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Guidance on supporting information for appraisal and revalidation

Your supporting information - colleague feedback

The purpose of gathering and reflecting upon colleague feedback

  • To understand how the range of people you work with view your practice.
  • To help you identify areas of strength and development, and highlight changes you could make to improve the care or services you provide.
  • To evaluate whether changes you have made to your practice in light of earlier feedback have had a positive impact.

The GMC's requirements

a At least once in your revalidation cycle you must collect, reflect on, and discuss at your annual appraisal, feedback from your colleagues.

b The colleagues who are asked to give feedback must be chosen from across your whole scope of practice, and must include people from a range of different roles who may not be doctors.

c You must choose colleagues impartially and be able to explain to your appraiser, if asked, why you have chosen the colleagues who have given your feedback.

d Wherever possible you should use standard questionnaires that have been validated and are independently administered to maintain objectivity and confidentiality. You must agree any alternative approaches with your responsible officer.

e You must reflect on what the feedback means for your current and future practice.

Frequency and methods

70 At least once in your revalidation cycle you must collect feedback from colleagues on all of the different types of work you do across your whole practice. If you are unsure how to collect colleague feedback, you should check any local appraisal guidance and discuss with your responsible officer.

71 The organisations where you practise are likely to have systems and processes in place so you can gather feedback using standard questionnaires that have been validated and are independently administered. If you practise in settings that do not have these systems in place, you will need to think about how you will gather colleague feedback, for example through an independent provider.

72 You should use standard questionnaires that are consistent with the principles, values and responsibilities set out in Good medical practice, and have been validated. Where possible, your standard questionnaires should be independently administered to reassure your colleagues that their feedback will be anonymous. 

73 When using standard questionnaires, the independent provider will be able to tell you how many responses you will need, to give an accurate reflection of your practice. Read additional guidance on using standard questionnaires.

74 Some organisations might have other mandatory feedback mechanisms in place such as 360 degree feedback processes. In exceptional circumstances, your responsible officer may agree to you using feedback from these other processes instead of feedback through standard questionnaires.

Think broadly about who can provide colleague feedback

75 You should discuss where, how and from whom you should collect colleague feedback from across your whole practice with your appraiser or check local guidance on colleague feedback. They can help you identify colleagues who can give feedback, including non-healthcare professionals. You should think about the nature of your practice, including the teams with which you work and the organisational environments in which you practise. This should include peers, people you supervise, individuals who support your work and those who you interact or liaise with from other professions. Your feedback should be gathered from colleagues who reflect the range of people who you work with, and not only other doctors. For example, this might include colleagues from other specialties, junior doctors, nurses, allied healthcare professionals, clinical directors, and management and clerical staff.

Colleague feedback should be objective

76 Feedback from your colleagues is an opportunity to identify areas for improvement and further develop your strengths. You must choose colleagues impartially. You will get the most valuable feedback by selecting colleagues who you feel will be honest in their assessment and give constructive feedback on what you do well and where you could improve. This might mean selecting colleagues with whom you have worked in difficult or challenging circumstances.

77 Your appraiser can help you decide which colleagues to select for feedback across the whole of your scope of practice. You will also need to be able to explain to your appraiser, if asked, why you have chosen the colleagues who have given your feedback.

78 Where possible, feedback should be anonymous. If you are able to identify colleagues through the feedback they give, you must remain professional, particularly where the feedback may not be favourable.

79 The feedback from your colleagues must cover the whole of your practice and be of sufficient quantity to give an accurate and comprehensive picture of how your colleagues view your professional practice.

Reflecting on your colleague feedback

80 Feedback from your colleagues will help you understand their experiences of working with you and how they view your practice.

81 Reflecting on your colleagues’ feedback will help you to identify changes you can make to improve the care or services you provide. It will also allow you to identify your strengths so you can build on these further.