Aims of Medical Appraisal

Medical Appraisal aims to help the individual doctor critically review their practice and identify and act upon their educational and developmental needs, with the ultimate aim of improving patient care.

A developmental peer appraisal:

  • Supports preparation for revalidation
  • Facilitates discussion and reflection on past and current work
  • Consolidates and improves on performance and identifies gaps
  • Discusses future ambitions and identifies the experience, training or education needed to realise those ambitions
  • Offers an opportunity to discuss all aspects of a doctor's professional life and how these may impact on their delivery of their practice.

The Appraisal Forms:

  • Are a record of the appraisee's achievements and development needs which are comprehensive, coherent and owned by the appraisee
  • Are designed to support revalidation
  • Capture development needs
  • Allow the scheme to be quality assured and developed

The primary aim of the appraisal scheme is to help doctors reflect on all aspects of their practice and to identify their personal educational and development needs and formulate a plan around how these will be achieved, with the overall aim of improving patient care.

There are a number of additional benefits to appraisal:

  • To help assure the public that the doctors they see, be it in the local GP Practice or in the Hospital, are delivering high quality services within the resource constraints of NHS Scotland
  • To support doctors to learn and develop their skills
  • To contribute to the local NHS organisation's clinical governance processes
  • To consider and help optimise the doctor's contribution to the quality and delivery of services locally
  • To contribute significantly to the mechanisms proposed by the General Medical Council for the revalidation of doctors

It is also designed to link with other quality initiatives such as:

  • National Scottish and UK wide Clinical Audits designed to monitor clinical standards and to improve patient care.

Annual appraisal for Secondary Care Career Grade doctors and General Practitioners is a process of professional dialogue, in which the doctor being appraised has a structured opportunity to reflect on all aspects of his/her practice and to consider his/her effectiveness. The process is designed to enhance critical analysis of the evidence presented and to provide an appropriate level of challenge.

Annual Medical Appraisal is a contractual obligation for all doctors. For General Practitioners, failure to comply will result in removal from the Health Board's Performer's List.

Appraisal is NOT designed to address serious issues relating to performance that arise outside the appraisal process. This is the responsibility of local clinical governance processes. However, it may help to identify, at an early stage, developing sub optimal performance or ill health which can affect an individual's clinical practice. In such instances the process should assist the doctor in recognising potential problems and seeking appropriate help before these issues impact on the delivery of patient care.

Appraisal meetings are conducted in private and appraisers respect the confidentiality of the discussions with the appraisee.  This confidentiality will only be breached in exceptional circumstances where, under their obligations to the GMC, it is necessary for an appraiser to do so.

SOAR will automatically notify the Health Board once an appraisal has been completed.  Those who completed their appraisals outside of SOAR are asked to send an agreed summary of the appraisal discussion (Form 4), written by their appraiser,  to their Medical Director.  This will confirm that the appraisal has been completed and has covered the headings of Good Medical Practice, raising no significant issues of concern.

This page was last updated on: 15/09/2017