What makes a good FORM 4?

First of all, type it up and deliver it electronically.

  • Each section should have a succinct but informative summary of that part of the appraisal interview. This should not just reiterate information submitted on Forms1,2 or 3 but include observations and conclusions from the interview discussion – a description of the appraisal discussion. It should be written in the 2nd or 3rd person, not the first person.
  • The commentary should include a reference to evidence seen and reviewed by the appraiser. Absence of required evidence or failure to address a majority of previously identified PDP objectives should be noted, linked to specific action points to improve the situation before the next appraisal
  • The commentary should include a reference to the previous PDP. Failure to address a majority of previously identified PDP objectives should be noted, linked to specific action points to improve the situation before the next appraisal.
  • Health section more than just “no issues” – this section should include some discussion on stress and personal support.
  • The appraiser should avoid judgmental statements, which include either effusive or critical adjectives. These could ultimately be challenged by the appraisee (or even the GMC) and might need to be justified in depth. It is better to say “Dr A provided little/extensive evidence on”… rather than “very poor/very high-quality evidence on…”
  • Action points are agreed between the appraiser and appraisee and should be S.M.A.R.T. – ie specific, measurable, achievable, relevant in an appropriate time-frame.
  • No sections should be left blank – a statement that “Dr A revealed no significant health/probity issues” is satisfactory at present- Shipman 5 may require more…
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