Supporting information for appraisals, 2016

“Light touch” emphasised


The latest RCGP recommendations on supporting information for appraisals and revalidation are a welcome relief to all GPs and their appraisers. The prescriptive recommendations have given way to more flexibility. There is a recognition that the diversity of work circumstances means that we can’t all keep the same type of information. The emphasis is on showcasing good work rather than ritual recording.

“Appraisal is a valuable opportunity for facilitated reflection and learning, sharing and celebrating successes and examples of good practice, and planning for the future. It is important that you and your appraiser keep a supportive and developmental focus on quality maintenance and improvement through your personal and professional development without a major increase in workload.” (RCGP Guide to supporting information for appraisal and revalidation 2016) 


Key changes

•    The supporting information brought to appraisal does not have to cover the whole scope of a doctor’s practice every year but must do so over the five year cycle.

•    Significant events need only be declared as significant events if they reach the threshold of SUI (serious untoward incident) where harm could or did affect the patient and the doctor concerned was directly involved in the incident.

•    Significant events, as previously understood, are still a good opportunity to learn so that these may should still be written up and discussed.  only iIn future these can should go in the Quality Improvement Activity (QIA) section of the supporting information of documentation.

•    We do not need to scan in certificates. Proof of learning through reflective notes is sufficient.

•    50 credits per year are still recommended for most GPs providing the full range of general practice but the quality of activities is more important than the number of credits. 

•    A well structured log of CPD activities means including date, title, time taken, key lessons learned and reflection on impact on practice or any changes made as a result of learning. 

•     Good records of lessons learnt and reflections are all important. It is good practice to record dates, venues and sources for CPD events.

•    There may be situations where some GPs, for example those provided providing restricted services, could do less than 50 credits but this would need to be justified.

•    Gone is the rigidity of QIAs such as an audit or service change in every cycle. We can use a variety of ways to demonstrate a commitment to constant improvement. Examples are: case reviews, plan/do/study/act cycles, review of personal outcome data (including performance data such as referrals and prescribing provided routinely by say CCGs), small scale data searches. If you regularly do minor surgery or IUD fitting etc, you might also wish to consider keeping a log of your outcomes.

•    Exceptional circumstances may make it difficult to meet some GMC requirements or RCGP recommendations. We can in these cases reach an agreement with our appraiser and responsible officer and then include a detailed reflective note explaining the reasons, analysing the implications and the agreement reached. 


“Recording should be proportionate and not distract from patient care” (RCGP Guide to supporting information for appraisal and revalidation 2016) 


Prepared for Suffolk Appraisers’ Group by JR, KH, SA

© 2014 by angliangp

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