All Wales Medical Appraisal Policy
This high level policy document has been developed to support the implementation of local processes which are fit for purpose for revalidation, consistent and fair and add value in their own right.
Click here to view the completed Medical Appraisal Policy Equality Impact Assessment
A supplementary document has been developed by the Wales Revalidation and Appraisal Implementation Group (RAIG), which describes the operating standards to be achieved in order to deliver the policy, good practice guidance and templates. All Wales Policy Operating Standards Document
Wales Medical Appraisal Toolkit - MARS
The WRDB decided in May 2013 that the Medical Appraisal Revalidation System (MARS) would be the only tool for appraisal for all NHS doctors in Wales from 1st April 2014.
MARS is designed to support organisations and individual doctors in ensuring that their current appraisal paperwork is fit for purpose in relation to GMC standards for revalidation.
Responsible Officers are given specific access to MARS to enable them to review appraisal and revalidation information for their doctors, this then enables Responsible Officers to make revalidation recommendations on GMC Connect.
Wales Appraisal Exceptions Management Protocol
The All Wales Appraisal Exceptions Management Protocol was agreed by the WRDB September 2014, it enables Designated Bodies to consistently manage doctors who do not engage in the appraisal process. The protocol outlines the key principles of the annual appraisal process in Wales, its links with revalidation and its management in this context. The document describes protocols which apply to a range of different exceptional situations. This will also be of interest to appraisers so they are aware of exceptional circumstances and how they will be managed and supported in Wales.
Making Revalidation Recommendations
The General Medical Council has published guidance to help Responsible Officers make revalidation recommendations about doctors.
The guidance - 'Making revalidation recommendations: the GMC responsible officer protocol' - explains what Responsible Officers should take into account when deciding what their recommendation should be.
Responsible Officers have the ability to make three types of recommendation at the point that a doctor's revalidation is due:
· a positive recommendation that a doctor should be revalidated
· a request for a doctor's revalidation date to be deferred (because the doctors needs more time to collect supporting information, for example)
· or a notification of "non-engagement".
Responsible Officers can make a revalidation recommendation to the GMC once the doctor in in the ‘Under Notice’ period which starts 4 months before their revalidation date.
Una Lane, the GMC's Director of Continued Practice and Revalidation, says:
"We've worked with a number of responsible officers from across all four countries of the UK to develop this guidance and make sure it supports them in their role.
"We're committed to ensuring that the guidance remains a practical and up to date resource, and we will keep the guidance under review once revalidation has been introduced to ensure it remains so."
The guidance is available to download from the GMC's website. It is aimed primarily at responsible officers but will be of interest to doctors, employers, and patients and the public.
Guidance on the wider role and functions of responsible officers was published by the Department of Health which can be found here.
Revalidation Advisory Groups
Health Boards within Wales generally hold regular revalidation advisory group meetings in order to collate and review all relevant revalidation information regarding a doctor because the Responsible Officer makes a revalidation recommendation, such as annual appraisal evidence and clinical governance information.
A pro-forma has been developed by RAIG to assist revalidation advisory groups in Wales in establishing whether all supporting information for revalidation is present, it also enables Health Boards to keep an audit trail of reasons for recommendations made by the Responsible Officer:
Revalidation Advisory Groups Terms of Reference - This document has been provided as guidance for designated bodies in Wales.
Designated Bodies are encouraged to be pro-active regarding reminding doctors to include all strands of required supporting information in their appraisals. A template letter has been approved by RAIG which can be sent out approximately 6 months before a doctor’s revalidation date to remind them of what is required:
The GMC outlines that nearly every doctor will have a prescribed connection to a designated body, for the majority of doctors this will be very straight forward. However some doctors may find it difficult to establish a prescribed connection with any existing designated body and should therefore contact the GMC for further guidance.
This document, 'Routes to revalidation', provides guidance finding a prescribed connection in all circumstances.
For doctors who request to have a connection with a designated body or Responsible Officer, RAIG have developed a template letter which can be sent to the individual requesting further information, this can be used to establish whether there is a ‘connection’ between the doctor and the designated body:
If a doctor moves designated body it can be difficult for the new Responsible Officer to obtain enough information regarding that doctor for them to make a revalidation recommendation, particularly if the doctors moves fairly shortly before their revalidation date. A sub group of RAIG have developed a Responsible Officer Information Flows Form which needs to be completed by the doctor and the previous Responsible Officer, this form is then passed to the new Responsible Officer allowing them to become aware of any current issues etc.