The main focus of the appraisal process is to support the professional and personal development of the doctor.
To achieve this, appraisal must be a safe and confidential space for a doctor to review their achievements, challenges and aspirations. By participating in appraisal doctors demonstrate the key professional behaviour of learning from reflection. This reflection needs to encompass the entire scope of their work – be it in direct clinical service, in education and training, in research, or in what is broadly termed ‘health policy’.

Medical Appraisal Guide (MAG) 2022 – Fit for the future

The Medical Appraisal Guide 2022 (MAG 2022) launched on 8 June 2022. It replaces the ‘Appraisal 2020’ process created for the flexible restart of appraisals during COVID-19.

It builds on the successes of Appraisal 2020, but no longer focuses on the pandemic – instead asking what the impact of the period since the last appraisal has been. We have learned from what doctors told us they valued – a return to a more formative and developmental discussion, with less documentary requirements, and an opportunity to talk about health and wellbeing if they wish.

We have worked hard to ensure that the Medical Appraisal Guide 2022 describes proportionate appraisal processes that are appropriate for all doctors in all sectors and geographies. The core materials are available below.

The GMC have confirmed that these appraisals are consistent with existing GMC guidance for appraisal and revalidation

Advice to doctors who do not currently have an appraisal toolkit provider

The MAG 2022 Template (which sits alongside the Medical Appraisal Guide 2022) is not sufficient to be an appraisal platform.

It cannot be accessed from any device, it cannot be filled in, it does not carry information forward from one year to the next, nor allow the sign offs or appraisal outputs to be completed. It is intended as a support for the electronic toolkit providers in developing their IT solutions if they do not already include the features identified.

It was developed in collaboration with key stakeholders from across all sectors and geographies, the GMC and the BMA. The GMC have confirmed that the updated process for appraisal continues to meet all their requirements for a model to support the revalidation recommendation by the Responsible Officer. We have worked hard to maintain the reduction in the documentary load for appraisal and the rebalanced focus on the personal and professional development of the doctor.

It replaces the former RST / NHSEI MAG4.2 interactive pdf. as the template to inform IT providers. The MAG4.2 has not been updated since well before the introduction of appraisal 2020 and now has structural problems. It does not open in most modern browsers and there is a risk of it crashing and losing the data.

Doctors are being recommended to swap to a platform that has been updated. The best providers have a good Switch function to pull in your previous appraisal information. The Academy is also aware that NHS England are steering doctors who have previously relied on the MAG 4.2 form towards an online service.

Individual doctors in England still have the choice of which appraisal platform to use (in Scotland and Wales, there are country wide appraisal systems).

If you have been a doctor without an online appraisal toolkit, it is now advised that you bring your work into one place where it can be securely stored and added to from wherever you are.

Learn more about MAG 2022

The MAG 2022 aims to:

  • Set out a process for medical appraisal that balances the primary supportive and developmental purposes of appraisal with the assurance function that supports revalidation
  • Act as a reference for responsible officers to consider when devising their appraisal processes, so that the GMC can be confident that approaches are consistent and doctors can have a similar experience wherever they work in the UK
  • Build on the Medical Appraisal Guide, taking into account subsequent work led by the Academy, MAG 2020 in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Take into account that many doctors have multiple or joint employers – such as for doctors with a portfolio career working on a contract basis with a range of organisations, for public health doctors engaged with the UK Health Security Agency, or for clinical academics based upon the principles outlined in the Follett Report and then in the joint guidance agreed between university employers (UCEA), the BMA Medical Academic Staff Committee (MASC), and the Medical Schools Council
  • Complement and build on existing processes for professional development and governance. Different groups of doctors such as leaders, managers, academics, those working in industry, those with no immediate clinical roles, or independent doctors working in isolation, may require adapted processes with the flexibility to reflect their own circumstances, although the purposes and principles (including the need to cover the full scope of practice) will remain consistent for all doctors.

The MAG 2022 is advisory because the statutory responsibility for the delivery of appraisal as laid out in The Medical Profession (Responsible Officers) Regulations 2010) lies with responsible officers.

For this reason local/regional requirements for appraisal may differ from those described in this document, but the principles remain the same.

The guide does not supersede or limit the extant GMC core requirements for revalidation or the guidance issued in the devolved nations that are set out in the following publications: