The GMC has set out an action plan to fulfil recommendations set out in Sir Keith Pearson’s Taking revalidation forward report, released earlier this year in January.
It said the plans, agreed by the newly-established Revalidation Oversight Group, would help make the process a ‘more positive and meaningful experience for doctors’.
The commitments laid out in the report must all be completed before March 2018.
Its six main priorities include reducing the burden of revalidation on doctors, tracking the impact of revalidation, supporting improved local governance, making revalidation more accessible to patients, strengthening assurance where doctors work in multiple locations and tackling the impact of revalidation.
The BMA warned that the GMC must crack down on local organisations using revalidation to set extra objectives beyond national requirements.
The GMC also said it would work with the CQC to reduce duplication of workload placed on GPs between the two organisations.
BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘The BMA supports the principle of revalidation. We see this action plan as an opportunity to reduce the burden that revalidation imposes on doctors.
‘In particular, we want to see implementation of the recommendation from Sir Keith Pearson’s review that local organisations should not use revalidation as a lever to achieve objectives beyond the GMC’s revalidation requirements. We also agree with Sir Keith that doctors should be able to challenge decisions they feel are unfair.
‘We will continue to press the GMC and other bodies about the actions needed to relieve the unnecessary burden that revalidation can sometimes place on doctors, in order to ensure the process delivers for patients, doctors and the NHS.’
GMC chief executive Charlie Massey said: ‘A lot of work has been going on in the months since the publication of Sir Keith Pearson’s report and our initial response, both by the GMC and other organisations with roles in the revalidation process.
‘But it’s just the beginning, and it’s vital now that we maintain the momentum. We need the continued commitment from a wide range of organisations to make revalidation a better experience for doctors, especially at a time when they are under ever-increasing pressure.
‘Revalidation is integral to assuring patients that we regularly confirm that a doctor remains fit to practise. Our focus now is continuing to work with other organisations, getting their feedback and input, as we act on commitments set out in this plan.’