Appraisal Restart and Revalidation Update & FAQs October 2020
Appraisal Restart October 2020:
Appraisal has been restarted and some of you will have been contacted to arrange your appraisal.
Here are some key points:
Verbal reflection, facilitated by the appraiser during the appraisal discussion, can provide the same assurance as a doctor’s written reflection did previously. This will reduce the pre-appraisal preparation time for appraisal significantly without changing the GMC requirement that doctors reflect on how they keep up to date (CPD), review the quality of their work (QIA and SE) and seek, and act, on feedback from patients and colleagues (including Compliments and Complaints) during their appraisal. The only exception is complaints or significant events which you are named in, these need to be documented. The appraisal platforms should have incorporated the new templates and so will look slightly different to previous years.
Appraisals that were due before 1st October 2020:
Responsible Officers can apply ‘approved missed’ status to all appraisals that were due to take place between April 1st and September 30th, 2020. These doctors will not be disadvantaged by this and will not require a ‘catch-up’ appraisal later in the year. On the other hand, depending on circumstances, some responsible officers and designated bodies may have the appraisal capacity to offer doctors in this group an appraisal within the current appraisal year, after the restart of appraisals, if they want one.
The revalidation process has not been suspended in the same way as appraisals and RO responsibilities have remained in place throughout the pandemic. The GMC has moved revalidation dates for doctors who had a recommendation due between 17 March 2020 and 16 March 2021 back by one year. To accommodate flexibility in making recommendations, all doctors whose dates have been moved as part of the pandemic response will also be put under notice. This means that ROs have the opportunity to make a revalidation recommendation for doctors in this cohort where it is possible to do so, remembering that doctors can be revalidated with fewer than five appraisals (as long as all the supporting information has been collected and discussed at appraisals earlier in their revalidation cycle). See Changes made to revalidation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
What are the expectations for supporting evidence - CPD /QIA etc for this appraisal?
Without expecting you to make any additional effort to generate, collate and reflect in writing on supporting information, you are welcome provide any information you already have and which is of value to you. If such supporting information is not available, you should not worry, as this will not be an obstacle to your appraisal going ahead. Your insights and reflections should be discussed (and captured through the appraisal outputs) but they do not need to be submitted in writing prior to the discussion. The exception is the requirement to include any Significant Events or Complaints in which you have been personally named, or involved, which remains unchanged.
Will this 2020 appraisal model still count towards my revalidation recommendation?
Yes. The role and purposes of your appraisal remain unchanged. If you engage with the annual appraisal process as described for medical appraisal 2020, you will remain on track for a positive revalidation recommendation.
I am not currently working. Should I still have an appraisal?
If you continue to have a licence to practise you should continue to engage in annual appraisal even if you are not working. Medical appraisal 2020 has been designed to support your professional development while reducing the pre-appraisal documentation required. Following the recent rapid changes and challenges caused by the pandemic, you may wish to have an appraisal even if you are not currently working, especially if this is because you have had to shield.
As the circumstances will vary, you should contact your appraisal office to discuss your wish to have an appraisal and ensure that there is capacity in the system to accommodate your request.
I am feeling too exhausted / stressed / unwell to have an appraisal, what should I do? Is there an option not to have an appraisal?
If you are well enough to be working clinically, you will be expected to have an appraisal, particularly as Medical Appraisal 2020 has an increased focus on supporting you in maintaining your health and wellbeing. If you consider that your ability to care for patients is impaired in any way because of your health, it is very important that you are supported in receiving the help you need. You would be strongly encouraged to contact the appraisal office at your earliest convenience (and possibly seek the support of your GP or the Practitioner Health Programme).
If you are not working due to ill-health, then please contact the appraisal office and follow the existing processes to explain your circumstances. Possible options include the responsible officer deciding to apply an ‘approved missed’ appraisal, postponing your appraisal for a period, in order to have it later in the appraisal year, or even having an appraisal (see ‘I am not currently working. Should I still have an appraisal?’).
What do I do if I am struggling to undertake a Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire, as I see very few patients face-to-face following changes to ways of working?
If this appraisal is the final one in your current revalidation cycle and you are unable to gather your patient feedback, the RO can defer your revalidation by up to one year to provide you with time to collect the feedback and discuss it at a further appraisal in this cycle.
Some platforms have already enabled new ways of collating feedback to ensure ease of collecting doctor-patient feedback with remote working and it seems likely that this trend will continue. You should plan how to collect your feedback during your appraisal.
If I undertake a delayed appraisal, will my next appraisal be one year from my delayed appraisal month?
Irrespective of the pandemic, if, for some reason, you have a delayed appraisal, you will normally revert to your usual appraisal month in the following appraisal year.
If you have had an ‘approved missed’ appraisal applied due to the pandemic this year, you will continue to have your appraisal in the first 6 months of the next appraisal year. Doctors should be offered their appraisal in 2021-22 as close to their usual dates / appraisal month as much as possible, appraiser capacity allowing.
I am on parental leave or planning parental leave to occur over the time of my allocated appraisal date. What should I do?
If you are due an appraisal whilst on parental leave, please contact the appraisal office at your earliest convenience in the usual way to discuss how you can best be supported. Some doctors choose to pull their appraisal forward to plan for their parental leave; others delay their appraisal and wait to have it on their return to work. This is no different in the context of the pandemic.
Any queries or problems then please contact your appraiser or the appraisal team.
The contact details for our appraisal team are: