Assessing a doctor’s performance

If you refer a doctor to us because of issues with their professional performance, we may need to direct a performance assessment. We use an independent team of assessors to gather information from a range of sources. A performance assessment can include:

  • Medical records review
  • Observation of practice
  • Interviews with colleagues
  • Interviews with the doctor
  • Case based discussion
  • Knowledge test
  • A simulated surgery
  • OSCEs

Following the assessment the team will write a report based on their findings and make recommendations to us about the future management of the case.

The team are not investigating any complaints made about the doctor. The team visit to undertake an independent and objective view on the doctor’s current performance.

What we need from you

  • We will most likely need to visit your organisation, over several days, to gather documents. We will need access to medical records, contact details for colleagues we wish to interview, and rooms in which to work.
  • Most often we will need two rooms, one for the interviews and one for the medical record review. We usually ask for rooms that hold at least six people.
  • Depending on your organisation / medical record format, we might ask that you print the medical records and give them to us at an earlier stage. This may prevent the need to visit with the team of assessors. The performance assessment officer (PAO) – your GMC contact – will arrange the assessment details.
  • It is often easiest if you delegate the arrangements for rooms and records to a colleague in the relevant department. We are happy to copy you into these emails if you wish.

What we will do

  • The PAO will contact you with the dates of the visit. They will ensure everything runs as planned and within our rules. They will also be your point of contact for the purpose of the assessment.
  • We aim to give 6–8 weeks’ notice to you should we need to visit your organisation.
  • Following the visit the doctor will attend our office in Manchester for further testing.
  • The team will then collate their evidence and produce their report. The report will usually be completed about 6–8 weeks after the visit to your organisation.
  • To check on the progress of an assessment you should contact your PAO, who will be happy to update you.
  • Please see the performance assessment section of our website for more information on the process.