The Guide to the Revalidation of GPs, published this week, sets out for the first time the full detail of plans for revalidation.
RCGP chairman Professor Steve Field told GP the guide had been published to put an end to speculation about how the system would work and to give GPs an opportunity to engage in informed debate over details.
'There is so much uncertainty out there we felt it would help if we put something out so people could look at it,' he said.
'Revalidation is going to happen, but the detail needs to be discussed.'
The document sets out evidence GPs will need to provide for revalidation, through personal development plans, learning credits, multi-source feedback, audits and other means.
It reminds GPs that they must begin building a portfolio of evidence from this month, although for the first year the data required are 'limited to that required for annual appraisal'.
GPs are expected to achieve at least 50 'credits' under the system, detailing their efforts to improve their education, but the guide warns they should normally claim 'more than 50'.
It gives details of who can support GPs in multi-source feedback and sets out plans for revalidating doctors with non-standard roles.
Professor Field added that barriers to the system remained, with PCT support for appraisal and the appointment of responsible officers patchy.
But he was 'pleased' with the response from health secretary Alan Johnson at a recent meeting where Professor Field spelt out the importance of the system in improving quality and patient safety.
GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey welcomed the guidance but said 'lots of questions remained' over gathering credits and funding.
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