000 from 7am to 11pm.

Members of Medical Protection society can access six free sessions of counselling by the Independent Counselling and Advisory Services (ICAS). ICAS offers telephone counselling and face-to-face counselling sessions. Call ICAS on 0808 189 4385 and quote your MPS membership number to book.

*A new NHS Futures website is being developed and this be the ‘go-to’ place for GPs & appraisers for information/updates. We will keep you posted as to when this is complete.