Close to three quarters (71%) of the 60,002 GPs on the GMC register before revalidation began had successfully undergone the process by the end of September 2015, according to official statistics seen by GPonline.
But around 7,000 GPs - 12% of GPs on the December 2012 register - are no longer subject to revalidation, because they are no longer registered, no longer licensed, or now hold temporary registration.
Excluding these GPs, the GMC has revalidated 81% of the GPs still subject to the revalidation process in the target group.
The GMC aimed to revalidate all GPs on the 2012 register by April 2016, setting out to get through 20% of doctors in year one of the programme (2013/14), followed by another 40% in year two (2014/15) and then the final 40% in year three (2015/16), the current financial year.
Almost 10,000 GPs – 16% of the GPs included in the target – must still undergo revalidation before April for the GMC to hit its target according to the statistics, which run until the end of September.
This gives the regulator six months, as of these figures, to revalidate this 16%, while its target at this point allowed for 20%, suggesting it is slightly ahead of schedule.
A GMC spokeswoman confirmed that it was on track to get through the majority of GPs by April, but added that it was ‘inevitable’ that some may have their revalidation planned for slightly after this date.
Once all doctors have been revalidated once, they will be provided with the date they will next need to be revalidated by in the second round of the revalidation programme.
GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said: 'We are pleased with the progress that we are making with revalidation, especially in primary care. More than 60,000 GPs have been revalidated since 2012 and we are on track to complete the majority by next spring. These figures are a testament to doctors and to those who have been supporting them with their appraisal and revalidation over the past three years.
'The process is working well, and we believe the system has strengthened clinical governance although we accept there will be lessons to learn as it is developed. The interim evaluation report from independent researchers, which includes a large-scale survey of doctors, will be published in the spring of next year. This will help everyone involved understand where improvements can be made.’