Revalidation announcement by GMC
To retain your license to practice you usually need to have an appraisal every year and to revalidate every five years. The GMC says, “Revalidation assures patients and the public that doctors remain up to date and fit to practise, in line with the standards of practice required in the UK. It is founded on the principle that you have met the professional expectations placed on you as a doctor practising in the UK. You have a professional obligation to give an honest and comprehensive picture of your whole practice for revalidation.”
How to revalidate
Regulations require you to engage with the following revalidation processes:
Your revalidation recommendation
Multi-source feedback for revalidation
Formal Multi-Source Feedback (MSF) is a requirement of medical revalidation and must be undertaken once in each revalidation cycle. The General Medical Council (GMC) says that for your revalidation you must collect, reflect on, and discuss at your appraisal feedback from patients and colleagues across the whole scope of your practice.
Where a doctor does not provide medical services to patients there is no requirement to undertake a patient feedback survey but all doctors must undertake colleague feedback and the GMC says that the questionnaires should be validated and independently administered whenever possible to maintain objectivity and confidentiality.
Many colleague feedback tools that are currently used for revalidation may not be optimally suited to clinical informaticians for various reasons including a focus on clinical contact with patients.
FCI has developed a colleague feedback tool for medical revalidation which meets GMC criteria and reflects the values and principles of GMC’s Good Medical Practice. The tool may be suitable for all doctors whose scope of practice includes clinical informatics, whether or not they provide medical services to patients.
Some designated bodies may mandate a particular MSF tool and doctors can discuss with their appraiser whether the FCI-approved MSF is appropriate for them. If there is any doubt doctors should confirm that the responsible officer is content. John Woodhouse, suitable person, accepts a range of MSF tools and has supported the development of the FCI-approved MSF indicators.
In seeking colleague feedback for revalidation purposes, you should try to ensure that you ask a range of colleagues that is representative of the people you work with and across the scope of your practice.
GMC requires that the MSF process includes a supported discussion either through appraisal or a separate feedback session. FCI advises that you include in your appraisal portfolio some written reflections on the feedback you have received, ready to discuss at your appraisal.
The FCI-approved indicators were developed iteratively from the core GMC indicators, with particular thanks to the Faculty of Occupational Medicine and members of the FCI education and standards committee. The aims included keeping the number of indicators low and the rating scale simple and that the tool should be equally suitable for those that do and don’t have direct contact with patients. GMC guidance on the development of questionnaires was reviewed for compliance.
The MSF is available at https://www.fourteenfish.com/join/fci. Registration is free and there is a nominal charge for the survey which is payable once the survey is complete and you want to view the results report. FourteenFish Ltd is a small UK company that specialises in providing appraisal toolkits and did not charge a set-up cost to FCI. A 10% discount is offered to FCI Members and Fellows.
The MSF tool will be kept under review, if you would like to provide constructive comments on it, please contact FCI.