The origins of the questionnaire  

Defining doctors’ personal development is at the root of what we do at Edgecumbe Doctor 360˚  and we were contributing to doctors’ performance before GMC revalidation requirements came into effect in 2012. Edgecumbe’s two co-founders (David Pendleton and Dr Jenny King) played an important role in the development of our Doctor 360˚   service; 

  • David Pendleton is a Chartered Psychologist with a doctorate in psychology from the University of Oxford. His research into doctors’ performance, patient communication and effective consultation led to the creation of the ‘Pendleton model’ in 1984 (Pendleton et al., 1984). The model focuses on gathering effective feedback, encourages self-reflection and is still widely used today within medical education. In 2000, these principles were encoded in the 360˚  tools used at Edgecumbe as part of consultation efforts for medical professionals; tools that provide healthcare professionals with an insight into their effectiveness as a vehicle to improve their practice.  
  • Dr Jenny King was a former Director and Practice Lead for Edgecumbe Health. For most of her career, Jenny specialised in working with doctors and clinical teams across the NHS, contributing to the development of national assessment methods for medical doctors. 

In 2001, the National Clinical Assessment Services (NCAS) – now Practitioner Performance Advice – was set up. This was the first time an organisation had been created to support doctors in the case that serious concerns were raised regarding their performance. The assessment was focused on three areas – clinical, behavioural and health. Edgecumbe partnered with Professor Alastair Scotland and his colleagues at NCAS to develop the behavioural assessment, which became a national standard, enabling doctors whose careers were in jeopardy to get back on track (Edgecumbe Consulting Group Limited, 2023). 

Then, in 2012, revalidation was introduced by the GMC (General Medical Council). This made it mandatory for every licensed doctor in the UK to ensure that they are fit to practise (2023). Part of this process entailed 360˚  feedback being collected from a doctors’ peers and patients. 

The GMC introduced the ‘Good Medical Practice’ guidance in 2014 and solidified a revalidation requirement across the UK. Our colleague questionnaire was adjusted according to the four domains, as required by the GMC. We are now about to see an update within the GMP framework for the first time in 11 years. Edgecumbe took part in the consultation process in 2022 that informed this change, and we will be updating our colleague questionnaire to fall in line with the updated GMP framework.   

Development of our colleague feedback questionnaire 

In the development phase of the Doctor 360˚  colleague questionnaire, psychometrics research was conducted into the tool to identify the minimum required number of colleague and patient feedback responses for our questionnaire to be considered reliable and generalisable. Dr James Crossley, Senior Fellow in Medical Education from the University of Sheffield, was commissioned to conduct the research for us.  

The study showed extremely positive outcomes in terms of validity, with 93% of respondents confirming that the questions were relevant. The research also reported that to reach a reliability coefficient of 0.7 (a commonly expected threshold for ‘in training/formative’ assessments) our tool required only 12 colleagues to provide feedback. This was particularly important for doctors who work within small teams and do not have access to more than 12 colleagues (Edgecumbe G Study, 2023). 

Statistical reliability was another key factor when creating our questionnaires to ensure the validity and precision of statistical analysis. Statistical reliability enables the same results to be produced multiple times and is important to build trust in the results collected (Siddarth Kalla, 2009). The results from Dr James Crossley’s study also showed our Doctor 360˚  questionnaires to be higher in statistical reliability than the GMC questionnaires, meaning that fewer responses are required than the minimum of 15 colleague and 34 patient feedback responses required for the GMC questionnaire (GMC, 2023). 

Why us?

We have extensive expertise in questionnaire development for multi-source colleague feedback and this is something we regularly do as part of our service – whether working with client leadership models, our own Primary Colours® Model of Leadership or creating specialty-specific behavioural questionnaires for medical professionals. Our 360° report provides a simple presentation of results, enabling quick and easy interpretation – but it is also a more detailed, data-rich analysis than most similar systems (Edgecumbe, 2023). 

It is important to mention the work of Dr Megan Joffe, an organisational and clinical psychologist who has worked mainly in the assessment and development of senior people, including doctors. Through her work with the NCAS and with clinicians from all over the UK, Megan has become a leading authority on doctors and teams in difficulty. Megan dedicated her time to developing the behavioural items for the Doctor 360° alternative medical 360° questionnaire. 

As well as the market leading Edgecumbe Doctor 360°, our 360° assessments include:  

  • Non-Clinical 360° for non-patient facing physicians. 
  • Medico-Legal 360° for doctors gathering feedback in their expert witness role. 
  • Medical Team Leader 360°, focused at the FMLM’s Associate Fellow level.  
  • The internationally benchmarked Primary Colours Leadership 360°. 
  • Engaging Manager 180° helping managers develop their people skills. 
  • Tailored and bespoke 360°s designed by business psychologists for our clients’ own values and/or competency frameworks. 

Where we are today  

To date, our colleague questionnaire has been used by over 54,000 individuals as part of their appraisal or revalidation process. Our questionnaire sits on our state-of-the-art fully automated 360 feedback platform that has been specifically built to cater for doctors’ multi source feedback (MSF) needs. 

Please do get in touch to find out about how Doctor 360° can be used alongside your appraisal system, with access to multiple questionnaire versions and feedback methods, including online patient options. Please visit our website to find out the various packages that we have to offer. Alternatively, if you would like to have a chat with a member of our brilliant team, please contact us via, or call 0117 332 8277 and we look forward to speaking with you. And, of course, we will provide an update once our colleague questionnaire has been adjusted to the new GMP framework.   


Pendleton D, Schofield T, Tate P, Havelock P.  (1984) The consultation: an approach to learning and teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press