Being an appraiser is often an add-on to a working week. Committing to appraisal should be recognised in your timetable (either as an SPA activity or a sessional commitment).

Every appraiser will organise themselves and their appraisals slightly differently. The following suggested tips may be helpful:-

  • Identify and use protected time for your appraisal role
  • Spread your workload throughout the year according to YOUR needs 
  • Know how many appraisals you are expected to perform in what timescale 25
  • Agree date, time and venue well in advance
  • Schedule time not only for the meeting but preparation and write up at the time of booking
  • Access your appraisee’s information briefly about a month before the appraisal date. This will ensure you have plenty of time to ask for more/different information
  • Even if you have completed your preparation you must access the information AFTER the cut off date to see if anything has been added or changed
  • Have ready made emails in draft form that can be edited to suit each appraisee
    • Accepting an appraisal - sets out where and when you work and urging them to select a date ASAP
    • Responding to the date request that includes all the MARS info on CPD, an agreed cut-off date for uploading material and address of appraisal venue with directions
    • Committing the appraisal and inviting the doctor to sign it off containing instructions on how to find their summary and a request to complete the survey
    • Consider communicating (by Telephone or email) with the doctor prior to the meeting, asking for topics that the doctor may wish to discuss at the meeting

Preparing for the appraisal discussion might involve:

  1. Compiling the first column of the summary. Using the third column to make notes or prompts for questions in the appraisal itself. Printing off the summary, and using the blank spaces to make notes during the appraisal
  2. Identifying at least 3 entries you feel should be discussed in depth, but be prepared to change these if the doctor has a different agenda 
  3. Identifying and highlighting items from last year’s pdp and revalidation items needing verification
  4. Identifying potential pdp items for the next year 
  5. Identifying any constraints, complaints or health issues that may need sensitive handling
  6. Identifying potential PDP items for next year. Try to identify potential "Challenges" and Action Points and at the end of the Appraisal meeting agree the following year's PDP from the list of action points discussed
  • Arrive 5-10 minutes early for the appraisal, it will give you time to organise yourself, the room and the paperwork
  • Have a plan for the structure of the appraisal discussion – include the items you MUST discuss. (It is likely the appraisal will not flow according to your plan but at least you have a structure to return to)
  • At the end of the appraisal discussion give the doctor a realistic time frame within which you will complete and commit the summary, according to guidelines.
  • Have time planned for writing the summary soon after the appraisal
  • Remember the summary is the most important outcome of the appraisal, it should be a true record of a structured, supportive appraisal discussion based on thorough preparation
  • Use a browser with a spell and grammar check or copy and paste into Word which will do this for you