Appraising the appraisal process

29 May 2020

Lots of things have gone missing since I last wrote one of these blogs: face to face consultations, lunchtime meetings with colleagues that turn into convivial chats, evening meetings with a chance to catch up with colleagues you haven’t seen in a while, to name but a few.

I am sure you can think of many others.

I am also sure we will miss some things that the pandemic has made impossible to maintain and we might continue to miss them for some time.

But is anyone missing appraisal?

Perhaps that is a bit of a 'Marmite question', but I am. If you have been part of the cohort of 532 appraisals I have done over the last 16 years, you will know why.

No, it is not the write-up or the flurry of pre-meeting activity organising things ready for a discussion. Mainly, I miss the appraisal meetings, sitting down with a peer GP and talking about what we do day-to-day, our triumphs, our challenges and our plans to meet them.

Having such an opportunity is currently missing from our lives and some of us will be missing that.

So, I would like to remind colleagues that we do have capacity within our buddy scheme (which has been set up to offer mutual support during COVID-19) and we also have capacity within the mentorship network should anyone think they would benefit from peer support.

I should also remind you about the RCGP UK wellbeing resources that have been developed within the College’s COVID-19 forum.

Should the appraisal change?

Currently, with COVID-19 dominating our work, appraisal is very far from our minds.

However, it will return, and I think the time is right to ask for your opinion on what you think your next appraisal should look like.

  • Should it be just the same as always?
  • Does it need a different focus?
  • Should it concentrate on wellbeing?
  • Or on the essential evidence you need for your revalidation?
  • Or a combination of both?

It is possible that you feel nothing needs to change.

We know from the Revalidation Support Unit's Annual Report there are levels of satisfaction with the Welsh appraisal system of almost 100%.

This evidence is complemented by the reports compiled by RCGP (appraiser and appraisee survey) which shows that the appraisal system in Wales receives high approval ratings from appraisers and appraisees alike.

In fact, if it was a competition (which its isn’t!) Wales wins hands down.

What do you think?

Therefore, the question I would like you to consider is: what would you like your appraisal to cover as we move beyond the pandemic?

When you have the answer please email me and I will do my best to feed your ideas into the discussion.

Volunteers' Week

Next week is Volunteers’ Week and the officers of RCGP Wales would like to say a great big thank you to all our volunteers in the College.

We have a really strong presence in Wales because of your work and we will never take that for granted. In these challenging times we are more grateful than ever for all you do, diolch yn fawr.


Post written by

Dr Rob Morgan, Vice Chair of RCGP Wales (Policy and Public Affairs)

Dr Rob Morgan qualified in 1991 and is a partner at Tyn Y Coed Surgery, Bridgend. He initially represented South East Wales Faculty on the then operational Welsh Membership Committee before becoming the Membership Officer for Wales.

Rob had various interests over the years and in the past has had lead roles with the LHB for child protection and cardiology. His current focus is continuing in the role of appraiser - a post he has held since 2003.

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