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Should my appraisal really take longer than a screening of Titanic?

After what feels like an eternity, the revalidation project will finally be rolled out towards the end of the year.

Supporting info must fall under six headings: 1) continuing professional development, 2) quality improvement activity, 3) significant events, 4) feedback from colleagues, 5) feedback from patients and 6) review of complaints and compliments. 

All the requirements seem familiar to me. As a GP trainee, I come across these headings in my e-portfolio almost every day and undergo appraisals every six months, so I guess I should be well prepared for the revalidation process, shouldn’t I?

In my GP training so far I have undergone three six-month appraisals and in all honesty they have been a real slog to do.

Summarising six months’ worth of: log entries, CBDs, DOPs, mini-CEX/COTs as well as getting a clinical supervisor report, prior to sitting down in front of a monitor with my trainer, whom must do the end of post appraisal, is not a quick process. My last appraisal took approximately 3.5 hours to complete with both of us really struggling to maintain our sanity towards the end.

The main problem appears to be the constant repetition of information requested by the RCGP during the appraisal. If it took over three hours to cover six months of data, how long is it going to take to cover five years of data? Do I need to book a weekend away with the responsible officer in tow in order to complete my revalidation. What will my fiancée think?

Most GPs will be aware that revalidation for registered GPs will be done via an e-portfolio created by the RCGP. Thankfully, the RCGP has got some experience creating an e-portfolio, so it is very unlikely the revalidation e-portfolio will cause a mess like the infamous ‘MTAS debacle’.  

But I suspect there will be problems and these problems may be due to software glitches or due to user difficulties, but these problems will cause stress, which in turn may lead to frustration and anger.

What with changes in pensions and commissioning, practice life may get more stressful and frustrating for me in the future. But at the end of the day all I am thinking now is 'que sera sera'.

Dr Avradeep Chakrabarti is a GST2 from Swindon