College service offers bespoke CPD review and strategy 

22 February 2021

A Collegial Review is a service offered by the College to any GP seeking an opportunity for a focused collegial conversation about a GP’s professional development goals and feedback about their practice. It is a shared learning activity for both the doctor and the reviewer. It’s a service that is charged for and is a convenient and fun way for GPs to demonstrate active participation in continuing professional development.

A Collegial Review is a ‘step above’ a peer review activity, which is a clinical exercise and discussion at arm’s length. A Collegial Review incorporates the aspects of peer review but is based in the GP's practice and explores a more wholesome approach to learning, and especially, supports self-directed learning.

A Collegial Review is a great chance for GPs to receive feedback from a reviewer and get help identifying areas for improvement. The College’s reviewers, who are also working GPs, can also help identify learning goals to enhance a GP’s professional development. The spirit of review is to help a GP improve the care they can offer to their patients. 

Dr Paul Weaver has been a reviewer since 2013 and says, “conversations around professional development are pivotal to a collegial review, which I’ve found is a supportive, non-judgmental exercise where both parties learn new information about themselves, and their practice.”

“I like to get a real sense of the whole picture of who this GP and practice is, so I know where and how the GP is working within that. Many components can affect how a GP is working so I look at the landscape of the practice, including data on demographics and any special characteristics e.g., is it a solo or group venture, rural or urban, and what subspecialties are they providing?”

“It helps me if I can interact with practice staff and the GP’s colleagues before I observe their consultations. All this is organised beforehand, of course, with patient consent sought so I can observe the GP on a routine day at work and then review patient records.”

“I like to also have a conversation with the GP being reviewed about their self-care, how they manage their work-life balance, how often they see their own GP, and their attitude to prescribing for family and friends,” says Dr Weaver.

Dr Weaver has been a Fellow of the College since 1998 and brings a wealth of GP experience to the role that he’s keen to share. “At the start (of the review) I point out that this is a collegial visit, and I am not there to judge but to assist wherever I can, with the aim of having their professional development be more rewarding and relevant in the future.”

“I try to be open and friendly and explain, if possible, why I’m asking a particular question to ensure the discussion is not threatening. I have a lot of experience teaching GPs who can struggle with self-directed learning and recording their professional development so I’m also looking for ways to make the process easier and more relevant.”

Dr Weaver says that most of the reviews he’s undertaken have been mandatory as part of the BPAC Inpractice Professional Development Programme for general registrants. 

He hopes that all GPs undertaking a Collegial Review get a better understanding of the art of self-directed learning and professional development and that they have a supportive day with an interested and committed colleague that helps reinvigorate their love of medicine

Organising a Collegial Review

If you’re interested in finding out more about a Collegial Review for yourself, or interested in being a reviewer, then our interactive resource will give you more information. You’ll find it on the ‘CPD resources/peer review activities’ page in your dashboard. Just a note – for the best results please use Firefox.