Good medical practice 2024 and appraisals questions and answers

This page answers questions from responsible officers about appraisals and appraisal systems following the publication of Good medical practice 2024.

If your question isn’t answered here, please contact your employer liaison adviser.

What do the updated standards mean for appraisals?

As well as the standards, we’ve also updated the names of the four domains in Good medical practice. This means that future appraisals will need to be structured in line with them. The domains, all equally important in describing what makes a good medical professional, are:

  • Knowledge, skills and development
  • Patients, partnership and communication
  • Colleagues, culture and safety
  • Trust and professionalism.

When and how will appraisal software and systems be updated? What role do responsible officers and employers have to play in that?

We’ve been speaking with the main providers of appraisal software across the UK to ensure they work with you to support a smooth transition. We’ve asked them to update their systems as soon possible but by April 2025 at the latest.

If you use another commercial provider or in-house solution, you’ll need to make sure your software and systems are up-to-date by this deadline too. If you need advice, do contact your employer liaison adviser.

In the meantime, please continue to discuss Good medical practice 2024 with your appraisers so they can begin to consider how future appraisals will be structured. We’re happy to help with this, for example by delivering training or developing resources to support you, so please get in touch.

Does the updated Good medical practice mean that appraisal conversations will be completely different?

Appraisal is a locally managed process so there’ll be different approaches that allow doctors to demonstrate that they’re practising in line with Good medical practice. The updated standards have an increased emphasis on championing fair and inclusive leadership, promoting patient centred care, tackling discrimination as well as the role all doctors have in creating respectful, fair and compassionate workplaces.

In Good medical practice we say good doctors must ‘reflect regularly on their standards of practice and use feedback and evidence to develop personal and professional insight’. This reflection includes ‘considering how your life experience, culture and beliefs influence your interactions with others and may impact on the decisions you make and the care you provide’ and appraisal provides a key opportunity to do this.

Our guidance on the supporting information doctors need for revalidation also emphasises how appraisal should enable and support reflection, allow doctors to focus on their wellbeing and help them identify any areas of development to benefit their practice and their patients.