Guidance on supporting information for revalidation

Significant events

The purpose of collecting and reflecting on significant events

  • To allow you to review and improve the quality of your professional work.
  • To identify any patterns in the types of significant events recorded involving your practice and consider what further learning and development actions you have implemented, or plan to implement to prevent such events happening again.
  • As a doctor, AA or PA you must be open and honest with patients, colleagues and your employers. The professional duty of candour guidance makes clear the need for honesty with patients after healthcare harm, and the importance of contributing to a learning culture to improve patient safety and make sure lessons are learned. You have a responsibility under the duty of candour to log incidents and events according to the reporting process within your organisation.

What is a significant event?

  1. A significant event is any unintended or unexpected event, which could or did lead to harm of one or more patients. This includes incidents where the event should have been prevented.
  2. Your organisation may use a different term for these events (for example serious incident, adverse event, serious adverse incident, or patient safety incident) or they may have defined the term more broadly to include learning events other than those that resulted in harm. To meet our requirements, you should focus on your learning from any events and incidents that have or could have harmed your patients.
  3. Significant events should be collected routinely by your employer where you are directly employed or contracted by an organisation. If you are self-employed you should make note of any such events or incidents and review them.

Our requirements

  1. You must declare and reflect on every significant event you were involved in since your last appraisal. Involvement includes being a part of the team providing treatment where a significant event occurred.
  2. Your discussion at appraisal should focus on those significant events that led to a change in your practice, and/or to system improvements, or which demonstrate your insight and learning. You should discuss your participation in logging any incidents and events, and in clinical governance meetings where incidents or events and learning are reviewed.
  3. Your reflection and discussion should focus on the insight and learning from the event or incident, rather than the facts or the number you have recorded. You must be able to explain to your appraiser, if asked, why you have chosen these events or incidents.
  4. If you have not been involved in any significant events you must declare this fact. You should either reflect on your local significant event or serious incident process or what you have been doing to mitigate the risk of an event or incident occurring.

Reflecting on significant events

  1. You should be able to show that you are aware of any patterns in the types of incidents or events recorded about your practice. You should discuss the action you have taken and any changes made to your practice to prevent such events or incidents happening again.