Appraisal Guide for F3s or locums in the UK

A simple guide to help you understand appraisal and revalidation as a locum or F3 (FY3/Foundation year 3) doctor.

Common Questions

Who has to go through appraisal and revalidation?

The GMC says that doctors “must participate in a whole practice appraisal every year unless there are clear and reasonable mitigating circumstances that prevent [them] from doing so.” All licensed UK doctors must also meet the GMC’s requirements for revalidation. It is the doctor’s responsibility to make sure they meet the requirements to avoid their license being placed at risk.

How do appraisal and revalidation differ?

Appraisal is an annual review of your work and revalidation happens usually every 5 years and takes into account each of your annual appraisals.

Who is my appraiser?

Your “designated body” (normally the trust, company or agency employing you) must support you to access an annual appraisal with an appropriate appraiser.

Do I have to collect supporting information for my appraisal?

Yes- the GMC say you must collect (and then reflect on and discuss) supporting information for your appraisal.

Is collecting evidence enough?

No, you must reflect on your supporting information: what it says about your practice and how it will help you improve the quality of care and service you provide as a doctor.

What information do I need to collect for appraisal?

There are six types of supporting information you must collect, reflect on and discuss at your appraisal:

1. Continuing professional development (CPD)

What is CPD?

CPD is any learning outside of undergraduate education or postgraduate training that helps you maintain and improve your performance.

What sorts of topics should I cover?

CPD should take account of the four domains in the GMC Good Medical Practice Framework:

  • knowledge, skills and performance
  • safety and quality
  • communication, partnership and teamwork
  • maintaining trust.

Your CPD should:

  • be a mix of formal and informal learning
  • include local as well as regional, national or international activities
  • support the learning objectives in your Personal Development Plan
  • include peer-based learning in your specialty or field of practice, e.g. peer reviews, teaching or tutoring or through CPD schemes run by medical royal colleges or professional associations.

Examples of CPD activities:

  • Formal teaching organised by your department or hospital
  • Informal teaching on a ward, in clinic or in the operating theatre
  • Conference attendance
  • Courses (sometimes they are accredited for “points” which can be important if you are using a colleges guidelines for revalidation or appraisal- the GMC doesn’t specify specific point numbers that you need to achieve as an F3)


Keep a record of the activity - even if informal - and your reflection. If it is a formal activity you can also keep a record of any documentation relating to the activity (Workplace Based Assessment, Certificate of completion, conference certificate, Abstract booklet, teaching feedback. On the MedAll portfolio we help you store and organise your activities for free, as well as keeping a record of the reflection associated with each activity.

2. Quality improvement activity

You must participate in quality improvement activities related to all areas of your practice.

Examples of Quality Improvement activities:

  • Participating in a national audit being conducted in your area of practice.
  • Review of your performance against benchmarking data, e.g. morbidity, mortality or complication statistics.
  • Clinical audit or quality improvement project that measures the care with which you have been involved.
  • Case review or discussion.
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of a teaching programme.

Supporting information you can collect:

  • Audit Report, Certificate or letter of participation in national, regional or local audit.
  • Workplace Based Assessment like Case Based Discussion to show what the GMC describes as a “documented account of interesting or challenging cases that you have discussed with a peer.” At MedAll we provide a free and quick Case Based Discussion tool that stores a record of this for your appraisal. Go to the “training” section and hit the “workplace based assessment” tab.
  • Feedback on a teaching programme. You can use the “teaching feedback” tool to distribute and automatically collate teaching feedback forms on MedAll.


You should reflect on the results of each activity and discuss these with your appraiser. If you are using MedAll to record a Workplace Based Achievement as your supporting information you can add a reflection to each Case-Based-Discussion (or Mini-CEX/Direct Observation of Procedural Skills) assessment simply by writing your reflection on step 3 of the MedAll assessment before sending it to the assessor.

3. Significant events

You must declare and reflect on every significant event.
Your reflection and discussion at appraisal should focus on the insight and learning from the event.
You can store these as stand-alone reflection events on the MedAll tool: go to the training section and hit the “reflection” tab. You must keep it anonymous and must not include patient identifiable details.

4. Feedback from patients or those to whom you provide medical services

You only have to do this once in a revalidation cycle so it’s not necessary for your appraisal every year.
You should use standard, validated questionnaires and ensure that they are independently administed. This helps to maintain objectivity and anonymity.


If you are a doctor working in an organisation with a MedAll institutional subscription you have access to independently administered patient feedback forms.

5. Feedback from colleagues

Whilst this is mandated at least once in a revalidation cycle it is quite easy to organise amongst your colleagues so many F3s and locums do this more frequently to evidence their compliance.
Colleagues asked to give feedback must be chosen from across your whole scope of practice, and must include people from a range of different roles.
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.
You should use standard questionnaires that have been validated and are independently administered to maintain objectivity and confidentiality.
You can use the MedAll Multi-source feedback tool for free.
You must reflect on what the feedback means for your current and future practice.


To make this as easy as possible we have made this available for free on the MedAll portfolio. You can send and independently collate Multi-Source Feedback (otherwise known as “Team Assessment of Behaviour” or “360 degree feedback”) forms. Head to your account and then navigate to the “training” section and hit the “Feedback” tab. You can also reflect on the results.

6. Compliments and complaints

You must declare and reflect on all formal complaints made about you. You should also reflect on any compliments you receive.
Colleagues asked to give feedback must be chosen from across your whole scope of practice, and must include people from a range of different roles.
At your appraisal you should select those complaints that evidence your insight, learning and cause a change to your practice.

We're making appraisal stress free.

MedAll helps you collect evidence for your appraisal. We organise, store and reflect on all of your evidence (e.g. certificates and documents) workplace based assessments, multi-source feedback and teaching feedback - in one place, forever.