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Making recommendations: non-engagement

This scenario looks at:

  • what engagement and non-engagement look like in practice
  • the doctor’s professional obligation to engage
  • when to tell us about non-engagement.

Scenario: non-engagement

Dr Louth is a consultant clinical oncologist at a teaching hospital. He last revalidated three years ago, and is retiring in under two years’ time.

He is an accomplished and respected doctor with a good record and good relationships with his colleagues and patients.

He has gathered all six types of supporting information since his last revalidation. But he has openly said he will no longer engage with appraisal, since he has already collected the relevant information and will retire before his next revalidation.

You're not sure what the best course of action is.

Key points: non-engagement

Key issues are:

  • all licensed doctors must have annual appraisals and collect supporting information about their practice
  • you can discuss issues around non-engagement with your employer liaison adviser at any time
  • you must employ all relevant local processes to address a doctor’s failure to engage, before you make a formal recommendation of non-engagement.

In more detail: non-engagement

Collecting supporting information is an ongoing process to show how licensed doctors continue to meet professional values.

One of the reasons for collecting supporting information is to discuss it at appraisal.

When you make a recommendation to revalidate, you confirm that Dr Louth has participated in annual appraisals that consider the whole of his practice and reflect the requirements of the Good medical practice framework for appraisal and revalidation.

Dr Louth is also under a professional obligation to take part actively and constructively in appraisal and similar systems of support and development (see Good medical practice, paragraphs 7–13).

His plans to retire have no bearing on this legal requirement or his professional obligation to participate in revalidation.

If Dr Louth refuses to attend his appraisal and does not engage sufficiently, and you have spoken to him to determine the reasons for non-engagement, you should talk to your employer liaison adviser about his failure to engage. You can do this at any time – you don’t need to wait until he is under notice.

If he continues to fail to engage, we can bring his submission date forward so you can make a formal recommendation of non-engagement.

But you should do this when you are satisfied that all local processes are exhausted.

If you intend to make a recommendation of non-engagement, you should discuss this first with your employer liaison adviser. You can find more information about the non-engagement process in our guide, Making a recommendation about a doctor's revalidation.