1. A judgement by many people of an individual’s performance based on external criteria, generally at the end of a training period and may rank or pass/fail and individual
1. A judgement based by many people on an individual’s current performance and identifies future learning and developmental needs
2. Involves many people’s judgement
2. Involves many peoples judgement
3. Counts towards their progress
3. Identifies future learning needs and stimulates future learning
4. Generally ranks people or grades them or allows a pass/fail to be awarded
4. Generally does not rank people, but identifies areas of strength and weakness
5. Should be objective
5. May be more subjective and could be biased
6. Often exam based
6. Often consensus based
7. Must be transparent and fair
7. May be biased depending on the experience of both trainee and trainer
8. Involves feedback
8. Involves feedback between trainee and trainer
Background to Appraisal
Appraisals are essential to ensure trainees progress through learning and skill acquisition and they are an ongoing process looking at mainly education and developmental needs. An appraisal looks at current performance as well as future personal and training requirements
Appraisals are a two way process benefitting both the individual being appraised and the organisation in which they work or study.
Every member of a clinical or work team should be appraised on a regular basis by their line manager (trainer). This should be done at the right time, by the right person, in the right place and include relevant and accurate information.
A well-constructed appraisal at the right time will allow the management and monitoring of standards, it will allow an agreement on objective’s or goals to be met and a review of those that had previously been agreed to. An appraisal should motivate trainees and create a behaviour which aligns with both an individual’s needs and the organisations values and it should foster a positive relationship between the trainee and trainer or organisation.
Appraisals should be a positive experience, benefitting both appraiser (trainer) and appraisee (trainee), they are often however daunting and dreaded by people, who may avoid them and thus conduct them in a poor fashion.
Introducing an effective appraisal process into a clinical team whereby the line manager (trainer) meets each trainee on a regular basis will however help to break down some of these fears .
A clinical appraisal often focuses on clinical knowledge, skill and communication, but really should go beyond this to include personal self-development, career aims, hopes and dreams and common interests . This will immediately put both trainer and trainee at ease, which reduces the stress and uncertainty of the appraisal. Such an all-encompassing appraisal has been reported as a “whole person” developmental appraisal. At no time should such an in depth appraisal discriminate based on age, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or disability .
Such a “whole person” appraisal seeks to help the person to grow in whatever direction they want, not just to identify relevant work skills and knowledge. A whole person approach builds positive attitudes, advancement, and motivation and also develops many new skills that are relevant to working productively and effectively within an organisation. In health care, a holistic approach to an appraisal would lead to a review of knowledge, skill, communication, attitude as well as personal goals that an individual clinician wishes to achieve in not only their career but life as a whole.
An appraisal can be instigated by either the trainee or the trainer.
A good appraisal has the ability to achieve and contribute to many important areas of an individual’s education and training. These include :
Knowledge, skills and communication
Short, medium and long term performance
Clarifying and redefining objectives with training
Future learning needs analysis
Career and succession planning
Team roles and team building
Personal strengths and direction
Counselling and feedback
Values/Aims and strategies of an organisation
An appraisal is an excellent way to ensure a face to face meeting occurs, in a world where this is getting harder to do. There are many ways to perform an appraisal and there are multiple systems and processes in place to ensure it is held effectively. Some people like traditional appraisal forms based on objectives identified during ones training whereas others advocate for a 360° feedback form. Any type of appraisal can be effective if performed correctly and done by both someone who understands the process and someone who is used to being appraised.
To ensure a successful appraisal is performed there are certain key issues to focus on :
Ensure both the appraiser (trainer) and appraisee (trainee) understand the process of appraisal and that both understand what areas are going to be looked at during an appraisal. These goals or objectives of what are being appraised are generally elicited during the first meeting between trainer and trainee and often form part of an orientation period. Both trainer and trainee should have input into what these objectives should be. Appraisals should be a positive experience, but should none the less provide help if required and identify solutions to identified problems.
Both the trainer and trainee should be prepared for the appraisal, have notes, evidence and anything pertaining to performance and achievement available.
Allow the trainee to bring their organisations self-appraisal form, which is approved by the training or employing organisation, to the meeting. This forms a good starting point for appraisal
Think about “whole-person” appraisal as outlined above as this is appealing and inspiring to trainees
Choose a time when both the trainer and trainee will not be disturbed
Choose a place that is suitable to talk quietly and not be distracted.
Have the meeting space set up in a fashion that is non-threatening, room layout can have a huge influence on the atmosphere and mood of an appraisal. A relaxed environment is most conducive to effective appraisal