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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RCGP statement on freedom of appraisal toolkit choice

The RCGP recommends that your portfolio of supporting information should include all the core elements required by the GMC in a format that is professionally presented, typed so that it is legible, and capable of being transmitted electronically.

NHS England clearly says that, while they require appraisals to be submitted electronically and not on paper, the individual GP should have a choice about which toolkit to use (medical-appraisal-policy-0415,  page 15).

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Londonwide LMCs statement on freedom of appraisal toolkit choice

The following is a communication from the Londonwide LMCs to all London based GPs regarding freedom of appraisal toolkit choice (27 January 2016 – emphasis added).


Dear Colleague.

As you will know, NHSE funding for the use of the Clarity appraisal toolkit has ceased. Although many of you will pay for and continue to use Clarity, we have been asked to remind you that, should you wish, there are alternative toolkits as well as the free downloadable MAG form.

There is no requirement in the regulations to use any particular vehicle for your appraisal, although it may remain convenient to you to use a toolkit with which you, your appraiser and the responsible officers are familiar.

We recommend that GPs intending to use an alternative inform their appraisers well before their next appraisal date, and check with any alternative supplier the mechanism for transferring previous appraisal data from Clarity.

Yours sincerely


Dr Michelle Drage FRCGP
Chief Executive
Londonwide LMCs

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Freedom of appraisal toolkit choice

Dear Colleagues,

With the recent changes in NHS funding for appraisal toolkits. It is now the respoonsibility of the individual doctor to pay for thier online appraisal and revalidation toolkit.

Common sense dictates that as doctors are going to be paying for their toolkit they should be able to choose whichever appraisal vehicle / toolkit they like – as long as it fulfils all the requirements.

This very helpful NHS guidance:

NHS England guidance on appraisal toolkit choice

clearly states :

‘Whichever vehicle you decide to use, you will be responsible for ensuring that your appraiser has access to your system and understands its functionality. You must also ensure that your appraisal information complies with the Medical Appraisal Guide and is available in a format that permits it to be uploaded to the RMS. In terms of this latter point, if your appraisal can be downloaded as a pdf or Word document, this will be acceptable.’

So you are free to use whatever appraisal toolkit you like. With a range of innovative features we feel that GP Tools should be your first choice. Our ‘easy as email’ approach and ability to fulfil all NHS England requirements make us the ‘go to’ vehicle for medical appraisals.

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Are you leaving the _____ toolkit ? Claim your one year free GP Tools subscription

Dear Colleagues,

From the 1st of January 2016 through to the end of the year, if you are coming over from the _____ toolkit then we will give you a year’s GP Tools subscription completely free when you join.

All you have to do is email our support team with any documentation from the _____ toolkit showing that they are demanding £££ from you.

Unfortunately, you will have to use your imagination to figure out what we mean by the _____ toolkit; their solicitors have warned us not to mention the _____ toolkit in any way or we will be taken to court.

Next time: ‘How to import your data from the _____ toolkit!’.

Happy joining GP Tools

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100 complimentary subscriptions give away for London GPs

As you are all aware by now, London NHS regions will no longer be funding any apprasial and revalidation toolkits from April 2016.

To celebrate this decision, we are going to offer 1 year complimentary subscriptions to a randomly selected  group of 100 London GPs.

Remember that we do not take any payment details from you upon signing up.

Our rates are £39.99 per year and we also include a patient survey report in that price. So a potential saving of £50 on top of our reduced prices.

Give us a try, you never know you might be the lucky recipient of a free subscription.

Happy joining GP Tools !

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GP Tools attains ISO 27001 Certification

GP Tools is ISO 27001 certified.


What is ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 is the international standard for Information Security. The standard is awarded to organisations that have proved they have an effective information security management system (ISMS) in place to deal with their own and others sensitive information.
An ISMS is a “systematic approach to managing confidential or sensitive corporate information so that it remains secure.” Organisations such as ours, that deal with large volumes of data – need to have to a system in place that guarantees we can ensure your information is kept secure at all times. Having gained the ISO 27001 standard means that our ISMS has been assessed against a rigorous set of requirements, and is fully capable of ensuring the safety of your information.

Why have we been certified?

As technology advances, and more of us do business through the web, the cloud and other digital arenas, information security becomes more and more important. You, the user are the most important thing to us, so we wanted to ensure not only that our ISMS was operating to the highest standards, but that we were accredited to offer you peace of mind that you can trust us to keep your information safe.

What does it mean for you?

Gaining the ISO 27001 is proof that we are serious about information security and devoted to ensuring that any information you trust us with is always kept safe and secure, and will not be accessible by anyone else. We hope this provides you with peace of mind that we are vigilant, tenacious and determined in the protection of your data.

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Appraisal discussion feedback enabled for all users

Complete and send appraisal feedback

After some great feedback by users we have now enabled appraisal feedback for everyone.

After you have completed your appraisal disucssion documentation you may complete and send feedback directly to your appraisal team.

Again, keeping in line with our mottto ‘as easy as email’ it only takes a few minutes to complete the feedback and helps the appraisal team understand and imporve the process.

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GP Tools Android app released

We are proud to announce the release of our new android app, you can download it from the google play store by following this link or by searching for ‘GP Tools’ in the play store.
Please let us know how you get on, and what kind of improvements you would like to see. Your feedback is always valued.

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Happy new year to all our users

Happy new year

First of all a big happy new year to all our users. You have truly contributed with your suggestions and feedback to make GP Tools an incredible way to record appraisal information.

Congratulations to the thousands who have been revalidated using GP Tools in 2013.

We are also looking forward to welcoming Nurses to our sister site in 2014. The amount of requests we have had from the nursing community is simply phenomenal and we are working hard to design an ‘easy as email’ appraisal and revalidation system for them to use.

Stay tuned as we have a number of new partnerships and unique ideas we are sure you will love.

May you have a happy and prosperous new year 🙂

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