Of all the myths surrounding the requirements for appraisal preparation and revalidation, the one that strikes me most is this:
Myth: Annual appraisal and revalidation processes are neither beneficial nor a good use of a busy doctors' time.
A doctor's time has undoubtedly become more squeezed in recent years, with pressure to deliver additional service requirements, less time to interact with colleagues, as well as limited time for learning and reflection. That is precisely why appraisal, when done properly, is so important for today's doctors. Spending dedicated and quality time with a trusted, respected and knowledgeable colleague allows for in-depth discussion around issues that matter to you.
Appraisal provides a platform for reflection and the sharing of concerns, challenges and achievements in a constructive and supportive environment. Gathering and reviewing evidence for the revalidation portfolio can support the reflective process, allowing you to consider what has been achieved during the year, as well as the challenges you have faced in your daily practice. Appraisal can in addition be an affirmative reminder of all the work you have done and all that you personally have delivered, both clinically and non-clinically, in the space of a year. The annual appraisal is YOUR appraisal and is there to meet YOUR needs and support YOUR development.
This document is designed to facilitate the process of information gathering and prepare you for appraisal. It will hopefully provide not just guidance, but also give you confidence to focus on what is actually required rather than what you imagine is required to collate a portfolio of relevant supporting information to confirm your fitness to practice, and provide you with the reassurance that you will ultimately provide the best quality care for your patients.
Thanks are due to all the contributors to this document, particularly Dr Susi Caesar of the Royal College of General Practitioners, upon whose first iteration of 'Mythbusters' this document is based.
Dr Ellen Wilkinson, Associate Registrar for Revalidation, Royal College of Psychiatrists
Dr Guy Brookes, Specialist Advisor for Continuing Professional Development