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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness



FAQ's for participants

This page answers the questions asked most frequently about ACP 360.  Please contact us if you have any further queries



How much does ACP360 cost?

ACP 360 is £126 including VAT for individual doctors registering. We offer a discounted rate of £112.80 including VAT per cycle for organisations. With the GMC requirements for 360 appraisal every five years (you may of course use it more often) it works out at just £20 per year.

What can multi-source feedback tell me?

It is an opportunity to gain a perspective on how important aspects of your work performance are perceived by colleagues and service users. Scores can help you to identify areas of good practice as well as areas that you might further develop


How long does the ACP 360 process take?

The process takes about 8 weeks. You should contact the ACP360 team if you would like an update on the number of patient questionnaires returned. If you reach the recommended number of returns, you willl receive your report automatically- otherwise you will need to contact us to request it. We ask that once you activate your account you complete the process within 1 year.


Could unfair criticism from one colleague skew my results?

A high number of colleagues complete assessments and their responses are aggregated.  Negative responses from one person will not greatly affect the mean scores. Also, the ACP 360 report is just one part of the portfolio of information that will be considered at your appraisal. Please be aware that we do not share individual colleague responses with participants. All data is presented in aggregate form and individual questionnaires are not available.

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With whom should I share my report?

Firstly, you should take time yourself to reflect on what you can learn from the report. After that, the best setting to discuss your report is in your appraisal meeting. If you have a mentor or coach, you may also wish to share elements of your report with them.


What should I do if I am concerned about my results?

Discuss any concerns with the colleague who is conducting your appraisal or with another trusted colleague or mentor. Remember that ACP 360 is not an examination, there is no pass or fail, and the process is designed to enable you to reflect on and improve your practice.

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Could the results affect my revalidation?

No. The requirement for revalidation is likely to be participation in multi-source feedback, not the result itself. There is no ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ in ACP 360.  The inclusion of multi-source feedback in revalidation procedures is to encourage reflective practice, and to ensure that doctors are engaged in a process of identifying areas for improvement. The benchmarking information is there as a guide for you, and cannot be used as an assessment of whether you are fit to practice.


How should I read the main report?

You should read the report in full, and reflect on what it suggests are areas where you are strong and areas on which you might want to work in the future.  Do these fit with your self-perception?  You should not focus unduly on one single item but on domain scores and what the report as a whole tells you about yourself.  The benchmark scores are there to guide you.  Do not become fixated on whether you are above or below the mean.  Remember that a score of 4 means that your performance has been assessed as being moderately high (good) on the behaviour(s) covered by that item or domain.  Any score of 4 or above means that your patients and colleagues have high regard for you.

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What about free text feedback?

This can complement the numerical feedback in the main report by giving you further insight into your strengths and areas for development. The experience from other multi-source feedback tools which use free text is that participants find this component of the assessment valuable and encouraging.  We provide colleagues who assess you with clear guidance on how to use this section of the questionnaire constructively. The option of including free-text comments in the assessment is only open to participants who have a designated appraiser to receive the results.  The appraiser’s job is to share the feedback with you in a sensitive manner. Trusts that have chosen to make this option available to psychiatrists are strongly advised to ensure that those giving the feedback have had the necessary training. Please note we will not share feedback with individual participants- we only send to a nominated appraiser so that they can be discussed in a supportive way.


How do I use the report as part of my appraisal?

The ACP 360 report should be included in the portfolio of information that you discuss with your appraiser. If you opted for your colleague assessors to also make free-text comments about your strengths and areas for improvement, your appraiser should have received the results of this and discuss this with you at the appraisal meeting. The discussion with your appraiser should consider the strengths and areas for development in a balanced way.

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What else can I do with the results?

We recommend that you develop an action plan to address any issues that have been identified by the ACP 360 process. This might be part of a wider personal development plan agreed with your appraiser and/or peer group. Some issues might also be taken into the job planning process with your clinical manager. For example, if it is agreed during the appraisal discussion that an unduly heavy workload is a factor affecting your results.


We recommend that you make a diary note to review your action plan and progress 6 months after appraisal.  The action plan can then be further reviewed at your next appraisal meeting.


When should I next undergo ACP 360?

This should be discussed with your appraiser, as needs may vary. As a guide, we recommend that psychiatrists undertake ACP360 every 3 years.  The GMC will probably set a minimum frequency for participation for the purposes of relicensing and recertification.

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What if I enrol and do not complete the process?

If you wish to withdraw from ACP360 please contact us within 30 days of registration and we will offer you a full refund as long as you have not activated your account.

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