Domain 3:

Communication, Partnership & Teamwork

For Domain 3, both aspects of Core Elements D (Feedback from Colleagues, and Feedback from Patients) are required once in a 5 year cycle (though not necessarily in the same year); and Core Element E (Complaints and Compliments) is required for every appraisal.

Core Elements

  • D:  Feedback from Colleagues (required once in each five year cycle)
  • D:  Feedback from Patients (required once in each five year cycle)
  • E:  Complaints and Compliments (required every appraisal)


For Domain 3 you are asked (as part of Domain 3's Core Elements), at least once in a 5 year cycle, to submit material for Feedback from Colleagues (MSF), as well as Feedback from Patients, though not necessarily in the same year. These can count as your quality improvement activities for the years in which you undertake them.

The details of these surveys are found in the main Toolkit and are no different for sessional doctors.

It is recognised that sessional doctors may have greater difficulty in completing these feedback surveys, and we advise that you should ask a practice manager to assist you. If possible try to do the survey in a place where you have worked before, and where other doctors, nurses and staff will know you.

Complaints & Critical Incidents statement

You will also be expected to complete a declaration statement on Complaints and Critical Incidents - this is done under Domain 4: Maintaining Trust.  For compliments or particular pieces of positive feedback received, please document these in the available comments box on the appraisal form itself on SOAR.

If you did not partake in MSF or have no formal Patient Feedback, we ask you to reflect on Working with Colleagues and Patient / Carer Involvement respectively instead.


There are tools for this in the main toolkit.

  • Patient satisfaction surveys
  • Multi-source feedback (MSF)
  • CARE questionnaire
  • Patient enablement questionnaire
  • Formative observation proforma
  • Approved video
  • Team-working for sessional doctors tool
  • Team working account proforma

Already completed MSF?

If you have already completed an MSF and are not looking to do one for your forthcoming appraisal, you can consider some of the suggestions below for review.

Communication Skills (these tools could also be used in domains 1 or 2)

  • Formative observation proforma working with a sessional doctors' group:
    • using role play
    • audio records of consultations
  • Working with a colleague in the out of hours service: you could use recordings of telephone consultations
  • Approved video - this needs a practice's agreement, equipment, and probably extra time for your consultations, so potentially a longer surgery - as well as a trained observer to give you feedback (see the more detailed advice below)
  • Use of a patient enablement questionnaire or the CARE measure

Formative observation proforma

This obviously requires a collaborator, preferably one who is trained in the techniques of observation and feedback. However, if no-one is available to you in this role, you may wish to consider trying the technique as part of a sessional doctors' group.

It is better for a small group of you to work on this than to work in pairs: the feedback will be more objective and there is less likelihood that you will avoid giving constructive but possibly critical feedback. Remember, if you decide to undertake work of this type and you are new to it, it is helpful to work on the basic principles:

  1. The observed person is invited to state what went well.
  2. The observed person is invited to state what could have been done differently.
  3. The observer is invited to state what went well.
  4. The observer is invited to state what could have been done differently.
  5. The observed person is allowed to reflect and respond, noting lessons learned.

You may be able to get help from your local postgraduate centre for activities like this, and it is always worth asking.

Approved video

It is unlikely that you will be in a position to set up video facilities if you are visiting a surgery on a one-off basis.

Equally if you are doing a longer term locum in a training or teaching practice it is likely that they will have video equipment and the required confidentiality and consent forms available and you may be able to negotiate their use. You might even be lucky and get feedback on your video as part of an in-house teaching session.

There is also a scheme for sending off your video to NES for feedback. You need to allow plenty of time for this and a fee is chargeable. Ask your appraiser if you would like details, or visit the GPCPD website.

If you have recently completed vocational training you may have your registrar videos available. However, the intention is that this appraisal topic allows you to learn something new.  If you provide video material that has already been used for summative assessment, there may be few new lessons to learn from it.

If you want to use video material, make sure you consult with your appraiser first.

Working with colleagues

Team-working report: this is the same as for a Principal, but focussed on a single challenging event which required you to work with several people to resolve it.

Our Advice

Whenever possible, try to form an association with a practice, practices or group of peers. In these groups it will usually be possible to use tools and examples designed for group work, which have the clear advantage of allowing you to reflect with colleagues, learn with them, and get an external feedback on the quality of what you are doing.

This page was last updated on: 18/08/2016