SpR Appraisals in Clinical Genetics
What is appraisal?
Appraisal is an ongoing confidential process. It is a series of
meetings between trainee and trainer (the educational supervisor)
that is primarily educational and focussed on the trainee and their
personal and professional needs. As appraisal is a one to one
confidential tool, any documentation arising from it should not be
used to inform any formal assessment processes unless specifically
agreed by both parties.
Who organises the appraisal?
When the clinical genetic specialist registrars were asked in
1999, it was the appraisal that was the thing that was not
happening on a regular basis. It is recommended that to ensure
appraisals happen, the onus for organising them be put onto the
specialist registrars who have a right to confidential appraisal
during protected time (around 45 minutes recommended).
Who does the appraisal?
The trainee's educational supervisor usually does the appraisal
for that year of their training, or that particular part of a
How often should appraisals occur?
Appraisal needs to be performed at the beginning, middle and end
of each year or part of the rotation. At the beginning a plan
should be made as to what the trainee wants to achieve during the
following months. The middle appraisal reflects a check on
progress and allows time for a change of direction if things are
not going as well as they might. The appraisal at the end of
the year or part of rotation can review what has been achieved and
set goals for the next phase of training. Appraisals should be
occurring at least six monthly.
What should happen during an appraisal?
During an appraisal the specialist registrar and education
supervisor should discuss training objectives, case mix for the
coming months, planning attendance at meetings and courses and
monitoring development of case reports, projects etc.
A suggested outline for an appraisal
- Review the specialist registrar's previous experience for those
new to Clinical Genetics, patient numbers/case mix for those
already entered in training.
- Review goals achieved and difficulties encountered since
- Plan for the next six months:
- Clinical skills required, discuss case mix
- Courses and learning opportunities
- Research plan
- Check that this all fits in with long-term objectives
- Complete and sign appraisal form
Reports for RITA assessments
The only documentation from appraisals routinely submitted to
the RITA are the forms in appendix 1, recording the appraisal took
place and the objectives for the next training period. The
educational supervisor must provide a separate assessment summary
for the assessment panel. The whole point of regular
appraisals, is that the trainee becomes aware if the supervisor
does perceive problems and is having continuing help throughout the
year trying to remedy them rather than being surprised to learn
about them at the RITA. Conversely if the trainee perceives
problems these can be addressed.
What should the SpR do if appraisal is difficult to
In this situation, the SpR should first approach the regional
speciality advisor or programme director. If problems still exist
following this, the SpR should contact the postgraduate Dean.