RCGP revalidation overhaul to scrap doubling of CPD points for 'impact'

The RCGP has backed plans to simplify GP revalidation from April by scrapping a mechanism that allows doctors to claim double credits for CPD by demonstrating the impact of their learning.

The move will bring GP revalidation closer in line with the system for other medical specialties, and aims to create a more 'flexible' system that properly rewards GPs for time spent on CPD.

Revamped guidelines on revalidation set to be published next week by the college will set out changes that it believes will cut the overall workload involved in the process for GPs.

CPD points accrued to date under the 'doubling' mechanism will not be affected, the college confirmed.

RCGP revalidation lead Dr Susi Caesar said: 'Revalidation is the remit of the GMC and not the college, but it is our role to support GPs in their personal and professional development.

GP revalidation

'The college is listening to feedback from GPs and working to reduce the overall administrative burden they face. One of the ways we are doing this is by adapting our guidance around the revalidation process for GPs so that it does not add to the pressures facing them.

'Feedback from our members about revalidation was that the current guidance on supporting information was being applied inconsistently. In issuing new guidance, we are moving to a more streamlined and proportionate approach that values quality over quantity. We believe that this will increase the dissemination of best practice while reducing the burden of documentation required.'

Dr Caesar said GPs had reported concerns that the current system that allows CPD credits to be doubled for demonstrating the impact of learning was 'restrictive and arbitrary'.

'We have moved away from a one-size-fits-all doubling to a more flexible system that emphasises and rewards all the time spent demonstrating impact,' she said.

GP workload

'The changes that have been made to our guidance on supporting information focus on reducing confusion, reducing bureaucracy, and ultimately reducing workload for GPs when they are under such intense pressure with increasing patient demand.

'We will continue to review all our guidance and work with the GMC to do what we can to make the processes involved with revalidation as supportive and worthwhile as possible, while at the same time ensuring our patients are safe.'

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey told GPonline that the new system would be simpler. 'One hour counts as one credit. It got quite complicated justifying why you had multiplied a particular part of your CPD - it's much easier to say you've done an hour at a meeting or reading and claim it.'

Dr Vautrey said GPs could still claim CPD points for work that might previously have been used to claim 'impact'. He added that GPs should not spend time recording more CPD than they needed to. GPs should not be recording 100 hours of CPD a year, he said, and should stop 'when you get to 50'.

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