Taking revalidation forward in 2017
13 January 2017
We want every doctor to have a positive experience of appraisal and revalidation. And we want revalidation to support the care you offer to patients.
Today, an independent review sets out how we can work with the wider healthcare sector to improve revalidation and the processes that contribute to it.
Sir Keith Pearson carried out this important review of revalidation. He has been involved in revalidation since its inception, enabling him to gather practical feedback from a wide range of individuals and organisations involved in the process, as well as being able to analyse the findings of recent research. Find out more about what he found and his recommendations for improvement:
We welcome and strongly support the recommendations in this report. The findings suggest that revalidation is becoming embedded locally and starting to encourage more doctors to reflect on their practice. But revalidation is still a relatively new process and we recognise the difficulties and challenges Sir Keith has identified.
We know that doctors are under increasing amounts of pressure. So it is vital that we all focus on making revalidation and the processes that contribute to it as efficient as possible, while maximising its impact.
Five priorities to improve revalidation – for us and others
We are determined to take forward Sir Keith’s recommendations and we want other organisations to make the same commitment. Many of the areas for improvement, including those that will most benefit doctors, need action at a local level or by organisations other than us. We want to help make this happen, by working collaboratively, offering support and sharing information with all those involved.
These are our five key priorities to improve revalidation:
Reduce unnecessary burdens and bureaucracy for doctors, so there is better balance between reflection, development and compliance with revalidation requirements
- improving how doctors access the information they need for their appraisal. Sir Keith recommends that healthcare organisations should explore ways to make it easier for their doctors to pull together and reflect upon supporting information for their appraisal. Doctors should have access to good data and good IT in the organisations in which they work, and we will urge boards and independent sector providers to make sure these are in place
- distinguishing local employment requirements from revalidation requirements. Sir Keith heard concerns about doctors being asked to carry out activities that go beyond our requirements, to be revalidated. We agree with Sir Keith’s recommendation that reviewing our guidance on supporting information is a key way to minimise any confusion – we have started working on this and will update the guidance by the end of this year. We also expect royal colleges to make sure their guidance is clear, and employers to clarify their mandatory training requirements and when this is not part of revalidation.
Make revalidation more accessible to patients and the public
- looking at how a real-time approach to patient feedback could give doctors a better-quality picture of their practice. Sir Keith recommends that patient feedback mechanisms should be improved and this is a priority for us – we know that doctors find patient feedback valuable when reflecting on their practice, so they can see this through the eyes of those they care for.
Increase oversight of, and support for, doctors in short-term locum positions
We’ll do this by:
- working with responsible officers, to make sure doctors in these roles have the information they need to support their appraisal following every placement and that any concerns are raised directly with the doctor’s responsible officer. This follows Sir Keith’s recommendation that we need to work with others to address weaknesses in information sharing, particularly for locum doctors.
Extend the responsible officer model to all doctors who need a UK licence to practise
We’ll do this by:
- pressing for legislative change with the four health departments across the UK. Sir Keith recommends that all doctors who need a licence to practise in the UK should have a responsible officer and we agree that every doctor should have the same level of support.
Measure and evaluate the impact of revalidation
We’ll do this by:
- working with others to identify a range of measures that will track the impact of revalidation. We agree with Sir Keith’s advice that it is important to develop quantifiable impact measures for revalidation, to demonstrate how revalidation is improving patient care and safety.
We have started working on some of the improvements that we can deliver and will focus immediately on other priority areas. You can find more details on how we’ll achieve this, including actions we’ll take and what we expect of others, in our response to Sir Keith Pearson’s review of revalidation (pdf).