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Audit of annual medical appraisal and revalidation activity across the UK Defence Medical Services 2013–2014
  1. Louisa E Morris and
  2. RDJ Withnall
  1. Department of Military General Practice and Primary Care, Medical Directorate, ICT Centre, Birmingham Research Park, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Surg Lt Cdr Louisa E Morris, Department of Military General Practice, Medical Directorate, ICT Centre, Birmingham Research Park, Birmingham B15 2SQ, UK;{at}


Aim To provide the first annual audit of Defence Medical Services (DMS) medical appraisal and revalidation activity.

Content A questionnaire-based survey of appraisal and revalidation activity within the 2013–2014 appraisal year (1 April 2013 – 1 March 2014) across the Royal Navy (RN), Army, Royal Air Force (RAF) and Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Defence Postgraduate Medical Deanery (DPMD) Designated Bodies (DBs).

Relevance Mandatory annual medical appraisal of all DMS doctors was introduced in 2002. The General Medical Council (GMC) introduced licences to practise in November 2011. Revalidation went live in December 2012. In the 2013–2014 appraisal year, there were 1379 DMS doctors. The Responsible Officers (ROs) of the RN, Army, RAF, MOD and Defence Postgraduate Medical Deanery (DPMD) provide appraisal and revalidation services for doctors within their DBs.

Outcomes In the 2013–2014 appraisal year, 82% of DMS doctors completed an annual appraisal. ROs provided positive revalidation recommendations for 90% of DMS doctors without the need for additional supporting information. Additional supporting evidence was required for 10% of DMS trained doctors, but ultimately 100% of DMS doctors due revalidation in the 2013–2014 appraisal year received a positive recommendation.

Discussion To assist DMS compliance with GMC quality assurance requirements, HQ Surgeon General now maintains a central database of appraisal and revalidation data across the five DMS DBs. Appropriately targeted appraiser training and ‘revalidation ready top-up’ training should be provided to ensure the demand for military appraisers is met, and that DMS appraisers appropriately maintain their skills. MOD now maintains a central live database for ongoing appraisal and revalidation monitoring.


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  • Contributors LEM was responsible for collating the information and writing up the results. RW was overall responsible for the audit and contributed to the piece.

  • Funding Ministry of Defence.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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