As with all roles a doctor undertakes, if they are an Appraiser, they must undertake CPD specific to that role.
The Revalidation Support Unit (RSU) provides many different opportunities for Appraiser development.
GP Appraiser Regional Groups
GP Appraisers in Wales are employed by Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) and are part of a wider structure to support GP appraisal. Each Appraiser is linked to a local Appraisal Co-ordinator who manages a team of Appraisers. Seven regional teams of Appraisers meet as a group once a quarter to discuss topics pertinent to the role including any new appraisal and revalidation guidance, updates to MARS or difficult scenarios they have encountered. This supportive peer group facilitates learning from each other in terms of good practice and improving skills in the role.
GP National Appraiser Conference (NAC)
All GP Appraisers meet annually at the National Appraiser Conference (NAC), usually taking place in June in mid-Wales. The day-long event enables the Appraisers to network amongst the wider group and share learning often facilitated by professional speakers. Previous topics have included Tricky Situations, Burnout in Medicine, Motivational Interviewing and Negotiation Skills.
The agenda is compiled by 2 of our Appraiser Coordinators who consider ideas from their Appraisers and the wider office team. Invites are sent well in advance to maximise attendance and delegates are sent useful resources that were used during the event after its conclusion. On occasion, some of the information presented is adapted to produce online learning resources for our Appraisers.
Appraisal Quality Assurance (AQA, previously Regional Quality Assurance)
All Appraisers are invited to take part in a national quality assurance exercise reviewing the quality of appraisal outputs (the appraisal summary).
The overall aim is to review the outputs of appraisal by assessing appraisal summaries from both primary and secondary care using a set of nationally agreed quality criteria. The aims are:
- To generate useful analysis to promote future action planning
- To promote and ensure best practice for all delegates, thus developing their understanding of the quality of appraisal
- Identify areas for further training
- To share best practice between primary and secondary care
- To provide appraisers with the tools and knowledge to improve the way in which they conduct appraisals in the future
The event is advertised via a MARS e-broadcast to all Appraisers and interest to attend can be registered via our events booking page.
Appraisal Leads and Local Groups
All Health Boards will have a designated Appraisal Lead/s who can be contacted for advice and guidance regarding appraisal and revalidation. An Appraisal Lead should sit alongside the formal clinical governance structure so that they can manage low level issues individually but still escalate to a Deputy RO or RO if required. The role does vary between areas but there are some common themes which all Appraisal Leads cover:
- Personal experience of appraisal and the ability to provide advice and guidance
- Advocate for appraisal and it’s benefits
- Contact for a local Appraiser Group and facilitating network meetings
- Support with tricky scenarios that Appraisers may encounter
- The ability to undertake some form of quality assurance of appraisal within their organisation
If you are unsure of who your local Appraisal Lead is, you will need to contact your local appraisal and revalidation team for their details.
Many Health Boards also have local Appraiser networks to enable sharing of good practice and discussion of difficult scenarios which may arise. These networks provide an opportunity for learning and development in the Appraiser role.
Regional Appraiser Conferences (RACs)
The Revalidation Support Unit invites all secondary care and other specialty Appraisers across Wales to an annual conference known as the Regional Appraiser Conferences (RACs) (offered in two geographical locations). These are usually provided over a half day including key speakers and topical workshops.
The aim of the event is to provide Appraisers with an opportunity to network with their peers, take part in discussions around scenarios relevant to their role and share good practice. Previous topics have included whole practice appraisal within professional context and wilful blindness.
Online Learning and Tools
MARS Medical Appraisal Feedback Survey
As an Appraiser you are able to view anonymised feedback from the Doctors you have appraised via MARS. To ensure anonymity, these are released in multiples of 3. If you have completed 5 appraisals for example, you will only be able to view 3 feedback responses until you have completed a 6th appraisal.
The Feedback survey will cover areas such as:
- The appraisal
- The administration and management for MARS
- The Appraiser
- The appraisal overall
This feedback information should be viewed and reflected upon as part of your whole practice appraisal every year.
The feedback can be found on MARS within your Appraiser role under Feedback Analytics, simply select the live survey from the drop down options and select the time period you wish to view.
The Revalidation Support Unit has produced several online CPD modules which are very useful for Appraisers. The modules include:
- Enhanced Appraiser Skills – This training resource has been compiled to help medical appraisers reflect on their current skills, as a reference to best practice and to encourage development in the role where needed.
- Reflective Practice – This module can not only help to improve your own reflective skills but to also support appraisees in reflecting on their activities at appraisal in an effective way.
- ABEL tool – developed by Appraisal Co-ordinators, the tool is a guide for Appraisers in assessing whether a doctor’s revalidation information for appraisal reaches the standard required.
- Returning to Appraisal – created during the COVID-19 pandemic, this resource aims to provide guidance on how medical appraisal can be carried out considerably and effectively with a focus on well-being and support.
- Virtual Appraisal Guidance – created during the COVID-19 pandemic, this guidance is designed to guide you through best practice when undertaking appraisals on a virtual platform.
These modules are available on our CPD website under the non-clinical section.