Managing and responding to information about revalidation

How do we receive information about revalidation?

Occasionally, we receive information about the reliability of revalidation recommendations, such as information about clinical governance systems or the ability of responsible officers and suitable persons.

This information may come from:

  • individual doctors, designated bodies or responsible officers
  • our own operational data
  • our operational protocol with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). This gives guidance for staff in each organisation on sharing information. They also include questions on local processes underpinning revalidation in their inspections
  • other regulators across the UK, including Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, Monitor, and the Trust Development Authority
  • revalidation leads from across the four UK countries and health departments
  • stakeholder reference groups for medical staff, responsible officers and suitable persons
  • regular meetings with doctors and patient groups led by our regional liaison advisers
  • NHS England’s policy for responding to concerns about responsible officers with a prescribed connection to NHS England
  • the framework of quality assurance for responsible officers and revalidation.

What actions do we take?

When we receive concerns about processes for making revalidation recommendations:

  • our employer liaison advisers share these with the relevant responsible officer or suitable person (unless concerns relate to them personally). They have the opportunity to respond
  • we inform the chief executive and board of directors of the organisation and give the opportunity to respond
  • we alert the second tier responsible officer or agreed contact in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

We may:

  • temporarily stop revalidation recommendations
  • tell doctors with submission dates in that period that we are cancelling and rescheduling submission dates
  • remove recognition of the suitable person, where appropriate
  • tell doctors connected to the suitable person about alternative revalidation options
  • inform relevant regulators where the information may be useful to their regulatory remit
  • refer the responsible officer or suitable person into our fitness to practise procedures (where concerns are serious).

This is not an exhaustive list. We deal with each case individually and we take the necessary action to make sure recommendations are reliable. We will record any actions on our systems.

If no action is necessary, we keep information in line with data protection and retention policies. We may look at it again if we receive subsequent concerns.

Assurance about concerns

Once we have assurance in the reliability of revalidation recommendations and systems, we will start to process recommendations and reschedule submission dates again.

Examples of assurance may include: 

  • evidence of independent verification from a local quality monitoring process (such as the Annual Organisational Audit that forms part of the Framework of Quality assurance for Responsible Officers and Revalidation in England or other local quality measures in the other UK countries)
  • written confirmation from the second tier responsible officer
  • written confirmation from the chief executive or board that adequate systems are in place or actions are being taken to mitigate the situation
  • written confirmation from the responsible officer, chief executive or board that the organisation meets the core elements we have set out in the handbook for effective local governance of the systems that support revalidation
  • written assurance from the responsible officer, chief executive, second tier responsible officer or authorised contacts in the UK countries, or any responsible regulator.

Support for designated bodies, responsible officers and suitable persons

For support, please contact our Outreach or Revalidation team.