We get asked the same questions quite often regarding our Appraisal Toolkit, especially from new users. Here are the answers!
1) Am I able to use FourteenFish for my appraisal?
Short answer: Yes
If you're in England then you have complete freedom of choice over which appraisal system you use (Wales and Scotland have their own systems). NHS England clearly says that, while they require appraisals to be submitted electronically and not on paper, the individual GP should have a choice about which toolkit to use. See the recent RCGP Mythbusters document (section 2.1) for full details.
2) What does it cost?
The toolkit is £42 per year. However you can try it for free without paying anything – you only need to pay at the point you want to submit your appraisal to your appraiser.
If you use Doctors.net.uk then you'll automatically receive a discount when you check out. Red Whale customers (the company who run the GP Update courses) can also get a discount if you have been on a course in the last year.
Bulk discounts are available if you get together with other GPs in your practice and purchase as a group.
3) How do I switch from my existing toolkit or the MAG form?
You can use our Switch to us service and we will get your set up on our system and avoid you having to do any tedious copy-and-pasting. Basically we take all the relevant bits from your most recent appraisal (your personal details, PDP etc) and put them into our toolkit. This is a free service.
If you've used the MAG then you will find our toolkit uses a lot of the same terminology, and the structure will be instantly familiar to you.
Check our Getting Started guide if you want a quick overview of the system.
If you only have a few weeks to go until your appraisal meeting, then we wouldn't recommend switching now. Instead, wait until your appraisal is signed off and then make a fresh start for next year.
4) What if my appraiser hasn't used FourteenFish before?
Appraisers love our toolkit – quoting an appraiser who emailed us recently "I love 14 fish - its made appraisal easy."
As soon as you set your appraiser on our system will be sent a welcome email inviting them to create an account if they don't have one already. This is very quick for them to do, and of course there is no cost to them.
5) How does the Appraisal Toolkit work with the Learning Diary?
The Learning Diary is a really convenient way of recording learning throughout the year. There's a an iPhone and Android app, you can use it on our website, and you can also use email to add things.
When it comes to prepare for your appraisal, you'll then have all the CPD you've recorded throughout the year already there. You will probably find you have more than the required 50 hours, so now you can choose the best quality learning and reflection to include in your appraisal.
So in other words, the Learning Diary is a place to record everything in, and then some of that will be used in your appraisal but maybe not all of it.
As you'd expect, the two parts of our system work seamlessly together.
Dr Duncan Walling