As of December 2012, all licensed doctors are now required to have an annual appraisal based on the Good Medical Practice Framework in order to be revalidated.

We asked our star compliance manager, Louise Gilbert to answer the top five questions most locum doctors have when it comes to arranging their appraisal.

1. What exactly does an appraisal entail?

During your appraisal, a range of topics and areas will be discussed, talking through both your practice and performance to date. The appraisals will focus on the four following areas:

  • Knowledge, skills and performance
  • Safety and quality
  • Communication, partnership and teamwork
  • Maintaining trust

Essentially, the appraisal process is there to help you monitor your performance and to provide evidence that you are up-to-date and fit to continue to practice.

2. How should I prepare for my appraisal?

The time and effort spend in preparing for an appraisal are often as important as the appraisal itself. Every doctor undergoing an appraisal needs to prepare an appraisal folder containing information, evidence and data to inform the process, for example, Multi Source Feedback (MSF).

3. Multi Source Feedback – how much is enough?

Also referred to as 360 degree or patient and colleague feedback, MSF must be collated once in each 5 year cycle. The GMC recommends collecting feedback from 15 colleagues and 34 patients for a full rounded assessment (although there is no required minimum number of questionnaires that you have to obtain).

To help you collect this information effectively and save time, Holt Doctors has teamed up with an organisation called CFEP UK Surveys who are able to manage this process on your behalf. They will provide you with all the tools you need in order to collect 360? feedback from your patients and colleagues. They will collate all the responses, providing you with a fully integrated report to discuss in your appraisals and help you develop your personal development plan. The final report also includes specialist benchmarks to give you an indication of your performance.

4. I am only working as a locum doctor – do I still need to be appraised?

Even if you are only doing locum work at the moment, it is still important that you keep up to date with your annual appraisals if you wish to continue working as a licensed doctor in the UK.

As an established UK locum agency, Holt Doctors has a bank of quality approved appraisers that we can put you in touch with when it comes to organising your appraisal.

We also offer a great loyalty scheme for all our locum doctors, whereby for every hour you work as a locum through Holt Doctors, you will earn 1 loyalty point. Once you have earned 500 points you can start exchanging this for money which can be put towards CPD accredited events/courses or your annual appraisal.

5. I’m new to the UK system and have just started working in the NHS – when should I have an appraisal?

Upon starting a new locum or permanent job in the NHS it is advisable to set up your first appraisal for as soon as possible, as this is something most NHS trusts will ask your locum agency. It is important to remember that an appraisal is not a test of ability; it is an opportunity to reflect on your practice, to think about the year ahead and set goals of what you want to achieve.

For more information or if you have any questions, send us an email to or call us on 0208 099 6943

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