Medical Appraisal in Scotland

Useful Information on Medical Appraisal

Update from 20 December 2021:

New Medical Appraisal Guidance Scotland document available below.

We recommend that you maintain a focus on the quality rather than the quantity of supporting information in your appraisal portfolio by demonstrating:

  • An appropriate level of detail in describing your scope of work.
  • Annual reflection on continuing professional development (CPD) learning activities across a balanced range appropriate to your scope of work.
  • 50 CPD credits per annum on average, irrespective of the number of sessions you work.
  • An annual PDP that includes learning activities across a balanced range appropriate to your scope of work.
  • You should include quality improvement activities (QIA) every year to demonstrate how you review the quality of your work and reflect on the standard of care you provide.
  • One significant event analysis (SEA) should be included on an annual basis (this can be an event where there has been a positive outcome as well as a potentially negative outcome).
  • Reflection on feedback from colleagues using a feedback tool compliant with the GMC requirements at least once in every five year cycle; it is important to ensure that there are appropriate respondents from across your whole scope of work.
  • Reflection on feedback from patients using a feedback tool compliant with the GMC requirements at least once in every five year cycle.
  • Reflection on other sources of feedback from patients, whether formal or informal, including compliments, where appropriate, on an annual basis.
  • Reflection on all complaints in which you have been personally named or involved.
  • Reflection on anything else you have been specifically asked to bring to the appraisal.

Getting Started


About Appraisal

The Scottish Medical Appraisal Scheme has been developed by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) in conjunction with a number of partners as detailed below.

Since April 2002 it has been a statutory requirement for all doctors in Primary and Secondary Care to have an annual appraisal

In Scotland, the Medical Appraisal Scheme is managed at a national level by NHS Education for Scotland's (NES) Medical Appraisal team. The Medical Appraisal team co-ordinate the development and monitoring of the scheme, providing support and guidance for Appraisers, Appraisees, Appraisal Advisers/Leads and Local Administrative teams.

Local Appraisal Advisers (LAAs) are responsible for the development and internal quality assurance of the Primary Care appraisal scheme in Scotland at their respective Health Boards. Each Health Board has its own Local Appraisal Adviser(s) providing support and guidance.

Local Appraisal Leads are the Secondary Care equivalent of LAAs.

The appraisal criteria are defined by the General Medical Council and further information is provided by individual Colleges and Academies.  For further information please visit the GMC website or the College or Academy website that applies to you.


Appraisal is a "corner stone" of medical Revalidation. Performed annually, it is designed to be a reflective interview between a doctor and a trained appraiser informed by available information about the whole range of that doctor's practice.

Appraisal does however require the appraiser comes to a judgment as to whether the information presented by the doctor is sufficient for revalidation purposes. Appraisal will provide information that will be used by the Responsible Officer to inform their recommendation to the GMC that a doctor should have his/her licence to practise maintained.

Annual appraisal is also an important component of NHS Scotland's efforts to deliver against the Healthcare Quality Strategy and to ensure continuous quality improvement. The majority of doctors already practise to a high standard and it is hoped that they will find appraisal a helpful process for both their personal and professional development.

For the small minority of doctors who fail to provide sufficient information at appraisal or about whom concerns are raised, annual appraisal will allow action to be taken while the situation is more likely to be remediable. This will be good for both patients and doctors. Guidance on remediation will be issued in due course.

This page was last updated on: 21/12/2021