Revalidation update – requirements relaxed

Due to guidance from the GMC and the revalidation survey carried out this year which is finally coming to a conclusion, the vast majority of Royal College’s have updated the requirements for revalidation. Because of the underlying tone of revalidation being seen as an onerous activity detracting from patient care, the criteria have been relaxed. It seems that most UK doctors are unaware of these updated points and in fact talking to appraiser’s regularly it seems that they are as well.

For GPs, the RCGP has published a very useful document called RCGP Revalidation Mythbusters , in which the following key changes are worth mentioning. It should be pointed out that the revalidation requirements have been considerably downgraded after feedback from the GMC and RCGP revalidation survey.

Current revalidation myths, in order of importance (these are all FALSE).

  • I have to use a portfolio defined by my responsible officer to revalidate.

The RO has no mandate to force upon doctors any particular toolkit. If your RO or local appraisal team is bullying or coercing you into using a particular legacy commercial toolkit then you are within your rights to make a formal complaint about the RO to the national revalidaiton support team at:

[email protected]

  • I can’t claim credits for impact now.

You can now claim as many credits for subsequent hours of work that you think have made an impact. e.g. if doing a search and implementing protocols took you 3 hours then 3 credits can be claimed regardless of how much time the initial learning activity took.

  • I have to include two significant events every year.

No longer a requirement. Events that caused no harm to patients should be documented under an alternatvie category.

  • I have to do at least one clinical audit in the five year cycle.

Transformed into QIAs, case reviews, patient journeys, reflection on how to improve patient care, and how you are providing patient care.

  • My appraisal portfolio is entirely confidential.

Unfortunately this is not the case, and a recent court case demonstrated that your appraisal reflections can be used against you if a complaint has been taken to court.  Trainee’s portfolio ‘used as evidence against them’ in legal case.

  • I need to scan certificates to provide supporting information about my CPD. This is not a GMC requirement, but you know how GP Tools makes it easy for you if you want to.
  • I have to write a separate reflective note for every hour of CPD I do.  One reflective note for each activity even if it lasts all day.
  • I can choose my designated body / where to have my appraisal.
  • Appraisal is the main way to identify concerns about doctors.
  • Appraisal is a pass/fail event.
  • My appraiser will decide about my revalidation recommendation.
  • I need to undertake a minimum number of GP sessions to revalidate as a GP
  • I have to document all my learning activities. Put down the highest quality one’s to get to 50 hrs of learning.
  • It is reasonable to spend a long time getting the supporting information together for my appraisal. You should not spend more than 3.5 to 4 hours gathering this information. In fairness, this should not take any time if you have been using GP Tools regularly.
  • I only need to provide all six types of GMC supporting information about my clinical role.
  • All my supporting information has to apply to work in the NHS.
  • Supporting information from work overseas cannot be included in my appraisal portfolio.
  • Documented reflection has to be longwinded. It should be brief and to the point.
  • Reflection is difficult. How they describe reflection now as thinking critically about what we do does make it seem easier.
  • Only courses and conferences count as CPD. GP Tools has made it clear that this is not the case.
  • I have to do an equal amount of CPD every year despite different circumstances.
  • As a part-time GP, I only need to do part-time CPD.
  • My CPD for each part of my scope of work has to be different.
  • My supporting information from part of my scope of work already discussed elsewhere has to be presented again at my medical appraisal for revalidation.
  • The GMC requires GPs to complete Basic Life Support and Safeguarding Level 3 training annually in order to revalidate successfully.
  • I cannot claim any credits for a learning activity if I do not learn anything new.
  • My appraiser will be impressed by my hundreds of credit. Some of them are born not be impressed!
  • I have to do 50 credits of CPD every year. Well, to keep the RO of your back, probably best to comply with this on an average of 50/year.
  • I need 50 credits of clinical CPD every year. Across your whole scope of work.
  • I have to demonstrate 50 credits each year even if I have not been able to practise for much of the time. Exceptional circumstatnces may be invoked.
  • I can stop learning and reflecting once I have reached 50 credits of CPD.
  • Time spent on Quality Improvement Activities (QIA) is not CPD. Again,  GP Tools has always made it clear that this is not the case.
  • I have to do all of my Quality Improvement Activity (QIA) myself.
  • There are specific types of Quality Improvement Activities (QIA) that I must include. You do not have to include any specific type of quality improvement activity but you must reflect on the quality of your practice and how you meet the requirements of Good Medical Practice (GMP).
  • GMC Significant Events are the same as GP significant events. Events that do not cause harm to the patient are not the same as GMC SEAs.
  • I have to use the GMC questionnaire for my patient and colleague feedback.  The main patient survey from your clinical work and the main colleague survey from your  clinical work, normally undertaken once every five years,  should be fully GMC compliant, but other feedback need not be.
  • All my patient and colleague feedback has to meet the GMC requirements.
  • I have to do a patient survey every year.
  • I have to find other ways to get feedback from patients every year.
  • My Personal Development Plan (PDP) must include…
  • My Personal Development Plan (PDP) cannot include…
  • I have to have 3/4/5 Personal Development Plan (PDP) goals (or I have to have 3/4/5 clinical PDP goals).


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