By the end of 2012 all doctors wishing to retain their General Medical Council (GMC) licence to practise will need to participate in revalidation. The Medical Act 1983 states “revalidation” means evaluation of a medical practitioner’s fitness to practise.
The purpose of revalidation is to provide additional assurance to patients and the public, employers and other healthcare professionals that licensed doctors are practising to appropriate professional standards, up to date and fit to practise. It will also mean that systems of appraisal and clinical governance are consistent across the UK.
As part of the revalidation process doctors must have regular appraisals, based on the General Medical Council’s core guidance for doctors, Good Medical Practice. They also need to keep a portfolio of supporting information about their practice. A responsible officer will make a recommendation to the GMC about a doctor’s fitness to practise every five years. Their recommendation will be based on the doctor’s appraisals and 6 types of supporting information: continuing professional development, quality improvement activity, significant events, feedback from colleagues, feedback from patients where applicable, and a review of complaints and compliments.
Hospital Trusts can be confident and assure the public that the doctors they employ are competent and up to date.
Andrew Lansley, Secretary of State for Health said “Revalidation is something that the public expect their doctors to undertake and, if implemented sensitively and effectively, is something that will support all doctors in their innate professional desire to improve their practice still further.”
The aim is that by 2015 all doctors practising in theUKwill have been revalidated as there will be a phased approach depending on the readiness of employing organisations. Although most Trusts have practiced their own form of appraisals for years, revalidation is designed to standardise the doctor’s appraisal system across the UK.