Patient and colleague feedback

There is no requirement to use any specific questionnaire in obtaining feedback from your colleagues and patients. The expectation is that feedback is collected using standardised questionnaires that comply with GMC guidance in this area. Other questionnaires meeting the GMC guidance have been developed which may be more suitable for your colleague and patient groups or professional scope of work or circumstances.

The College has developed its ACP360 patient and colleague feedback tool specifically for psychiatrists, including questionnaires adapted to make them accessible for hard to reach patient groups, including those with communication and/or information processing difficulties.

Instructions for using a particular questionnaire will give an indication as to the minimum number of responses required for a reliable and valid set of results. The GMC questionnaires and guidance can be found in the  colleague and patient feedback section of their website. The GMC has also published  FAQs on which questionnaires to use.

Patient and colleague feedback are both required at least once every five years and should be formally collected using standardised questionnaires complying with GMC guidance.

However, the College recommends that you take the opportunity once a year at appraisal to discuss your reflections on your relationships with colleagues and patients.

To provide insight into these discussions other types of feedback – solicited or not – can be useful, for example feedback from students and personal narratives from patients provided in comment cards or posted on specially commissioned websites.

Although not required by the GMC, doctors with multiple roles may find seeking additional feedback from different client groups worthwhile and the resulting information meaningful in developing their professional skills.

The appraisal discussion should cover whether this information is useful or reliable for informing on your professional development. It is also important that any feedback in your revalidation portfolio and presented at appraisal is appropriately anonymised, i.e. any personal identifiable information is redacted.

The College’s  ACP360 feedback tool is recommended for psychiatrists; another useful resource is the GMC’s  patient feedback case studies.


Where possible, you should not directly hand out questionnaires to patients, or collect the responses in such a way that patients think you might be able to read them, or choose only the best. Patient anonymity is an important part of the feedback process.

One mechanism is the use of a sealed deposit box and the responses are collected and collated by someone external to the psychiatrist-patient relationship such as the questionnaire provider. The responses are collated into a report prior to your next appraisal.  ACP360 questionnaires are all conducted anonymously.

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry