Doctors will have to demonstrate their competence in four domains: knowledge, skills and performance; safety and quality; communication and teamwork; and maintaining trust.
The first licences to practice will be issued in the summer of 2009 at the earliest. The licensing process will involve regular practice audits and feedback from patients and colleagues.
The framework ranges from obvious points like 'keep patients informed about the progress of their care', to standards that may be more difficult to provide evidence for, including 'act as a positive role model for colleagues'. It is a condensed form of the seven main sections of Good Medical Practice.
GMC chairman Professor Sir Graeme Catto said: 'Good Medical Practice was not immediately accessible at a local level. This is a more concise document and will allow people to provide the evidence more easily.'
Doctors will have to present a portfolio of evidence as part of an annual appraisal.
Revalidation at five-year intervals is unlikely to be in full swing until 2014.
The GMC admits the scheme is 'a long way off' because it must upgrade IT and administrative systems and government legislation must be passed.
Additionally, the new Care Quality Commission will have the power to inspect and regulate GP practices by 2010.
Local Improvement Networks will also have the power to enter premises and observe certain activities.
But the Medical Protection Society has said that reform to the way in which GPs are regulated will be both intrusive and unnecessary.
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