Action plan to improve revalidation

CLEARER guidance and greater support will be provided to doctors as part of a new action plan to improve the revalidation process, the General Medical Council has announced.

The regulator has set out how it will implement the recommendations made in Sir Keith Pearson’s report, Taking revalidation forward, which was published earlier this year.

It aims to make revalidation “a more positive and meaningful experience for doctors, responsible officers, patients and everyone involved.”

It includes commitments, by March 2018, to:

  • Provide clearer guidance for doctors and responsible officers on what is required from them for revalidation.
  • Support and strengthen processes for doctors working in multiple settings, in particular across the NHS and private practice.
  • Offer more specific advice on how doctors should gather representative feedback from colleagues, including how those colleagues should be selected, making sure this is as robust and helpful as possible.
  • Identify how to make the patient feedback process easier and more valuable, seeking feedback from doctors and patients.
  • Create a simple and accessible way to explain the purpose and benefits of revalidation to patients.
  • Develop a proportionate way to monitor revalidation on an ongoing basis, to make sure it continues to meet its objectives.

Guidance issued by medical royal colleges and faculties will also be updated and clarified while the Department of Health in England will lead a review of the Responsible Officer Regulations. The aim is to establish a connection to a designated body for certain groups of doctors that don’t ordinarily have one while making sure only organisations with robust governance arrangements are able to oversee a doctor’s revalidation.

GMC chief executive Charlie Massey said: “We need the continued commitment from a wide range of organisations to make revalidation a better experience for doctors, especially at a time when they are under ever-increasing pressure.

“Revalidation is integral to assuring patients that we regularly confirm that a doctor remains fit to practise. Our focus now is continuing to work with other organisations, getting their feedback and input, as we act on commitments set out in this plan.