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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GMC to issue licences to practise ahead of revalidation

By Steve Nowottny

The GMC will begin issuing GPs with a ‘licence to practise' next year - but will not begin revalidation ‘until some time after this' - according to a new briefing published this month.

The regulatory body sets out what its revalidation plans will mean for GPs in the latest edition of its newsletter GMCtoday.

Under the plans, all doctors wishing to practise in the UK will need to hold a license to practise which will be subject to renewal every five years.

In order to ensure their revalidation, GPs will need to collect a folder of supporting evidence from their practice, undergo an annual appraisal and receive ‘multisource' feedback from patients and colleagues.

Doctors will continue to be registered with the GMC, but will need a licence if they wish to prescribe, sign certificates or carry out certain other activities.

However the GMC has sought to reassure GPs that the impact of the changes will only be gradually felt. Initially licences will be issued automatically to all registered doctors, except those who have stated they do not require one, starting in 2009.

‘At first, there will be no practical difference between having a licence plus registration, and the effect of the registration that you currently hold,' the guidance states. ‘The full significance of the licence will only be seen once the process of revalidation begins.'

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