GMC updates revalidation guidance to address concerns

THE GMC has updated its guidance on revalidation to address concerns raised in a detailed review.

Research from UK Medical Revalidation Collaboration (UMbRELLA) has shown that for some doctors the requirements remain unclear, particularly in regard to collating information necessary for appraisals and revalidation.

The updated guidance now provides information on the balance between quality and quantity of supporting information that a doctor must collect, but explains that the GMC does not set a minimum or maximum amount. It also reinforces the importance of doctors who have multiple roles gathering information that covers the whole of their practice.

The guidance emphasises that appraisals and revalidation are not ‘pass or fail’ exercises, but should be developmental and it provides more information on collecting feedback from colleagues.

Una Lane, the GMC's Director of Registration and Revalidation, said: "Most doctors are now collecting the supporting information that revalidation requires, but for many the processes for doing so are not as simple and straightforward as they could be.

"Employers have a major role to play to address this, and too often there remains confusion between the GMC's requirements and those of employers or royal colleges. Our updated guidance will help doctors by making our requirements clearer, with a focus on quality rather than quantity."

Findings from the three-year UMbRELLA review have also highlighted some more fundamental observations on how engagement in revalidation is promoting medical professionalism and adoption of the principles and values set out in Good Medical Practice.

The review states that only a “significant minority” of doctors reported changing an aspect of their clinical practice, professional behaviour or learning activities as a result of their most recent appraisal. It also observes that “revalidation, through appraisal, provides a means to document practice but may not necessarily improve professional practice”.

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