Many activities in 2020/2021 were either postponed or scaled back due to the pandemic. For example, the MARQA (Medical Appraisal & Revalidation Quality Assurance) review for 2019/2020 was cancelled to help ease pressure on the workforce.

Picture of nurse in uniform Recruitment of appraiser course tutors were also cancelled this year; and the course tutors conference was replaced by a feedback session on how we had proposed to run the New Appraiser training in the new remote delivery format.

Below are some of the activities we were able to engage in:

Responsible Officers Information Day
NES did not run any development events for ROs but did join the Q&A panel in the rescheduled GMC-run RO Information Day which took place on 29 April 2021.

Some of the key themes shared included:

  • An appraisal missed because of the pandemic won’t prevent the RO from making a recommendation to revalidate if the doctor met the requirements;
  • GMC requirements to revalidate remains valid and in place during the pandemic but recognised that some supporting information may be difficult to obtain;
  • A reminder that a deferral carries no negative implications.

There was also a discussion around the collation of Patient Feedback. The core of it has not changed:

  • Formal solicited feedback required once every 5 years;
  • Allow a range of patients to take part
  • Ensure patients are not selected by the doctor; and
  • Doctor to receive anonymised summary of their feedback to reflect on.

Room for flexibility however was discussed:

  • Informal or unsolicited feedback review encouraged at each appraisal;
  • GMC templates now removed so that providers could use systems and documents that work locally.

Support for Appraisal Leads and Appraisal Admins

NES organised two National Appraisal Leads meeting via MS Teams on 9 June and 27 October 2020 respectively. Both meetings were very well attended and received.

The first meeting in June focussed on each health board’s preparations in the scheduled restart of appraisal in October as per CMO’s communication; and the difficulties surrounding the collation of Patient Feedback – the main sticking point being GDPR.

In the October meeting, the Appraisal Leads shared their respective and collated experiences of the appraisal restart and continued challenges with patient feedback. A discussion was also had on the new recruitment processes which was shared in August 2020, outlining eligibility criteria in gaining a place on the NES appraiser training programme, and guidance for Appraisal Leads in recruiting appraisers who were returning from extended absence or trained elsewhere.

The appraiser recruitment process document has been shared as an Appraisal Leads resource, which is available on the Medical Appraisal Scotland website:

There was no formal Appraisal Admin Teams meeting organised in 2020/2021 due to many staff members being redeployed and retirement. Instead, an informal “coffee morning” via MS Teams was organised on 6 May 2021 to catch up with everyone and discuss their experiences and workload during the pandemic. This was very well received, and we intend to run more of these in 2021/2022.

Appraisers Survey

An overview of the survey findings was disclosed in last year’s report. The full report on our findings was published live on 16 December 2020. You will find it on our website at:

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Scottish Medical Appraisal Survey Report 2019-2020

Team Changes

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Joyce McCrae first joined NES in March 2006. As Medical Appraisal team’s administrator, Joyce has helped with the running of over 150 appraiser training courses and has been an integral part of the team for 15 years.

Joyce will be retiring at the end of July 2021 and we wish her a long and happy retirement.

Meet the Team

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Prof Amjad Khan

NES Revalidation Lead

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Dr Christiane Shrimpton

Associate Postgraduate Dean for Appraisal and Revalidation

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William Liu

Training Manager (Medical Appraisal)

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Stacey Lucas

Administrative Officer (Medical Appraisal)

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Hannah Asrih

Administrative Officer (Medical Appraisal)

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Michael Teasdale

Analyst Business Partner (Digital)