69 per cent of staff report that they have now had such an appraisal and there has also been an improvement in the quality of the appraisals though more could still be done (31 per cent feel their appraisal is well structured up from 24 per cent in 2008). There has been progress around this due to concerted partnership work at national and local level. There is more that needs to be done to ensure this is improved further and spread across all of the NHS.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development has produced some guidance setting out the benefits of effective appraisal. Published in February 2010, their guidance explains what appraisal is and its contribution to the performance management process, looks at how to conduct an appraisal, and considers the skills appraisers and appraisees should develop for successful performance appraisal.
Where can I find out more?
Knowledge and skills framework
The NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (NHS KSF) is the career and pay progression strand of the NHS pay system, Agenda for Change (AfC). It is mandatory for all Agenda for Change staff and should be fully implemented by all NHS organisations.
The Social Partnership Forum has taken a specific interest in the progress of KSF implementation over the last two years, particularly considering how it can work in partnership to promote more effective and widespread use of the KSF.
The Social Partnership Forum (SPF) was pleased to hear at its October meeting that the work to simplify the KSF and subsequent guidance had been completed. This was an issue initially raised at the SPF before being referred to the NHS Staff Council for action. The chairs of the SPF have written to every NHS Board to encourage them to make use of the new guidance and the simplified KSF, which can now be tailored to meet local needs. A copy of the letter is available here.
Following acceptance by the NHS Staff Council of the recommendations of the independent review of the Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF) by the Institute for Employment Studies (IES), further work has been undertaken to develop new guidance on the KSF in order to provide:
- A clear, simple process for carrying out integrated appraisal and development reviews using the KSF
- A simplified format for the KSF core dimensions to help managers and staff to use them effectively
- Practical tips and ideas to improve the coverage and quality of appraisal and KSF development reviews
The new guidance was launched at the NHS Employers' conference in Liverpool in November 2010.
Having consulted on the guidance with a number of employers, the evidence at this stage is that the new approach will be welcomed as something that reduces bureaucracy and offers a simplified flexible process. The Department of Health, NHS Employers and the NHS trade unions are working together to develop a communication plan to support the roll-out of the new guidance.
It will continue to be important to link the KSF and effective appraisal with other key policy initiatives including delivery of the NHS Constitution and the staff pledge on training, QIPP 2c and the need to align organisational and individual objectives and staff survey results on appraisal.
For more information on the KSF visit the NHS Employers web pages.
The Coalition Government reviewed the current progress on medical revalidation in May/June 2010. The Secretary of State’s view was that there was insufficient time to properly gather and evaluate the evidence on all aspects of revalidation, not just strengthened medical appraisal but the impact on the wider system, from the ten pathfinder pilots that are currently running in the NHS.
The Secretary of State announced a further year of testing to gain a clearer understanding of the costs, benefits and practicalities of implementation. He made clear that revalidation is something that the public expect their doctors to undertake.
The purpose of revalidation is to assure patients, the public, employers and other healthcare professionals that licensed doctors are up-to-date and are practising to the appropriate professional standards.
The proposals for revalidating doctors will not exist in isolation from other systems designed to assure the quality of care. It will provide a more systematic annual appraisal as a basis for reflective practice and improvement, an essential developmental process. The local appraisal systems will need to include an evaluation of the doctor’s performance against professional standards set by the General Medical Council.
The priorities for the next six months are:
- To bring the Pathfinder Pilots to a satisfactory conclusion where the evidence can be properly evaluated;
- To agree how the extended testing period will be used to achieve Secretary of States’ objectives;
- To move closer towards readiness for implementation, particularly through the establishing of the RO role throughout England.
The Coalition Government agrees that the issue of revalidation across the non-medical professions should continue to be explored. The non-medical regulators will continue to develop, test and pilot their respective revalidation models in order to conduct a robust cost/benefit analysis before any decisions on implementation are taken.
Where can I find out more?