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Clinical Academic Appraisal

Cardiff University’s arrangements for the joint appraisal of clinical academics by the University and the NHS are compliant with the Follett principles, and support the GMC's revalidation requirement for ‘whole practice appraisal’ for medically licensed doctors. They are also suitable for dentists as part of the GDC’s recertification process  

To undertake appraisal, all doctors and dentists need to be registered on the Medical Appraisal Revalidation System (MARS),

Whilst a joint meeting involving the individual, the academic line manager and clinical appraiser is the ideal method of undertaking whole practice appraisal, it is appreciated that this is not always possible.  Therefore there are other options listed in the FAQs below.


How do I register on MARS?

Please use the following link, click on the correct box for your specialism and follow instructions:

N.B. Dentists should click on the box for ‘doctors’ (not GPs).

What aspects does my appraisal cover?

Your appraisal needs to cover the entirety of your professional life.  From the clinical perspective, you need to include evidence of CPD (in line with relevant Royal College); Quality Improvement Activity; Significant Event Analysis; Review of Complaints and Compliments and Colleague and Patient Multi-source Feedback (once in each 5 year revalidation cycle).  From the academic perspective, you need to provide evidence on your teaching, research, leadership and innovation activities, as well as any management and administration commitments (either in the University or the NHS)

How do I organise a joint appraisal using MARS?

As the appraisee, you ‘own’ the process and it is your responsibility to identify who your appraisers will be.   From the academic side, this will usually be your line manager.  On the clinical side, you are able to select from a list of trained appraisers, but you will only able to choose the same appraiser twice in any five year cycle. 

Having identified both appraisers, you need to discuss with them a suitable meeting time for a joint appraisal meeting.  If you are unable to identify a convenient time when everyone is available, then you should arrange for two separate meetings to take place as close together as possible.  You will need to add a meeting date to the calendar on MARS to ensure the system will allow viewing of appraisal information at the appropriate time (in the case of separate meetings, use the later date). 

Having uploaded evidence for your academic and clinical activities to MARS, you should notify the MARS Team in the Deanery ( that you wish to register for a joint appraisal, providing contact details of both your academic and clinical appraisers and the date for your appraisal meeting(s).  You will need to do this at least 2 weeks before the appraisal date.  They will send login details to both appraisers.  The appraisers should then log in to MARS to view your appraisal evidence.  Please note, appraisers are unable to log in at the same time to view the information, so it is advisable that they agree between themselves when they will be using the account.

Once they have reviewed the information and held the appraisal meeting(s), both appraisers will need to agree the appraisal summary, which one of them then submits to MARS.  You then view the summary to agree the content. Having agreed the summary, the appraisal process is complete for the year.


What other options are available if I am unable to schedule a joint appraisal meeting?

As outlined above, if you are unable to get a date where both appraisers are available, you can upload evidence for your academic and clinical work to MARS and have separate meetings (these should be close together), but both appraisers will need to agree and submit the appraisal summary to MARS. As above MARS Team would need to set up and allocate an account for both appraisers to use. 

Alternatively, where you are unable to hold separate meetings close to each other, you can upload a copy of your academic appraisal record from the previous 12 months to MARS, including any items that have been highlighted for the PDP.   Your clinical appraiser will then review this along with your clinical activity evidence, and submit an appraisal summary based on your whole practice.


Where can I get guidance on structuring appraisal evidence?

A set of prompts has been developed to assist clinical academics in structuring their appraisal evidence for the domain within MARS on “ Teaching, research, innovation and leadership ”.  University appraisers may also find these helpful in conducting the appraisal meeting. Guidance on role expectations for members of academic staff by career pathway is available here.

Who should I approach to appraise my clinical / NHS activities?

Your NHS appraiser must be have been ‘revalidation ready’ trained by either their Health Board or the Wales Deanery. You may not use the same NHS appraiser more than twice in a 5 year period; therefore you will need to approach different NHS appraisers over the revalidation cycle.

Who should I approach to appraise my academic / University activities?

The University appraiser will normally be your University line manager. There is no requirement for them to be ‘revalidation ready’ trained   There is, however, an expectation that they will have attended the University’s ‘Performance Development Review’ training (please contact the College HR team for further details,  There is no limit on the number of annual appraisals University appraisers can undertake.  Your University appraiser will need to register for a MARS appraiser account by contacting

Can my University appraiser also undertake my NHS appraisal?

If your University appraiser has also been trained as a revalidation ready appraiser by either their Health Board or the Wales Deanery, they may undertake the joint appraisal as the sole appraiser, covering both facets of your role. However, they may only perform the NHS appraiser role on 2 occasions in a 5 year cycle.


I am an academic appraiser, can I get some training on MARS?

Yes.  Cardiff and Vale UHB hold regular sessions on appraisal and revalidation. Please contact the C&V UHB Medical Staffing Team on 029 20742957 or for further information.  Other Heath Boards may also be doing the same, and you should contact their Medical Staffing Teams for details.


My revalidation date is imminent and my University appraiser cannot undertake a joint appraisal before the revalidation date passes. What should I do?

It is recognised that you may not have sufficient time to organise a joint appraisal before your revalidation deadline. In this instance, you should proceed with your appraisal (which MUST include details of your academic/University activities in order for this to reflect your Whole Practice) and hold an appraisal meeting with your NHS appraiser, and schedule a separate academic appraisal meeting (using the same set of appraisal data) as soon as possible afterwards. Thereafter, where possible, appraisals should be jointly conducted, and you are responsible for approaching both appraisers in good time to schedule and undertake your annual joint appraisal. Please be aware that delays in conducting a joint appraisal are not considered grounds for deferral.

Who can answer my questions about Multi Source Feedback?

MSF is a requirement of revalidation.  Any questions about MSF can be answered by the Medical Staffing Team in your honorary NHS organisation which manages revalidation activities.  The following link to the GMC also provides some useful information:


If you have any concerns regarding your clinical academic appraisals please contact the HR (Clinical Services) Manager on tel: (029) 2068 8604 / (029) 2074 2303 or email:


Further Guidance on joint appraisal for clinical academics is available here.