Supporting Information and Appraisal Platforms
What is Supporting Information and why is it required?
Supporting Information is used during appraisal with the aim of demonstrating that you remain up-to-date and fit to practice as a doctor in the UK - for the whole scope of your practice - and that you are continuing to meet the principles and values set out in the GMC's Good Medical Practice core guidance.
Supporting Information falls broadly into 4 categories:
- General Information: providing context about what you do in all aspects of your work
- Keeping Up-To-Date: how you are maintaining and enhancing the quality of your professional work
- Review of your Practice: how you are evaluating and improving the quality of your professional work
- Feedback on your Practice: how you are seeking and acting on feedback about the quality of your professional work
As this is about maintaining a UK Licence to Practise, your Supporting Information should be collected in, or relate to, your whole scope of work in the UK. Supporting Information from work done overseas will not normally be considered as demonstrating the quality of your practise in the UK, although it may provide additional information if agreed with your RO.
Your Supporting Information must cover any work you do in the UK that is:
- Clinical (including voluntary work) and non-clinical (including academic) roles
- NHS, independent sector, and private work
The GMC does not set a minimum or maximum quantity of Supporting Information you must collect.
Submitting your Supporting Information:
Two weeks prior to your appraisal date, you will need to send your Appraiser your necessary Supporting Information to allow them sufficient time to read and learn all about your work, and to discover what you have experienced since your last appraisal.
It is your responsibility to collect and submit this information in time.
You will need to provide your Appraiser with an outline of all four areas of your work, so they can familiarise themselves with the context in which you work across the entire scope of your practice, and see how you keep up-to-date by participating in continuing professional development (CPD) activities, how you review your practice and evaluate the quality of what you do, and how you obtain feedback on what you do so that you can see how the quality of what you do is perceived by other people.
You are encouraged to consider quality not quantity of supporting information – choosing clear examples within each supporting information category.
The Supporting Information you submit should then allow you and your Appraiser to discuss your CPD, any quality improvement activities (QIA) you have been involved in, any Significant Events (SE), and patient and colleague feedback (including complaints and compliments you have received). In addition, your Appraiser will want to know about the progress you have made in reaching the Personal Development Plan (PDP) goals agreed at your last appraisal, and that you accept the professional obligations placed on you in Good Medical Practice about your own health and probity.
You will not meet the GMC requirements simply by 'collecting' the required information – you must demonstrate examples of your reflective practice. Consider what evidence demonstrates your strengths, as well as areas that may benefit from further development, and choose examples based on their ability to generate meaningful reflection and discussion during your appraisal meetings. It is not necessary to document the detail of every event.
If you have any questions about what to include (or to leave out) of your portfolio of Supporting Information, your Appraiser can help. In addition, the GMC has produced a comprehensive guide on Supporting Information for Appraisal and Revalidation.
You can also visit our very informative page Wessex Appraisal Service review of new GMC Guidance on Supporting Information for Appraisal & Revalidation, plus we have a Preparation of Your Portfolio page, with handy guide sheet, as well as a list FAQs and answers.
The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has been working to streamline and simplify the guidance provided to GPs about what they need to provide in their appraisal portfolios. You may find the information contained in the RCGP Guide to Supporting Information for Appraisal and Revalidation (updated 2018) and the RCGP Mythbusters (October 2016) helpful. Read more at the RCGP Revalidation landing page.
Try to collect Supporting Information throughout the year:
Most people find it helpful to be organised and to collect information throughout the year, rather than trying to do it all at once, and it is important to keep the effort involved in preparing your portfolio proportional – preparation for appraisal should not be so time-consuming that it takes you away from patient care. Your Appraiser is far more interested in how you have reflected on the year gone by, than in reading certificates of attendance at courses, conferences, and so on.
Digital Platforms for the collation of Supporting Information:
There are various digital platforms available to use by doctors for the collation of Supporting Information for appraisal. Below are the three most widely-used digital appraisal platforms, listed in order of popularity:
- Appraisal by FourteenFish
- Clarity & RCGP Appraisal toolkit for GPs
- MAGMAF4.2 for Medical Appraisal 2020
The electronic platform you choose is completely up to you, and your Appraiser should be able to offer informed advice if you need guidance with that decision. Whichever you use, there will be prompts to guide you through the completion of your pre-appraisal information.
Please do make sure that any information you submit is anonymised to remove any patient or colleague-identifiable data, and that you email it to your Appraiser from a secure email address.
Please see also: