New medical graduates in the UK are known as Preregistration House Officers (PRHOs). At the end of this first postgraduate year, the Postgraduate Dean is responsible for allowing the PRHO to be fully registered with the General Medical Council. During the period 1999-2002 Professor Miriam Friedman Ben-David designed a more robust approach to appraisal and assessment of PRHOs, which provided educational feedback to all trainees, allowed any poor performers to be detected at an early stage, and provided 'hard' observable evidence for certification decisions. This paper describes the more recent development of her work resulting from further piloting of her system. The key tool, a 360° diagnostic questionnaire, is designed to identify strengths and weaknesses in individual performance. It is presently being used as a screening tool to identify any trainees needing additional support and further assessment. The tool also forms part of an evidence trail for all PRHOs and helps inform formative assessment as well as contributing, along with other evidence, to full registration decisions. The evaluation of this tool, also described in this paper, shows the feasibility of implementing such a system on a wider scale and illustrates the successful balance made between robustness and feasibility.