This section deals with a small but important part of the appraisal, examining the information presented with respect to the GMC’s requirements for revalidation. Most doctors engaged in the appraisal process will meet (and exceed) these requirements. The GMC document supporting information for appraisal and revalidation clearly lays out the supporting information required in a five-year cycle. Much of the focus around this information has been regarding the quantity and time frames. Looking deeper into the GMC document there is guidance around the context of this information with respect to the individual and their workplace.

It is incumbent on the appraiser to assess this information and, as appropriate, validate that it reaches the GMC requirements. This needs to be performed at every appraisal for certain items and at least once over the five-year cycle for others. 

The bulk of the appraisal discussion should be around the doctor’s achievements, aspirations and work-life issues as appropriate. In many cases it will be self evident from the written material that the requirements have been met. Other doctors may not have represented the information well and the appraisal discussion may need to tease out the true developmental benefit of the information. 

The supporting information the GMC require to be brought to appraisal lies under four broad categories challenge1.jpg

  • General information - providing context about what you do in all aspects of your work
  • Keeping up to date - maintaining and enhancing the quality of your professional work
  • Review of your practice - evaluating the quality of your professional work
  • Feedback on your practice - how others perceive the quality of your professional work

These categories underpin the more familiar six types of supporting information that need to be validated. The ethos of the GMC 

document is entirely developmental and places great emphasis on self-awareness and reflection. The GMC do not talk about volume of information, rather quality, relevance and outputs of the developmental activity. The appraiser when assessing the adequacy of supporting information should therefore focus on these aspects rather than volume or numbers of certificates.

“A certificate only proves attendance, reflection proves attention, change demonstrates development and audit shows evaluation”

This module on reflective practice demonstrates some examples of information presented in a reflective manner.

Further guidance has been developed for the six strands of supporting information for appraisers in Wales.

Tricky situations

For each of the following scenarios work out what you would do – the suggested answers are shown as you hover over the scenario.

Tricky 1


Tricky 2


Tricky 3


Tricky 4