Skip to main content

Medical appraisal

The main focus of the appraisal process is to support the professional and personal development of the doctor.

To achieve this, appraisals must be a safe and confidential space for a doctor to review their achievements, challenges and aspirations. By participating in appraisals 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 in June 2022. It replaced the ‘Appraisal 2020’ process created for the flexible restart of appraisals during COVID-19.

We learned from what doctors told us they valued – a return to a more formative and developmental discussion, with fewer documentary requirements, and an opportunity to talk about health and wellbeing if they wish.

We 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 GMC confirmed that MAG 2022 is consistent with existing GMC guidance for appraisal and revalidation.

The MAG 2022:

  • Sets out a process for medical appraisal that balances the supportive and developmental purposes of appraisal with the assurance function that supports revalidation
  • Acts as a reference for responsible officers 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
  • Builds on the 2020 Medical Appraisal Guide, taking into account subsequent work led by the Academy in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Takes into account that many doctors have multiple or joint employers – such as doctors with a portfolio career working on a contract basis with a range of organisations, or 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
  • Complements and builds 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 is with responsible officers (The Medical Profession (Responsible Officers) Regulations 2010). For this reason local/regional requirements for appraisal may differ from those described in MAG 2022 but the principles remain the same.


The MAG 2022 guide does not supersede or limit the existing GMC core requirements for revalidation or the guidance issued in the devolved nations set out in the following publications:

Good Medical Practice (GMC)
Supporting information for Appraisal and Revalidation (GMC)
Effective clinical governance for the medical profession (GMC)
Medical Appraisal Guidance Scotland
All Wales Medical Appraisal Policy
Appraisal for doctors and dentists (excluding GPs) (Northern Ireland)
GP Appraisal and revalidation (Northern Ireland)