Working with doctors Working for patients


GMC statement in response to the publication of Sir Keith Pearson's review of revalidation ('Taking Revalidation Forward')

GMC Statement

13 Jan 2017

GMC statement in response to the publication of Sir Keith Pearson’s review of revalidation (‘Taking Revalidation Forward’)

Revalidation has embedded the system of annual appraisals for doctors, and is integral to assuring patients that a doctor’s fitness to practise is checked regularly, but it is important that we learn and improve the process

GMC Chief Executive Charlie Massey

Responding to Sir Keith Pearon's review, Taking revalidation forward, Charlie Massey, Chief Executive of the General Medical Council, said:

‘It is reassuring to hear that revalidation is settling in and beginning to impact on clinical practice, professional behaviour and patient safety. But it is still relatively new, and we acknowledge the difficulties and challenges identified by Sir Keith in his report.

‘Revalidation has embedded the system of annual appraisals for doctors, and is integral to assuring patients that a doctor’s fitness to practise is checked regularly, but it is important that we learn and improve the process so all doctors find it a positive experience.

‘Doctors are under increasing pressure, and it is vital they are given the appropriate time and support for their own learning and wellbeing. It is important that revalidation is made as efficient as possible, while maximising its impact.

‘The report points to evidence that patients expect there to be systems in place for checking that doctors continue to be safe to practise, but they are not generally aware of the important role they can play in this process.

‘We agree with Sir Keith’s recommendation that more should be done to raise the profile and understanding of revalidation with the public, how the process contributes to improving the quality of patient care, how they can be involved and to encourage more feedback about doctors.

‘I am concerned by the findings that some doctors are asked, as part of their revalidation, to provide evidence or carry out activities above and beyond what is required and detailed in our guidance.

‘As Sir Keith recommends, we shall work with the royal colleges and with employers so that our guidance, and theirs, are clear about what are mandatory requirements for revalidation and where there is scope for flexibility. Everyone needs to be clear on what is, and what is not, necessary for revalidation.

‘The GMC will work with the four governments of the UK, healthcare organisations and others to take Sir Keith’s recommendations forward. We will begin work immediately on the changes we can deliver, but some that will particularly benefit doctors and the public require action from others in healthcare. We want to help make this happen, by working collaboratively, offering support and sharing information.

‘Sir Keith’s review, and his recommendations, will make an important contribution to further developing revalidation to make sure it is fit for purpose and commands the confidence of all.

‘It took a number of organisations across the UK to work together to set up revalidation in 2012, and we need to same level of commitment now, from all those involved.’

The GMC has published its formal response to the recommendations in Sir Keith Pearson's review.

Notes to editors

The General Medical Council (GMC) is an independent organisation that helps to protect patients and improve medical education and practice across the UK.

  • We decide which doctors are qualified to work here and we oversee UK medical education and training.
  • We set the standards that doctors need to follow, and make sure that they continue to meet these standards throughout their careers.
  • We take action when we believe a doctor may be putting the safety of patients, or the public's confidence in doctors, at risk.

We are not here to protect doctors - their interests are protected by others. Our job is to protect the public.

We are independent of government and the medical profession and accountable to Parliament. Our powers are given to us by Parliament through the Medical Act 1983.

We are a registered charity (number 1089278 with the Charity Commission for England and Wales, and number SC037750 with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator), we have to show that our aims are for public benefit.

The GMC Media Relations Office can be contacted on 020 7189 5454, email press@gmc-uk.org.

To find out more please visit our website www.gmc-uk.org.

Join us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.