President Tony Falconer FRCOG 018RCOG President Dr Tony Falconer writes…

From early December all doctors wishing to maintain a license to practise in the UK will need to undergo revalidation. This means you will have to demonstrate that you are up to date and fit to practise, within your own area of expertise. This is good news for your patients as it will assure them that you are complying with the relevant professional standards, with increasingly robust data on clinical outcomes of patients treated. It is anticipated that it will improve safety and ensure that any poor practices can be identified and resolved at an early stage.

As Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Revalidation Steering Group, I have been heavily involved in introducing the system for revalidation and I intend to undergo revalidation in early 2013. I would like to thank all those who contributed to the Steering Group discussions, including our members and colleagues from the other royal colleges.

The Academy has been active in the development of the process of revalidation, working closely with the colleges and faculties, General Medical Council (GMC) and the Department of Health to make sure that doctors receive the support that they will need.

So what do you need to do to prepare for revalidation?

Here at the RCOG we have recently revised our web pages on revalidation to provide clearer resources and advice for our members. In preparation doctors are advised to ensure they have an annual appraisal and refer to the specialty specific supporting information document for appraisal and revalidation.

You will need to inform the GMC of the organisation that will provide your regular appraisal, known as your designated body.  In addition, you will need to know who your responsible officer is who will make a recommendation about you on this organisation’s behalf.  Moreover, you will need to set up an online account with the GMC.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and revalidation are intertwined and the GMC will require documented proof of CPD as essential to successful appraisal and revalidation. The RCOG has a well developed CPD programme, established as a voluntary scheme fifteen years ago.  I hope this assures you of our experience in the matter and demonstrates our commitment to your individual professional needs.

We are also the first royal college to publish a Working Party Report on recertification, which has defined our revalidation model for obstetricians and gynaecologists.

We need to welcome and embrace revalidation and from 1 December 2012, the College will provide a revalidation helpdesk to assist you should you have any queries.  More details will be available on our website soon.