Working with doctors Working for patients

Introducing regulated credentials: consultation on proposed framework

We are considering a new process called credentialing to recognise doctors’ capabilities in particular practice areas.

Our consultation on the broad principles and processes for our credentialing model ran from 1 July to 7 October 2015.

Brief information about the concept of credentialing.

What did we consult on?

We asked for feedback, as shown in the consultation document (pdf) (for information only), on:

  • the principles for the credentialing framework
  • the appropriate scope and level at which credentials should be set
  • the process for identifying and prioritising potential areas of practice where credentials would enhance medical regulation and patient protection
  • process for how organisations can establish a GMC-approved credential
  • the process for how doctors will get and maintain a credential and how we will show their credentials on the medical register.

What did people say?

We received 217 written responses to the consultation, 68 from organisations and 149 from individuals. Almost all of the individual respondents were doctors and they divided roughly evenly between trainees, SAS doctors, and consultants.

The overall response to our proposals was positive: 69% of respondents agreeing with our reasons for introducing credentials and just 16% disagreeing. Despite the majority support for credentialing respondents were concerned about how our framework would be implemented and in particular how credentialing would work in practice.

We reported the outcomes of the consultation to our Council at it's meeting in April 2016.

What happens next?

Our Council considered the results of the credentialing consultation at its meeting in April 2016. The outcome was that Council agreed that we will work with a small number of early adopters to evaluate and test the cost effectiveness and efficacy of our credentialing model during 2016-17. But we will need further discussion before we decide who those first ‘early adopters’ will be.

The early adopter work will also allow us to begin to strengthen patient protection in currently unrecognised areas of practice as well as exploit overlap with other GMC pieces of work; including the review of educational curricula and assessment and introduction of general professional capabilities.

Contact us

For further information about credentialing, please email us at quality@gmc-uk.org.