Updated guidance to help you with revalidation

Following feedback from doctors and others we’ve updated our guidance on what’s required for appraisal for revalidation – our Guidance on supporting information for appraisal and revalidation.

We’ve not changed the information you need to collect and reflect on, but have updated our guidance to try and make it more helpful. One of the key recommendations made by Sir Keith Pearson following his Taking Revalidation Forward review was that we should clarify what is mandatory for appraisal and revalidation, and how that may differ from any additional requirements that your employer, royal college or faculty may set.

We want revalidation to be a positive experience for you and want to maximise how it can contribute to your professional development and safer, high quality patient care. We also understand the workload pressures that you continue to face and hope this and other changes we’ve introduced, which you can read about below, will better help and support you.

Key improvements include:

  • More guidance on the balance between the quality and quantity of supporting information needed for appraisal for revalidation so you don’t feel pressured to gather too much evidence
  • Explaining that we do not set either a minimum or a maximum quantity of supporting information that you need to collect
  • Emphasising that, although you must participate in a whole practice appraisal every year unless there are mitigating circumstances preventing you from doing so (for example if you were on long term sick or on maternity leave), it should be a developmental experience as appraisal and revalidation are not pass or fail exercises
  • More information about how you should collect feedback from colleagues, including how colleagues should be selected
  • Reinforcing the importance of doctors who have multiple roles gathering and reflecting on information that covers the whole of their practice.
  • A new section to provide clearer guidance on our requirements for doctors in training and more direction for doctors who may find collecting certain aspects of supporting information difficult.

While this revised guidance emphasises the importance of reflection for learning and development, we are working on a separate piece of guidance with junior doctor leads, doctors in training and student representatives. This aims to address some of your key queries and concerns, particularly around recording written reflections, and hopefully provide reassurance. We are aiming to publish the guidance this summer.

In the meantime we have developed a factsheet following the Dr Bawa-Garba case which answers some of your most frequently asked questions, including some on reflection.

Other updates on Taking revalidation forward

As well as this updated guidance, as part of the Taking Revalidation Forward programme, we’ve also: 

  • Made updates to a specific piece of guidance for responsible officers and suitable persons. It gives advice on what they need to consider when making revalidation recommendations about doctors. One of the key changes includes a new system to ensure that recommendations are being made fairly and appropriately in cases where a doctor has raised public interest concerns.
  • Updated the format and content on our website to help you to find revalidation information more easily. The website includes a video and new tools and advice for specific groups of doctors -for example, new registrants, doctors working in multiple settings, retiring doctors and those on a break from UK practice. We've also improved information about revalidation for patients and the public with an aim of increasing their awareness and involvement in it.