What happens at the interview?

Interviews are chaired by the lay assessor who will be accompanied by at least one other assessor. They are scheduled for between 45 minutes and an hour, but may be shorter depending on how much information you have to offer.

The interview will be formal and structured. But the assessors will do what they can to put you at ease. You are welcome to have someone with you for support, but they won't be allowed to take part in the interview. You’re not allowed to record the interview.

The assessors will make notes during the interview. A professional, independent shorthand writer will also take a full transcript. This transcript will be sent to the doctor being assessed and they will have the opportunity to comment on it. If you wish, we can send you a copy of the transcript.

The questions

The assessors will ask a standard set of questions that are designed to gather information about the doctor's practice. The topics covered by the questions include:

  • Clinical care
  • How the doctor maintains their performance and keeps up to date through educational activities, audit and appraisal
  • Relationships with patients and carers
  • Working with colleagues

There will be no questions about specific incidents or allegations. 

For each question, you'll be asked about your experience of an area of the doctor’s work. If it is an area you have knowledge of, you will be asked for your opinion on how the doctor performs and for examples to support this. Your examples don't need to include patient details.

The assessors do not expect any one person to be in a position to answer all of the questions. If you can't answer a question, it is completely acceptable to say so – please don't try to guess what you think the doctor might do.

We don't disclose the questions in advance. But some examples are:

  • Do you have experience of how [doctor’s name] keeps his/her skills and knowledge up to date? If yes – please give us examples.
  • Do you have experience of [doctor’s name] taking a history from patients? If yes – please give us examples.
  • Do you have experience of [doctor’s name] teaching, training or providing supervision or support to colleagues? If yes – please give us examples.