The aim of your first appraisal as a newly qualified GP is to be a formative and developmental experience. You do need to prepare for it and there are things you can do to make sure it runs smoothly and you benefit from the experience.
As experienced professionals who aim to support GPs throughout their careers, we have brought together a list of 10 Top Tips to help you through your first appraisal and included a couple of downloads which we hope you find useful…
- Arrange the date
Be pro-active and once you are aware of who your appraiser will be, get in touch and set a date. Ideally aim for it to be in 9-15 months-time, after receipt of your CCT certificate.
- Personal Development Plans
Using your previous Educational Supervisors Report (ESR) determine areas for your PDP, discuss this with your trainer and use our FREE PDP PLANS FOR APPRAISAL document to structure your areas.
- Portfolio Preparation
There are various areas you need to record evidence of as an independent GP. Similarly to your RCGP ePortfolio, as a qualified GP, you need to choose an electronic portfolio document that supports your style and methods, of recording your learnings and evidence. Here are some resources you might find helpful:
- The Clarity & RCGP Appraisal Toolkit for GPsis very similar to the trainee eportfolio.
- NHS England’s medical appraisal guide model appraisal form (MAG Form) is useful and free of charge.
- The GMC offers a My CPD app – see here for more details.
- https://www.fourteenfish.comalso offers online CPD recording
- Portfolio Content
Your portfolio needs to reflect a wide variety of learnings, be sure to start collating your content as soon as you can; you need to be able to show evidence from throughout the year. You also need to be mindful to cover various areas e.g. in-house practice protocols, formal courses you have attended/completed, patient feedback and how this has been managed and how you are integrating with your team.
- Appraisal inputs
Your portfolio needs to cover the following inputs:
A – Personal Details
B – Scope and nature of work – include NHS and non-NHS
C – Supporting information – CPD, patient/colleague feedback, quality improvement
D – Review of previous challenges/areas of learning – what have you achieved
E – Achievements, challenges and aspirations for the coming year
- CPD Credits
Get to know and be aware of your which areas you are achieving your credits in. Be sure to be collating them from different areas, a broad range is favourable e.g. meetings, online learning, reading, courses etc.
- Talk to your appraiser
It’s okay to speak to your appraiser ahead of meeting with them. Chat to them about any specific organisational requirements they’re looking for and anything else that might be required. Also ask when they would like to receive your portfolio – this can be around two weeks before the date of your appraisal.
- Team effort
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support from other team members. Receptionists at your surgery can be invaluable when it comes to collating feedback from patients and helping you record your evidence. Similarly more experienced doctors can provide advice and guidance and help you reflect on your learnings.
If you don’t have access to a scanner, invest in one. Scanning any certificates, patient feedback or other documents which provide evidence for your portfolio is really helpful and a great, easy way to keep your records up to date. Be sure to ‘black-out’ or remove any patient details which would make them identifiable.
- Be confident
This is your first appraisal so you’re bound to be nervous but remember, the aim is for the session to be formative and provide a pathway for your future development. It’s an opportunity to reflect on your successes, identify your challenges and set key targets for the next 12 months… try to enjoy it! Good luck!
If you are considering moving to a new practice once you have finished your MRCGP you can contact our friendly GP Team on 01423 813 454 or email them on firstname.lastname@example.org
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