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Support Groups

The NHS England requirement

Each appraiser should demonstrate that they have kept up to date and fit to practice as an appraiser annually by completion of appropriate IG and E&D updates, and participation in a minimum of three appropriate appraisal calibration opportunities:

  • One regional/national session
  • One local session
  • One additional session (regional or local at the choice of the appraiser)

* Should you, in one year, not be able to attend a regional/national session, you will be expected to attend three local sessions and the following year attend a mix of regional/national and local.

For further information, refer to the new Appraisal Calibration Requirements 2019-2020 on this website.

For appraisers to demonstrate that they have met the new annual appraisal-related calibration requirements, each area must provide sufficient opportunities for appraisers to learn about new developments and to benchmark their practice.

Opportunities for appraiser calibration provided by the Wessex Appraisal Service


  • New Appraiser Training (NAT) courses – two day regional/national events
  • Current Appraiser Skills Assessment (CASA) courses – one day regional/national events
  • Annual Appraiser Conferences – one day regional/national events in Dorset and Hampshire & Isle of Wight (HIoW)
  • Appraiser Support Group Meetings – local events, held three times per year per Support Group


  • Appraiser Skills Updates – one day regional/national events
  • Bespoke appraisal-related educational events - regional/national events, duration depends on content
  • Collaborations with the University of Winchester to provide postgraduate-level study at Certificate, Diploma, and Masters level in appraisal with regional/national events of varying length, but all are a significant time commitment
  • Opportunities to meet with the Senior Appraiser – local events (meetings will be notified to the Admin Team to record)

Support group structure:

The Support Group is a group of approximately fifteen appraisers supported by a Senior Appraiser. Each Senior Appraiser supports two groups throughout the year, with their ad hoc queries, the probationary appraisals for new appraisers, the quality assurance of appraisal outputs for all appraisers, and regular Support Group meetings in the ‘quarters’ when the Service is not also offering the Annual Appraisers Conferences.

To ensure accurate cascade of information from the Whole Team Meetings (WTM)

  • Set the dates of the WTM early and a year ahead
    • Prepare the Minutes from the WTM and a ‘Hot Topics/Key Learning’ summary to be cascaded out to all support groups within two weeks of the WTM
  • Set the dates of the Appraiser Support Groups at least two weeks after the WTM date to allow time for the information sheet for sharing to be prepared centrally (dates to be agreed for the next quarterly meeting at the last and shared with all appraisers)
    • WTM June - for June/July support groups
    • WTM September - for September Annual Conferences
    • WTM December - for December/January support groups
    • WTM February - for February/March support groups
  • Advertise the dates and venues of the Support Group meetings centrally – we will add these to our website:

This means that Senior Appraisers are expected to run six Support Group meetings every year, three for each of their two groups. On occasion, it may be appropriate to run a joint meeting across their groups or with another Senior Appraiser.

To ensure accurate attendance records and minutes are kept

  • All groups to use the ‘OnOurAgenda’ resources to provide a core structure for Agenda and Minutes. (Find website HERE).
  • Apart from the agreed ‘Hot Topics/Key Learning’ summary which is about ensuring all appraisers have access to similar information at a similar time, the remainder of the agenda to be at the discretion of the group and based on group needs
  • Every Support Group meeting to include opportunities to calibrate professional judgements by discussing appraisals
  • Maintaining an accurate attendance list is essential to allow calibration monitoring and identify any appraisers who are having difficulty meeting the requirements (who may need further support)
  • The central office will continue to provide the group Administrator to attend daytime meetings but groups that choose evening meetings cannot expect that central office staff will be able to attend on a routine basis
  • To allow full and frank discussions, minutes to be kept brief - apart from the information sharing element in the ‘Hot Topics/Key Learning’ summary and any new issues to be flagged to the wider team.