The RCGP has clarified the definition of Significant Events (SEs) in its 2016 Guide to supporting information for appraisal and revalidation.
The GMC definition of an SE is “a serious untoward safety incident that caused, or had the potential to cause, harm”.
- GMC level significant events are what are referred to as 'significant events' in the appraisal portfolio. If you have not been involved in an SE, you should sign the statement confirming this.
- It is an absolute requirement for appraisal that you disclose all GMC level, serious significant events you have been involved in, complete with an in-depth analysis.
The term significant event analysis (SEA), adopted by the RCGP and GP educators, is a reflective learning tool where you demonstrate learning from a case or set of events. It could range from something that you feel went well to something you think went wrong.
- SEA is more akin to what the GMC refers to as ‘case reviews’ and should be included in your appraisal under quality improvement activities.
- Your appraiser may expect to see two significant event analyses/case reviews as part of your quality improvement activities (QIAs) in each appraisal year.
If you have been involved in a serious significant event that caused, or had the potential to cause harm, you may find the process of enhanced significant event analysis helpful.
Apologies for using the term 'significant event analysis' having only just clarified that significant event analysis is different from a Significant event for the purposes of appraisal and revalidation, but this is the name given to this very enlightened and useful form of incident analysis by its developers at NHS Education for Scotland and the Health Foundation.
If you have been involved in a serious significant event that caused, or had the potential to cause harm, consider also looking at Recording significant events - enhanced - it may save your sanity.