From the end of last year ( 2012 ) all doctors involved in clinical practice will be required to relate to an RO (responsible officer).  Those doctors working mainly for the NHS or a specific private hospital will relate to the RO attached to that organisation, but those who work mainly or solely in the independent sector, will have to identify an RO themselves.  This decision will relate to their clinical work.

For information and guidance on this subject contact DOCTORS APPRAISAL CONSULTANCY through this website.   Various organsiations such as Royal Colleges and Faculties, will set specialty standards for revalidation.  Each Medical Royal College will develop a series of standards for all doctors practising within their specialty and identify a range of supporting information for revalidation.  These “Standards Frameworks” will be developed in collaboration with the Colleges, Faculties and their associated Specialist Societies and assist the RO or the colleges, in determining the revalidation recommendation of an individual doctor. The information from appraisals, and the clinical governance structure of the body to which you have a “prescribed connection”  will accumulate in five year revalidation cycles and will lead to a single recommendation to the GMC from the RO every five years.


Appraisal meetings are normally about 2 to 3  hours but this will vary depending upon the individual’s circumstances. Access to a computer is not normally required although the growing use of electronic portfolios make this a  worthwhile consideration.  Appraisal meetings do not have to follow a rigid format. However they will usually  cover areas including  the clarification  of the appraisal process, progress so far and any particular issues to be considered.  The appraisee should discuss the PDP from the previous year. Attention to the success or otherwise of meeting the objectives in that PDP should be noted early on.  In the case of  first appraisals for doctors who have had no appraisal experience previously  there may be no personal development plan to discuss. In this case the appraisal process would focus on the educational needs of the doctor, and to identify educational activities that will support their personal development over the revalidation/ relicensing cycle of 5 years. The following year the PDP developed in 2012 will be present for review.

After the meeting the appraiser will spend time reviewing the supporting information provided during the appraisal interview, and complete the sections of the form, and also write-up some “output statements” which conclusions relating to the doctors  clinical work, in the context of their fitness to practice. At the time of writing typical output statements would include conclusions about the doctors quality improvement activity, significant events complaints and compliments, colleague patient feedback, and a general assessment of the appraisal process.   Another important part of the appraisal outputs statements by the appraiser to the responsible officer with respect to the doctor’s fitness to practice.  These “appraisal outputs” include confirmation to the RO that the appraisal has covered all the doctors scope of work, there has been sufficient supporting information provided, there being appropriate progress with  previous PDPs ,the development of a new PDP further subsequent year and confirmation that the appraiser considers that the appraisee  is practising and performing in line with the principles and values set out in the GMC’s document good medical practice.

The PDP is a record of the agreed personal and/or professional development needs to be pursued throughout the following year, as agreed in the appraisal discussion between the Doctor and the appraiser .  The doctor and the appraiser should agree a new PDP at the end of appraisal. The PDP is an itemised list of personal objectives for the coming year, with an indication of the period of time in which items should be completed. The PDP represents the primary developmental output for the appraiser, and indicates certain aspects of the doctor’s professional behaviour and thus the ability to produce an effective PDP in itself contributes to the assessment against the standards in the GMP framework for appraisal and revalidation.   The items in the plan may include specific, educational or learning tasks, for example visiting  another unit to learn from best practice, specific tasks linked to areas of potential concern, for example undertaking an audit in an area of clinical practice or agreement as to which aspects of appraisal need to be completed before the next appraisal cycle, for example obtaining formal feedback from users and carers.  The content of a Personal Development Plan should be sufficiently challenging and ambitious to enable the doctor to improve practice but manageable within the context of the doctor’s competing professional pressures.   It is suggested  that is much of the appraisal form is completed prior to the time of the appraisal, in particular the personal development plan, which both the appraiser and appraisee should agree.  The appraiser then reflects on the entire process and complete the form, and supporting evidence, including the final output statement summarising the appraisal.   When Dr Myers undertakes appraisals through DOCTORS APPRAISAL CONSULTANCY this electronic document would be sent to the appraisee to agree, printout and sign.