RCGP revises revalidation guide on learning credits

The RCGP has softened the impact of the controversial learning credits and patient surveys in its revised revalidation guide.

Revalidation Version 2 suggests ways to make it easier for locums and sessional doctors to meet the scheme's demands.

The guide also says that GPs recommended to fail revalidation can appeal.

Version 2 says GPs can earn credits by counting hours spent learning, planning and reflecting. They can then double their credits by showing how the impact of their learning has improved their practice.

GPs only need do one patient survey in five years as long as it is 'highly satisfactory'. In place of a second survey they can submit a review of their consulting skills.

Revalidation Version 2 takes into account more than 200 comments on Version 1.

In an important concession to non-mainstream GPs, it says 'there will need to be flexibility concerning the evidence required that takes the GP's circumstances into account.'

Dr Vicky Weeks, chairman of the GPC's sessional GPs subcommittee, said she expected the guidance to change further after a pilot of revalidation specific to locums is completed.

The college insists that amassing learning credits will not be a burden. 'Almost all GPs undertake far more than 50 hours of education per year and this standard should be routinely achieved,' the guide says.

The RCGP will only be working with volunteer GPs in revalidation-ready PCOs from April 2010. Knowledge tests will only be used as a 'last resort' in 'rare circumstances.'



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