1. Define your needs
Establish a plan based on a needs assessment for the practice.
2. Create a timetable
‘Work backwards’ by drawing a timeline of necessary steps from the hoped-for start date for the new partner.
3. Advertise widely
It is a good idea to look closely at the content and style of other adverts to ensure that all the salient facts are clear and attractive.
4. Encourage informal visits
It is a golden opportunity to gain an impression of how candidates relate to team members, and for partners to meet candidates in an informal atmosphere.
5. Shortlist good candidates
It is often helpful to devise a scoring system among the partners to ensure that you have objective criteria against which to measure a written application.
6. Give all the information
It is important that all parties have a full understanding of the expectations and obligations on matters such as property ownership, income and expenses arrangements and tax issues.
7. Agree questions
There is merit in each candidate having a set time with a single partner in rotation at the first interview, followed by further shortlisting in preparation for a second round of interviews, perhaps the following day, in the presence of all the partners.
8. Consider a trial
This allows the existing partners and the candidate the opportunity to make a more informed and positive choice at the end of the trial period.
9. Make your choice promptly
It is important that rejected candidates are informed in a constructive way, perhaps citing strengths and qualities.
10. Review the appointment
This formal final part of the process is to ensure that the practice is working effectively with the new partner in place.
Dr Simon Poole is a GP in Cambridge and chair of the GPC commissioning subcommittee