Annual review of specialist registrars and production of a record of in-training assessment (RITA) is a mandatory component of training that has attracted criticism. Mersey Deanery has established a system of review that includes wider evaluation of the trainee's needs and of training requirements. We conducted a survey to ascertain whether this broadened review process was thought beneficial. In one year 1093 questionnaires were distributed to trainees and trainers. 605 (81%) of 744 trainees and 309 (89%) of 349 trainers responded. At least 89% of both groups said that the procedure had been effective in reviewing the previous year and the most recent post and in identifying training requirements. More than 90% rated the overall process positively. Trainees particularly appreciated the advice on future training, on careers and on research. This form of review is expensive in consultant time but was valued by both trainees and trainers.