Major review of revalidation

A REVIEW looking at the impact of revalidation and how to improve it has been launched by the General Medical Council.

Three years after the programme was first implemented, the regulator has asked Sir Keith Pearson to assess how effective it has been and produce recommendations for changes to be made in 2017.

Sir Keith, chair of the GMC’s Revalidation Advisory Board, will ask doctors about their experiences of revalidation; consider submissions from organisations such as royal colleges, the BMA and NHS England; and analyse statistics and surveys about revalidation, including patient feedback forms.

The effectiveness of revalidation has been a matter of some debate since its launch in December 2012.

A survey in January 2014 carried out by doctors.net found more than half of hospital doctors and GPs did not believe it would help identify colleagues who are unfit to practise. Meanwhile, a report in March 2014 by the NHS Revalidation Support Team found doctors were spending up to six hours longer than expected on the revalidation process.

Figures released by the GMC in December 2015 showed nearly 75 per cent of doctors (almost 150,000) were on track to be revalidated by April 2016. Speaking at the time, GMC Chair Professor Terence Stephenson said: “These are still early days – there will be variations and frustrations and lessons to learn from the various research projects. But overall the message we are receiving is that for most doctors it [revalidation] has gone smoothly.”

The report by Sir Keith, who is also chair of Health Education England, is due to published by the end of the year. An interim evaluation of revalidation – produced by an independent UK-wide collaboration of researchers known as UMbRELLA – will be published this spring.