GPs question the value of appraisal

The majority of GPs think that their appraisal is of 'marginal' value or no value at all, according to a study in the BJGP.

GPs in Scotland were asked if they perceived their yearly appraisal to have had an impact on their learning and development.

Of 670 respondents, 38.6 per cent said their first appraisal was of marginal value, and just over 14.3 per cent said it was of no value.

After two appraisals, the proportion of GPs who found it 'valuable' or 'extremely valuable' dropped from 47.1 per cent to 40.7 per cent.

The study also found that the majority of GPs said that appraisal had little or no effect in changing the way they worked across seven areas of Good Medical Practice.

Although overall opinion of the system was not good, 47 per cent of GPs said that it had changed their educational activity and 15 per cent said it had influenced their career development.

Appraisal was introduced in Scotland in 2003, a year before it became a contractual obligation across the rest of the UK.

Appraisal Feedback
52.9% of GPs said appraisal was either of marginal or no value at all. Source: BJGP.

BJGP: 2008; 58: 82-7, live links at

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