Exclusive: Revalidation guidance for 'GPs in special groups'

The RCGP has updated its guidance to clarify what 'GPs in special groups' - those without a fixed, standard workplace and those in career transition - must do to revalidate.

Prof Field: 'Revalidation is still well on course'
Prof Field: 'Revalidation is still well on course'

In a significant softening of language, version four of the document rebadges RCGP assessors as advisers and its national adjudication panel as a 'national advisory panel'.

'Equivalent portfolios' come in for 'doctors in special groups' such as peripatetic locums, out-of-hours doctors, and GPs working in walk-in centres, remote or small practices, or secure environments.

They offer a solution for GPs whose revalidation falls in a career break and trainees, but not part-time GPs who work in a fixed environment or even long-term locums.

Click here to download the RCGP Guide to the Revalidation of GPs

The College places the responsibility to work out of isolation with individual GPs. 'All GPs need to consider how they achieve peer support to prevent professional isolation,' it says.

But practices, federations and employers also have a duty to involve locums, out-of-hours or walk-in centre doctors in complaints and significant events. These doctors should have access to patient records for audit and quality improvements, the guidance says.

‘The responsibilities of those who engage locums to support access for quality assurance must be made clear and included in terms and conditions of employment,' it says.

A ‘special group' GP could ask colleagues in a locum group, professional organisation, chambers or even virtual education group for input into multi-source feedback.

Other options include sending surveys to practices they have worked at, or being observed by an appraiser or trainer.

Trainees will normally first revalidate five years after passing their MRCGP. But trainees who take longer to start work will need to use information from their trainee portfolio plus supporting statements from educational and clinical supervisors. During training, the postgraduate dean will be their responsible officer.

Educational activities have also been clarified: they can include formal courses, lectures, seminars, small-group or practice-based learning events and other activities.

RCGP chairman Professor Steve Field said: ‘Revalidation is still well on course. We would urge all GPs to start collecting evidence now.'

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