Why Appraisal is Much More than Revalidation
What’s the goal of medical appraisals? And what should doctors and appraisers be looking to get out of them? According the to the GMC they exist “to create an environment where lifelong learning can flourish, where doctors are supported to deliver high quality safe care, for all their patients.”
In ’Taking revalidation forward Working with others to improve revalidation’ the GMC highlights the importance of protecting the time needed for doctors to reflect and learn, without making time-heavy demands on the way they do so. The aim of the appraisal being that doctors can get a huge amount out of the time and experience rather than it being a tick-box exercise and onerous administration!
More than a tick box exercise
So, what does a developmental appraisal look like? From our work carrying out appraisals and training appraisers, these are the areas we think add most value:
- Time for reflection. Doctors rarely have the opportunity to sit down and reflect on their working life. Don’t underestimate the value of carving out time for an informed conversation with someone that knows your speciality and the challenges you face.
- Thinking about the scope and context of your role: If you’re a doctor for a local rugby team how does this affect your experience and goals? If you work independently how does this influence your career and development? Focus on training and PDP: The GMC emphasises that appraisals and revalidation are not ‘pass or fail’ exercises, but should be developmental . The appraisal is a time to set new goals.
- Coaching and support: If your appraiser is experienced, quality assured and understands your speciality they will be able to offer 1:1 support and coaching and advise on training opportunities, CPD accredited workshops and eLearning programmes.
- Easy administration. Although some of the administration has to be carried out by the doctor, the appraiser should make it as easy as possible though professional and friendly administration support and help with using revalidation systems including online tools.
Although doctors are expected to collect supporting information about their continuing professional development ahead of the appraisal including quality improvement activity, significant events, feedback from colleagues, feedback from patients, and complaints and compliments, the focus should be firmly on reflection and future development:
“We believe that revalidation is fundamental to supporting doctors’ professional development. We want doctors to have a positive experience from their annual appraisal and gain useful insight from their reflective practice”
Likewise, carrying out appraisals as an accredited appraiser is a channel to build your own knowledge, network and skills. Appraisers and appraisees can both benefit from a reflective, developmental discussion.
Why become an appraiser?
Our appraisers tell us they enjoy the interesting and varied work that helps them broaden their experience across disciplines. Appraisers have the opportunity to learn new skills such as coaching and mentoring and are offered six-monthly opportunities for feedback to support their ongoing development. Appraisers and doctors have a joint responsibility to put together a personal development plan, so preparation and knowledge are required by both parties.
As a training organisation we’re proud to care for our people - we provide coaching on how to deal with difficult conversations and unexpected scenarios that can arise during appraisal discussions. Because we pride ourselves on the quality of our offering, we ensure refresher training is always face-to-face rather than online. We like to practice what we preach and offer our appraisers the opportunity for a reflective discussion too.
About Miad Healthcare
Miad Healthcare is the only independent non-NHS organisation appointed to deliver Responsible Officer training. For more than 25 years we’ve been delivering high quality, cost effective medical education and appraisals, plus independent annual quality reviews of our own appraisal process to constantly improve our service.
If you’d like to have an initial discussion about medical appraisals for revalidation as either an appraiser or an appraisee please get in touch with the Miad team.