Colleague and patient feedback for revalidation

This page is for doctors, responsible officers and others who want to know about collecting colleague and patient feedback for revalidation.

Colleague and patient feedback is one type of supporting information that doctors must collect and reflect on at appraisal for revalidation. It should help them reflect on how they work, and identify ways they can improve their practice. Doctors should seek feedback from both colleagues and patients at least once every five years.

We have developed some case studies about collecting patient feedback with the help of doctors in a range of roles, that will help you understand how you can meet our requirements.

Our Supporting information for appraisal and revalidation guidance gives more information about discussing feedback at appraisal.

Help developing and implementing a questionnaire

We have guidance to help those who develop, commission and administer questionnaires.

Questionnaires doctors use must:

  • reflect the values and principles of Good medical practice
  • be designed in line with principles of good questionnaire design, such as using plain English and including space for free text comments
  • take into account the needs of those being asked to complete the questionnaire, for example, by having different formats that meet the needs of different patient groups
  • be piloted and validated for use by doctors of similar seniority, specialty and working environment to show they are effective for the purposes of revalidation
  • include instructions for participants about the purpose of the exercise, how to complete it, what responses will be used for, whether responses will be confidential or anonymous and that respondents can choose not to complete it.

The process must:

  • take account of requirements identified through piloting, such as number of responses needed to get a reliable result, the mix of participants and how they are selected, time required to complete the questionnaire
  • involve selection of participants in a defined way that minimises bias. For example by ensuring selection of a range of participants, representative of the people the doctor works with (colleagues) or sees (patients)
  • not involve the doctor, appraiser or Responsible Officer in collation of completed forms
  • provide the doctor with an individual summary of their results in an  anonymised form
  • provide the doctor with feedback on their results, given by a trained individual (such as an appraiser), within the context of their area of practice
  • be supported by adequate resource and time to allow participants to complete the exercise, with appropriate training for appraisers and appraisees
  • allow sufficient time for the doctor to undertake a second exercise if issues are identified during the first
  • be periodically and systematically reviewed and evaluated by the organisation, to ensure it remains fit for purpose in light of its revalidation strategy.

Download our guidance on colleague and patient questionnaires.

Example questionnaires and FAQs

We have developed example questionnaires for:

  • colleague feedback
  • patient feedback
  • a self-assessment.

These questionnaires are generic and can be used by any doctor. However, you may prefer to use a questionnaire that has been designed to meet the needs of those you’re asking to give you feedback.

We don’t prescribe or approve the use of any questionnaires or survey provider.

If you use our questionnaires it’s important you follow our accompanying instructions.

Key points are:

  • Doctors should not hand out questionnaires to patients themselves.
  • Doctors should not see individual responses.
  • Responses must be collected independently of the doctor, appraiser and Responsible Officer.
  • Doctors should use an independent survey company to process the responses.
  • Doctors should receive a personalised summary report of their feedback to reflect on.

If you are an appraiser, or are responsible for feeding back questionnaire results, detailed information is available in Information for appraisers: Interpreting and handling multisource feedback results.


Frequently asked questions:

A leaflet for patients about giving feedback

We have produced a leaflet for patients about giving feedback to their doctors. This tells patients why their feedback is important, how doctors use it, and what makes the most helpful feedback.

We recommend a copy of the leaflet is given to patients with a questionnaire.

This should help doctors get more responses from their patients, and better quality feedback.

This leaflet is designed to be printed locally, in colour or black and white, on a single side of A4. We don’t have printed copies to order.

Download our leaflet, Giving feedback to your doctor (pdf)

Giving feedback to your doctor (Welsh version) (pdf)

Giving feedback to your doctor (easy read version) (pdf)

Giving feedback to your doctor (large print version) (doc)