GMC revalidation advisory board chairman Sir Keith Pearson will lead the review, which will consider evidence from across the UK about how the process has worked and suggest changes to improve it.
The review will consider GMC data on revalidation and complaints, research on revalidation and appraisal, and feedback from responsible officers, unions, the government and patients.
GPonline reported last year that the GMC was on track to meet its target of revalidating all GPs on its register when the process began in December 2012 by the end of March 2016.
But pressure from doctors to reform revalidation has been growing. Earlier this year GPs at the special LMCs conference, convened to discuss solutions to the GP crisis, rejected a call to suspend revalidation but demanded steps to simplify the process.
GP revalidation workload
Speakers argued that there was no evidence to support revalidation, and that the process would not have caught serial killer Harold Shipman. Others said the process was too onerous, and blamed it for persuading some older GPs to retire rather than deal with the extra bureaucracy.
A statement from the GMC said that an 'interim evaluation of revalidation, being produced by an independent UK-wide collaboration of researchers, under the name UMbRELLA, is due to be published during the spring and will be a key element in the evidence reviewed'.
The college hopes to simplify revalidation through changes including the removal of a mechanism that allows GPs to double CPD points by demonstrating 'impact'.