GP Appraisal and Revalidation


GP Appraisal was introduced in 2003 and has been managed and co-ordinated by NIMDTA since April 2006.  Appraisal is intended to be a formative process, giving GPs the opportunity to review their performance, chart continuing progress and identify any developmental needs.  These developmental needs are collated in a systematic way through the electronic Form 6A and fed into the Continuing Professional Development process.

In managing the appraisal process in Northern Ireland, NIMDTA works in partnership with the DHSSPSNI and the Health & Social Care Board under the guidance of a Central Board of Management, which has representation from the General Practice Committee of the BMA and the Royal College of General Practitioners.

GP Appraisal has the potential to develop the individual doctor and interface with the clinical governance agenda at a practice level to improve the overall quality of GP care across the region.

Timeline for Appraisal
The biggest challenge faced centrally is in distributing appraisals across the whole appraisal year. The first two quarters of the year tend to be light while Appraisers have a heavy workload in the final two quarters. Therefore, in order to try and spread workload further across the coming year the Central Board of Management of GP Appraisal have agreed to implement the following:

18-19 Appraisal Year

  • January 2018 – Opening Date for Registration and Declaration Forms
  • 30 June 2018 – Deadline for Appraisees who wish to state their preference of: Appraiser, month, date and venue for your appraisal
  • After 30 June 2018 – Appraisees who submit Registration and Declaration forms after this date will be allocated
    • An Appraiser, based on regional availability (Please note, you may be required to travel to your appraiser, anywhere in the region)
  • 1 January 2019 – Appraisees who have not applied will be allocated an appraiser and an appraisal slot, convenient for the appraiser

You are advised not to arrange an appraisal with the same Appraiser for more than 3 consecutive years and that you should not book with that Appraiser again for 2 subsequent years.

If you have not undertaken an appraisal within the previous appraisal year due to extenuating circumstances, you are only required to complete one appraisal in the current appraisal year. You do not need to complete two appraisals. See FAQ for further details.

Guidance on timing of appraisal before revalidation
  • Your revalidation date is available from the GMC online. It is each doctor’s responsibility to check this date and plan their appraisal accordingly. It is essential the revalidation date is included on the R&D form completed when booking an appraisal.
  • Appraisal should be booked 5-9 weeks prior to the revalidation date.
  • Your PCF report must be available for discussion at the appraisal before revalidation. If the appraisal is arranged outside of these time frames, it is possible that the PCF report will not be available for discussion at the appraisal.
  • Please note for those revalidating around April & May of any year some planning is required as the 5 to 9 weeks’ timeframe falls between two appraisal years (see examples below).
  • If you have a revalidation date falling around April / May or you have a query about when to schedule your appraisal please feel free to contact us at alternatively discuss with your appraiser or contact
  • For those GPs who have already completed PCF within the last 5 years but not before the last revalidation date, (for example an MSF completed in ST3 year); local processes dictate that these appraisals must take place no more than six months before the revalidation date, it is still preferable that the appraisal takes place closer to the revalidation date.


Revalidation will be supportive and focused on raising standards, as Appraisal is now. It is not a mechanism for dealing with the small proportion of doctors who cause concern but it will help identify doctors who need extra support to develop their portfolios in line with the standards set by the GMC and the Royal College of General Practitioners.

For all queries regarding both Revalidation and Patient and Colleague Feedback please contact:

Nicola Scott, Revalidation and Governance Support Officer, HSCB
Tel: 028 9536 2056

PCF & Revalidation
If you are revalidating, you will be offered the opportunity to complete Patient and Colleague Feedback (PCF) before your revalidation date.  Should you wish to undertake your PCF earlier in the revalidation cycle please contact Nicola Scott via the email address above.

(NB. Those GPs who have access to appropriate PCF completed within five years of their revalidation date will not always need to complete further surveys if the previous feedback is available for discussion at appraisal e.g. those doctors who took part in the PCF pilot or who have completed PCF as part of training).

This process is co-ordinated by HSCB and PCF is provided by the Leadership Centre.

It is important that your appraisal is used as a vehicle for discussion of the PCF completed.

You need to arrange your appraisal prior to your revalidation date at a time which ensures that patient colleague feedback is available for discussion at this appraisal.

Your appraiser does not know your revalidation date.

It is therefore imperative that you request your appraisal date whilst keeping this in mind.

Ideally your appraisal should be at least 5-9 weeks before your revalidation date.

If PCF is not available for discussion at appraisal and you are revalidating; then this may result in a non-engagement statement being made to the GMC by your responsible officer.

If you have already scheduled your appraisal but have not taken these issues into consideration, please contact your appraiser to reschedule.

Please see the “Guidance on timing of appraisal before revalidation” section, above.

Implementation of Revalidation
Revalidation is designed to improve the quality of patient care and has three elements:

  • To confirm that licensed doctors practise in accordance with the GMC’s generic standards (relicensure)
  • For doctors on the Specialist Register and GP Register, to confirm that they meet the standards appropriate for their specialty (Recertification)
  • To identify for further investigation, and remediation, poor practice where local systems are not robust enough to do this or do not exist
  • Revalidation was introduced in December 2012.

At this stage, the majority of GPs in Northern Ireland have received a positive revalidation recommendation from the GMC.

How will the revalidation process work?
The GMC have given the following step by step guide to the revalidation process:

  • Licensed doctors will be required to link to a Responsible Officer (RO).
  • Licensed doctors will need to maintain a portfoloio of Supporting Information drawn from their practice which demonstrates how they are continuing to meet the principles and values set out in Good Medical Practice Framework for appraisal and revalidation.
  • Licensed doctors will be expected to participate in a process of annual appraisal based on their portfolio of supporting information.
  • The responsible Officer will make a Recommendation to the GMC about a doctor’s fitness to practise, normally every five years. The recommendation will be based on the outcome of a licensed doctor’s annual appraisals over the course of five years, combined with information drawn from the clinical governance system of the organisation in which the licensed doctor works.
  • The GMC’s decision to revalidate a licensed doctor will be informed by the Responsible Officers recommendation.
  • Guidelines are available from the GMC regarding how doctors can meet requirements for revalidation in the first cycle.
  • The summary of your appraisal history and supporting information (the form 6 signed at appraisal) is sent to the responsible officer (RO) before revalidation. It should be noted that the responsible officer requires that the appraisee provides supporting information covering all areas of the GMP Framework in the appraisal before revalidation (except PCF if already completed within five years – see guidance above)
  • This summary will be reviewed along with any other information available at HSCB (e.g. a review of on-going local investigations)
  • A decision will then be made regarding your revalidation recommendation.
  • There is no separate meeting with the RO to trigger this process.
  • When the GMC receive a recommendation, this is considered, along with any other relevant information, and a decision made about revalidation.

The GMC will write to the doctor, to let them know this decision.

Evaluation of the implementation and impact of revalidation
The GMC have begun the process of reviewing the implementation of revalidation and evaluating its impact. Further details can be found at:

Revalidation does NOT require a separate revalidation meeting.

The summary of your appraisal history and supporting information (the form 6 signed at appraisal) is sent to the responsible officer (RO) before revalidation.

This summary and any other evidence available through HSCB will be taken into consideration.

A decision will then be made regarding your revalidation.

There is no separate meeting with the RO to trigger this process.

Revalidation FAQs from HSCB

There is an administration team in NIMDTA solely dedicated to GP Appraisal. They are happy to deal with any aspect of appraisal – registration, website enquiries, etc.

To Register for appraisal, please click here

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