A framework for tracking revalidation

In his 2017 report Taking revalidation forward  Sir Keith Pearson recommended that we work with partners to identify a range of measures which could help track the impact of revalidation on patient care and safety over time. In response, we have collaborated to establish a framework and accompanying measures for tracking revalidation. 

We developed principles to help us make sure the framework is practical. We agreed it should:

  • Provide confidence that revalidation continues to meet its objectives.
  • Enable the GMC and partners to identify where further improvement to revalidation might be needed.
  • Be capable of identifying both positive and negative impacts, including whether changes to processes have been effective.
  • Be proportionate, taking account of existing tracking activity and not place unreasonable burdens on the system.

The framework is a forward-looking way of tracking revalidation over time. It is a combination of the above principles, the revalidation tracking model and a three-step approach to tracking revalidation.

An icon with speech bubbles, the text reads '1. Headline'

Headline measures show whether essential aspects of revalidation are happening, like appraisal, improvements to practice and information sharing.

An icon with a rosette, the text reads '2. Supporting'

Supporting measures show us how well those aspects are performing, focusing on things like quality of appraisals and timeliness of information sharing.

An icon with a male face, the text reads '3. Impact'

Over time these measures will give us a clearer picture of the impact of revalidation, allowing us to see what’s working well and what we can improve.

What are the accompanying measures?

The measures are recommended ‘best practice’ ways for designated bodies to check whether aspects of revalidation are working as expected. Examples includes monitoring appraisal rates of doctors, the percentage of doctors who feel appraisals have led to a positive change in their practice and data on the number of designated bodies that involve patients and lay people in their revalidation processes.

Revalidation best practice headline measures.

Looking ahead

It is critical that we don’t place any unnecessary burdens on local and national systems. We know that any measures can only be introduced at a pace that those systems can support. We are working with partners in all four countries of the UK to identify opportunities where they can be incorporated into existing tracking activities.

Where measures are introduced, we hope to see the following benefits:

  • The ability to identify trends in revalidation activities and outcomes from a four-country perspective.
  • Increased assurance as designated bodies, system leads in each of the four countries and the GMC will be better able to identify and then respond to issues.
  • Designated bodies to have the ability to consider their data in relation to similar organisations.