A cohort of medical royal colleges has today signed a contract with Equiniti 360° Clinical to provide an online portfolio to support UK doctors through their appraisal and revalidation. Revalidation means that from 2012, all doctors who hold a license to practise will have to demonstrate to the General Medical Council (GMC) that they remain fit to practise, and are doing so in accordance with the relevant professional and specialty standards.
During a five-year revalidation cycle, doctors will be expected to provide appropriate supporting information at annual appraisal to allow their appraiser to assess the quality of professional practice, and ultimately for a Responsible Officer to recommend revalidation to the GMC. To support this, doctors will need an online system to securely record, manage and facilitate submission of their supporting information.
The Colleges have chosen Equiniti 360° Clinical to provide the revalidation portfolio as they already supply leading 360 degree feedback software, training and support to NHS Trusts and Boards throughout the UK and have significant IT capabilities and considerable experience in integrating systems. Equiniti 360° Clinical was formed through the acquisition of 360° Clinical by the Equiniti Group in February 2011.
The revalidation portfolio will:
- Be straightforward and easy to use
- Be accessible online over the internet and through the NHS N3 network
- Be customisable by each medical royal college or faculty
- Only be accessible to the doctor using it and those to whom he or she gives permission
- Minimise the need for duplication by interfacing and communicating with existing systems and applications
- Provide intuitive assistance in gathering the supporting information for appraisal and revalidation
- Be designed and developed to the highest standards, sourced in Microsoft, but made affordable to doctors, institutions and organisations
- Anticipate future revalidation developments
- Be secure, private, and confidential.
The next phase of the project includes extensive testing and approval processes, involving doctors who eventually will be using the revalidation portfolio.
Dr Ian Starke, medical director for revalidation at the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), said:
"This is an important step forward in preparing doctors for revalidation, and we will be looking for doctors to help us to develop and test the Revalidation Portfolio before it is implemented. Ease of access and use will be key to its success, with systematic and logical data capture to help busy doctors obtain and manage the supporting information needed for appraisal and revalidation."
Equiniti 360° Clinical chief executive, Jo Parker-Swift, said:
"We are delighted to be working the Royal Colleges on such an important development in the healthcare sector. Our primary objective has always been to provide doctors with easy to use systems that reduce the administrative burdens they face as well as the support they need to make the appraisal and revalidation process as straight forward as possible. We are now able to take that aim one step further forward."
The Royal College of Physicians’ Revalidation Unit is leading the project on behalf of the cohort, which comprises:
- The College of Emergency Medicine
- The Royal College of Anaesthetists
- The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
- The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
- The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
- The Royal College of Physicians
- The Royal College of Ophthalmologists
The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has given its backing and full financial support to this project.