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Collecting colleague and patient feedback for revalidation

Colleague and patient feedback for revalidation

Our Guidance on supporting information for appraisal and revalidation outlines the six types of supporting information you need to collect and reflect on at your appraisals for revalidation.

The information you collect should help you identify ways to improve your practice.

You should collect feedback from your colleagues and your patients at least once every five years.

Our patient feedback case studies outline the ways doctors in a range of roles have met our requirements. They should be especially useful if you don't see many patients.

Remember – both positive and negative feedback are valuable if you can use them to reflect on your practice.

Your appraisals should take into account all the information you gather. Don't use negative feedback to make judgements in isolation.

If serious concerns are raised, they should be handled through our usual channels, rather than through revalidation processes.

Help developing a questionnaire

Most doctors use questionnaires to gather colleague and patient feedback.

Well-developed questionnaires for revalidation:

  • reflect the values and principles of Good medical practice
  • employ good questionnaire design, such as using plain English and including space for free text comments
  • take into account respondent needs, for example, different formats to meet the needs of different patients
  • are piloted and validated for use by doctors of similar seniority, specialty and working environment
  • include instructions explaining the purpose of the exercise, how to complete it, what responses will be used for, whether responses will be confidential and that individuals can choose not to take part.

Help implementing a questionnaire

A well-implemented survey process:

  • fulfils the requirements identified through pilot studies, such as the number of responses needed for reliable results, the mix of participants and how they are selected, and the time needed to complete the questionnaire
  • uses a selection process that minimises bias, for example, by ensuring participants represent the people you work with (colleagues) or see (patients)
  • does not involve you (the doctor), the appraiser or responsible officer in collation of completed forms
  • gives you an individual summary of their results in an anonymised form
  • gives you feedback on their results, given by a trained individual (such as an appraiser), within the context of their area of practice
  • is supported by adequate time and resources to allow participants to complete the exercise
  • includes appropriate training for appraisers and appraisees
  • allows time for a second round of surveys if there are issues with the first round
  • is periodically and systematically reviewed and evaluated, to make sure it remains fit for purpose.

Our guidance on colleague and patient questionnaires gives more detail on good practice in survey design and collection.

GMC example questionnaires

We've developed example questionnaires for collecting:

These questionnaires are generic and can be used by any doctor. You may prefer a questionnaire designed to meet the specific needs of the people you survey. We don't prescribe or approve the use of any questionnaires or survey provider. 

Our questionnaires have been subject to detailed research. This has enabled us to identify particular biases and limitations. If you use our questionnaires you should follow our accompanying instructions.

Detailed information for appraisers and those responsible for feeding back questionnaire results is in Information for appraisers: Interpreting and handling multisource feedback results.

A leaflet for patients about giving feedback

Our leaflet, Giving feedback to your doctor tells patients why their feedback is important, how doctors use it, and what make the most helpful feedback. We recommend giving patients a copy of the leaflet with their questionnaire. This should help you get more and better quality responses. 

Different versions of the leaflet are available to print below:

These Frequently asked questions for patients give details on the patient feedback process.