Tips and Advice for Appraisal as a Locum

Tips and Advice for Appraisal as a Locum

What is an Appraisal?

A yearly appraisal along with revalidation is an important factor of demonstrating locum’s adequacy towards practice whatever the branch of the practice is. It also makes the practitioner focus on his or her professional development needs. It is the process of facilitating self-analysis braced with information collected from full review of doctor’s work. 

Although the doctors are expected to withhold the responsibilities of both employers and locum in the process of appraisals and revalidation, there are few differences like the clinical academic, follow the appraisals based on the BMA guidelines whereas Junior doctors revalidate through ARCP i.e. Annual Review of Competence Progression.

Stages of an Appraisal

The meeting is upheld between a doctor and colleague trained as an appraiser annually for the medical appraisal. The doctors are required to gather information that is significant for the nature and field of work. 

Stage 1: Scope and Nature of Work

Locum should define the nature and field of the work they are willing to carry out as a doctor. According to GMC all the positions and roles including the license to practice the clinical responsibilities are required for the Doctor. It includes Independent practice, works for a voluntary organization or privately along with research, educational, academic and managerial roles. 

Stage 2: Discussion

The discussion that lasts for 1 to 2 hours includes serious as well as a confidential debate between the locum and appraiser with the evidence submitted for exploring and considerating. 

Stage 3: Summary of The Appraisal

The Locum and appraiser then agree to a written statement/ summary of the appraisal discussion including the submitted information that relates to the scope and nature of work they are willing to do. It also includes key elements of confidential discussion. 

Given below are few tips for locum doctors to make their appraisals more manageable:

1. CPD - Continuing Professional Development

Locum has to keep themselves up to date through CPD that covers the scope of his or her practices. As per RCGP, at least fifty CPD credits per twelve months of work should be demonstrated in the appraisal irrespective of the number of sessions worked. 

The latest RCGP guidelines highlights on the methods learned by the GPs. Hence, Locum, as well as Sessional GPs, are expected to show the range of methods, while Sessional General Practitioner can participate in learning groups, practitioners can emphasize on learning outside the workplace. 

2. Colleague Feedback 

Collecting feedbacks from colleagues can be a challenging task for locum as their busy schedule gives them least time to participate in the meetings held or to interact with their co- workers. However, we have jotted down few things that every locum should remember. 

Due to least interaction with the colleagues, they take time to know you before filling in the forms. Thus, start the survey months before the appraisal date especially when it's the last appraisal before revalidation. 

Consider GMC complaint clinical survey tool that includes locum- specific benchmarks like Out of Hour (OOH) doctors, locums and etc, if you are a Locum GP.

Although, the latest RCGP guidelines offers better flexibility to choose the survey tools, but make sure you include all the feedbacks of colleagues from all the scope of practices. ​​​​​​

3. Patient feedback 

Required by GMC Patient's feedbacks are challenges for many Sessional GPs especially Locum. Nonetheless, given below are some tips for GPs that might help: 

Plan months before to get the patient survey done as they take quite a long time to respond. 

Although RCGP doesn't specify which tools are important but use the tools which complies the GMC guidelines. 

As doctors working in an out of hour (OOH) center are unable to use the available tools, they can expect relevant flexibility for themselves from appraiser, RO or appraisal lead who would suggest the best to them. 

4. Other Factors 

RCGP suggests to demonstrate your quality improvement activities (QIA) that are appropriate to your clinical work. You can also include complaints, compliments, other items like taking a career break details, choice of appraiser etc.
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