New policies, research and technologies are the three main forces reshaping most businesses and professions in the 21st century.

While many traditional roles still resist in a highly technological world, almost all of them have seen radical changes over the course of the last decade, influencing the way people work and their approach to the job. A growing trend is that of lifelong learning, not just as a voluntary effort, but as a requisite to both keep the job and keep up with the current industry standards.

Doctor on the job

To help you better understand the extent to which this trend redefines some positions, here are three of the careers with the most demanding and regular appraisal processes.

Doctor

A doctor has two main duties: making the care of a patient his first concern and providing a good standard of practice and care. To ensure such standard, your professional knowledge needs to be constantly up to date and take into account all of the latest developments in the world of medicine. So it is part of the duty of a doctor to make sure he’s up to date on all fronts.

Currently, the General Medical Council in the UK ensures that all doctors follow a comprehensive revalidation process once every five years, thus guaranteeing the standards of all practitioners. Doctors appraisals generally last two to three hours and cover four main areas: A) knowledge, skills and performance, B) safety and quality, C) Communication, partnership and teamwork and D) maintaining trust.

Teacher

New teacher standards were introduced as recently as September 2012 to ensure all teachers continue to keep expanding their body of knowledge, technical skills and keep up to date with the latest changes in methodology and subjects. Part of the job of the teacher is to ensure the lessons are in line with national objectives and to inspire a culture of learning among the pupils, so such standards shouldn’t be seen as an obstacle for future teachers, but rather as an essential part of their job.

Teacher teaching a class

Despite all that, teacher standards have been at times criticised by teacher unions such as the National Union of Teachers (NUT), which created an appraisal checklist that all schools should comply with.

Police officer

Similarly to doctors and teachers, police officers have a duty towards the general public to ensure safety is maintained, and people in emergencies can be helped in the most timely and professional fashion. To ensure that the appraisal process motivates the overall personal and professional progress of police officers, the Police Negotiating Board (PNB) has recently agreed that the progression through pay scales must be subject to a yearly appraisal.

The appraisal process has already been applied to sergeants, inspectors and chief inspectors this year while constables will have to wait until 2016.

Takeaway

Today’s career appraisals need to be data-driven to accurately measure the performance of employees.  Not only new, constantly-changing roles like marketing, traditional roles like doctors also need to appraised using today’s requirements and methods.

Challenges still persist; systems may not still be perfect, but they – along with the appraisal models themselves – need to be continuously improved for better accuracy.