As we said in the background, we have provided this 'Toolkit' to assist you to understand and complete your annual appraisal. We realise that this is a new experience with additional demands on your time and skills. The 'Toolkit' is designed to support and augment the other elements of training that are in place to support the introduction of Consultant Appraisal.

Advanced preparation for your appraisal interview is essential to the appraisal process and we recommend that you begin at least six weeks prior to the interview date - ad hoc arrangements will fail both you and your Appraiser.

To gain maximum benefit from the appraisal, it is important to view it as a positive vehicle to help you identify and plan your professional development. Nothing will be gained if you view it merely as another bureaucratic and unwanted paper exercise.

We recommend that you view your preparation in three stages - comprehension, review, and preparation.

Firstly, you should fully comprehend:

  • the importance of the points raised in the background to the appraisal, which we have previously outlined.

  • your own role as the appraisee. The onus is on you to prepare well in advance documented evidence of your fitness to practice, to communicate this information to your appraiser and where possible be able to highlight barriers to your personal effectiveness and professional development.

  • the emphasis is on you doing most of the talking. Your appraiser should concentrate on listening.

  • the importance of an efficient, systematic and consistent method of data collection that can feed into both the appraisal and revalidation processes.

  • why the appraisal system is being introduced. Most organizations already operate a system of appraisal to support professional and personal development and effectiveness. Apart from following suit, the GMC is introducing a compulsory revalidation system to monitor, review and improve the skills and practice of doctors. It is envisaged that the appraisal 'folder' will be used in the revalidation purposes to avoid duplication.

Secondly, you should be aware of and review:

  • The Consultant Appraisal Scotland - A Brief Guide (2002): a brief guide about the process of appraisal for consultant doctors in Scotland. This guide has been produced by the Consultant Appraisal 'Design Group' set up by the Strategic Change unit of the Scottish Executive and published in January 2002.

  • GMC 'Good Medical Practice': a document that guides doctors to the requirements for maintaining best practice. We suggest you reconsider this document as the content of the appraisal is partially based on the seven core headings and it will help you to review your role as a doctor.

  • GMC Revalidation Guidance: This summarizes the General Medical Council's proposals for the revalidation of doctors' registration. It explains what revalidation is, why it is being introduced, and the provisional proposals for implementation.

  • Your performance, by honestly asking yourself some or all of the following questions:
    • How good a consultant am I?
    • How well do I perform?
    • How up to date am I?
    • How well do I work as part of a team?
    • What resources and support do I need?
    • How clear am I about my service objectives?
    • How well am I meeting my service objectives?
    • What are my development needs?
    • How might these be met?

Thirdly, you should prepare:

  • Your CPD Portfolio: The Cyber Medical College CPD Portfolio allows you to report your CPD activities on an ongoing and regular basis throughout the year. The initial setting up will take some time but once operational it should be simple to keep up-to-date and at appraisal time. Other online 'Diaries' or 'Potfolios' are available to some specialties - use the one best suitable for you.

  • The official appraisal documentation, i.e., Form 1, Form 2, and Form 3. These also exist in Microsoft Word Format if you prefer to download a copy to your own computer - but remember to save a copy in a safe place. These forms provide the framework of the appraisal and can feed into the revalidation process.

  • An Appraisal Folder: This folder is a requirement both for the appraisal and the revalidation processes. You must systematically record all existing information, evidence and data to support your appraisal, including official documentation and your record of CPD activities. A typical source of information is your clinical governance activity.

  • Two to three weeks (at least) prior to the interview, you should forward a copy of your prepared 'Appraisal Folder' to your Appraiser to allow him/her time for adequate preparation and to establish agreed questions for the interview. Don't leave this to the last minute - it does not give a good impression of your time-management or organising skills.

  • Liaise with your Appraiser to agree the 'agenda' and questions to be raised at the appraisal interview and agree a venue and time. You might find it helpful to use the 'Agenda' tool we have provided to assist you.

Finally, try to remember that the objectives of the appraisal system is to:

  • help maintain your fitness to practice
  • Identify gaps in your personal effectiveness and professional development
  • assist you; not discredit you


Annual Appraisal Cycle
Form 1
Form 2
Form 3
Form 5
Form 4
Personal Development Plan
Form 6