Getting an Outcome 6 is the dream for every trainee. That final sign off that comes with a ‘congratulations’ is nice. The downsides to an outcome 6 include
- GMC fee to be out on the specialist register.
- Having to start job hunting for a consultant post.
I was fortunate to have a fellowship organised and set to start the minute I formally finished my training so moving to a new job wasn’t a huge issue.
Post-CCT (Certificate of Completion of Training) I suddenly didn’t have the comfort blanket of training, ARCPS etc. I now had to actively think about appraisal and revalidation. Every year a clinician must go through appraisal. As trainees it was an ARCP but for non-HEE trainees it has to be within whichever organisation you are employed.
My first appraisal came as a bit of a shock whilst on fellowship because I had not thought about it at all. Having a sit-down meeting with my appraiser (also my fellowship supervisor) was really nice compared to the ARCP process and was very much focused on a bit of reflection of the currents years activities (in relation to the Personal Development Plan that was created at the beginning of the post) and planning for the next year.
I’ve subsequently found it a good exercise in controlling the pace of my activities. It is far too easy to get dragged into all sorts of projects. I still need to discuss my logbook but in general context of overall activity. There are sections for complaints, compliments, management, teaching, research all which need to be populated. But the process of sitting down with one person and have a discussion over a coffee for an hour is nice. I’ve been able to see how much support I’ve had from my Trust (and also from HEE whilst on secondment) and importantly I’ve been asked by appraisers within both organisations if I need anything from the organisation to facilitate my personal development.
I have two appraisals a year at present due to both clinical and educational activity – thankfully the workload does overlap on occasion!
Although finding the appraisal process daunting at first, it is generally a supported one that I’ve found immensely useful. There is always paperwork to do, and one question may be about when you do it. In most consultant contracts there is a minimum of 1.5 PA (approximately 6 hrs/week) for CPD activity including appraisal.