Supporting information for physicians

The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and the Royal College of Physicians of London (RCP) have published physician guidance for appraisal and revalidation. The guidance offers practical examples of the types of supporting information that physicians might present at their annual appraisal and include in their revalidation portfolio. It has been collaboratively developed with all physician specialties and is applicable across the many areas of physician practice. The Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management have produced specialty guidance on appraisal for any doctor whose scope of practice includes leadership or managerial aspects.

Effective governance

The GMC have updated their handbook Effective clinical governance for the medical profession on 1 November 2018.   The handbook was first published in 2013 and has been updated to reflect the learning and system developments following the first cycle of revalidation.  It also addresses the recommendations made by Sir Keith Pearson following his review of revalidation and report in 2017 - Taking revalidation forward.

The revised handbook clearly outlines the role that boards and governing bodies should play in ensuring effective clinical governance is in place for doctors and their revalidation. It provides advice about clinical governance processes that underpin the responsible officer function and revalidation for doctors including annual appraisal, managing concerns about doctors and pre-employment checks. There is also a checklist which can support organisations to review the clinical governance systems they have in place and identify areas for further development.

Employers have to make clinical governance information available and have a responsibility to support the capture of colleague and patient feedback through a tested and validated tool. There is no mandatory instrument i.e. some Trusts and Health Boards will have preferred instruments and local appraisal procedures should make this clear.

Tools and templates for supporting information

Revalidation requires every doctor to participate in systematic colleague and patient (or patient equivalent) feedback at least once in every 5 year revalidation cycle. Some employers may expect you to use specific tools and the College recommends you check locally before deciding which tool to use.

The College, jointly with the other Colleges of Physicians, has developed tools and templates to enable doctors to record and reflect upon their supporting information for appraisal and revalidation.

General information

Review of your practice

Feedback on your practice

The GMC has published details of its own colleague and patient feedback instruments that have been developed and tested by Peninsular Medical School.

Personal clinical audit tool (p-CAT)

The RCP, in partnership with the Health Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP), has developed the p-CAT. It guides the user through clinical audit, provides a place to record the action plan and completion of the audit cycle through re-auditing, provides a place to record reflection as a result of the audit and generates a report which can be used as supporting information.

The RCP is working with audit leads in the specialist societies to populate p-CAT with templates and sample audits to provide users with a suite of information on which to base their own audit records.

Guidance for locum doctors (and those who engage with them)

Doctors in both primary and secondary care who locum or work within health organisations for short-term placements often face some specific challenges. They often do not have easy access to systems or structures in place to support their continuing professional development, appraisal, revalidation, and governance.

NHS England have provided the following guidance, which highlights ways that doctors working in this manner can be supported to enhance their work experience and provide safe provision of healthcare, as a valuable part of the workforce:

These are directed towards locum doctors, doctors in short-term placements, medical directors, responsible officers, those with governance responsibility for doctors’ practice (in a place where the doctor is working), appraisal leads and human resources personnel engaging with  doctors who locum or work within health organisations for short-term placements.