Revalidation - guidance for appraisers of RCPCH clinical examiners retired from medical practice

Appraisers of RCPCH examiners can find guidance here on what they can expect during an effective appraisal meeting. It will help examiners and their appraisers structure the supporting information and the appraisal discussion in a way that allows a proper evaluation of a doctor’s learning since the previous appraisal. It supports the development of a personal development plan relevant to this limited scope of practice.
Last modified
13 September 2019


Retired doctors whose scope of practice is solely as an examiner for MRCPCH or DCH are still required under the Academy of Medical Royal College guidelines (2014) to hold a Licence to Practice. As part of this process, the guidelines describe that they must:

  • undergo an appropriate annual appraisal and maintain their status in relation to revalidation against the scope of their practice
  • fulfil CPD requirements that would cover the scope of the specialty curriculum as it pertains to the exams that they usually cover
  • be subject to the usual quality assurance arrangements pertaining to their examination which will confirm their competence as an examiner.

RCPCH requirements

The RCPCH requires all clinical examiners who are retired from medical practice to:

  • be a senior member or fellow in good standing with RCPCH
  • demonstrate awareness of the training standard required of the candidates
  • be retired from clinical practice for no longer than three years
  • provide evidence of satisfactory completion of annual examiner training and annual senior examiner training, as relevant to their role
  • demonstrate an understanding of the legal duties of an examiner in relation to equality, diversity and human rights, and the guidance provided by the GMC on the relevant issues, eg personal beliefs.

All RCPCH examiners must:

  • not have not breached examiner conduct or misconduct guidance
  • meet existing examiner quality measures as stated overleaf in supporting information
  • hold adequate medical defence insurance in addition to College indemnity for their examiner role.

Scope of practice

For the purposes of this guidance, a retired doctor’s scope of practice is that of a paediatrician on the GMC specialist register who acts solely as examiner for MRCPCH or DCH examinations.

If a paediatrician’s scope of practice includes additional areas of work relevant to medical practice for which a Licence to Practice is required, the appraiser must assure themselves that the doctor has provided supporting information and related information to cover these additional elements of their scope of practice, thereby enabling a whole practice appraisal to take place.

Supporting information requirements

This information should be readily available to examiners or can be obtained on request from the RCPCH Examiner Liaison team.

Continuing Professional Development

  • Evidence of completion of and reflection on annual RCPCH examiner/senior examiner training
  • Evidence of completion of and reflection on equality and diversity training (e-learning or face-to-face) in relation to examining within the past three years
  • Evidence of annual CPD activities that demonstrate up-to-date knowledge and skills in relation to paediatric practice to the level required by the MRCPCH and/or DCH clinical exam, for example, knowledge and understanding of Level one and two paediatric training curriculum competences

Other questions to consider during the appraisal include:

  • Is the CPD relevant to the current and emerging knowledge, skills and behaviours required for the doctor’s role as a clinical examiner for MRCPCH/DCH?
  • How has the CPD contributed to the development of the doctor’s knowledge, skills or behaviour as a clinical examiner?
  • Has the CPD, feedback from colleagues/RCPCH or attendance at examining events reinforced aspects of current practice?
  • Has the above led to actual or potential changes in practice?

Quality improvement

  • Evidence of annual reflection and action planning related to all
  • Performance analysis
  • Feedback from the RCPCH Examiner Liaison team in relation to examination record keeping

Feedback from colleagues and patients

  • Evidence of reflection and action planning on feedback contained in Senior Examiner Reports in relation to any concerns raised by hosts, fellow examiners, trainees or patients/parents annually

Complaints and compliments

  • Evidence of reflection and action planning related to complaints
  • Evidence from RCPCH that the examiner has not breached Examiner conduct or misconduct guidance annually

Significant Untoward Incidents (SUIs)

  • Not applicable

Reflection, Outcomes and Personal Development Plan

As part of the supporting information, the doctor should provide reflection on learning from, for example, CPD activities they have undertaken, feedback from RCPCH or examiner colleagues regarding the quality of their examining or other quality improvement activities undertaken in relation to examining.

The process of reflection will allow the doctor to focus on the learning from the activities and what changes they made or need to make to their examining practice as a result.

The appraisal discussion itself provides a further opportunity for reflection on how the activities have supported current practice and what future activities may ensure the quality of their examining, and this discussion will help formulate the PDP.