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RCGP announces detail on learning credits for revalidation

By Gareth Iacobucci

The RCGP has revealed details of the learning credits that GPs will need to collect in preparation for revalidation.

The new system - dubbed the 'Impact model' - will enable GPs to record their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) based on both time spent on the activity and the impact it has on patient care.

The plans, which will be submitted to the GMC for sign-off in preparation for revalidation, come after the College was forced to rethink the learning credits system after finding it confused grassroots GPs.

Under the plans published today, each recorded hour spent on a learning activity – such as attending meetings, peer group sessions, reading, or online tasks - will count as one of the 50 credits that GPs must collect every year.

However, additional credits can be earned if GPs can demonstrate what they learned and how they will apply it to their practice.

GPs can potentially double their credits in a particular area if they can show their practice has been altered as a result of their learning.

RCGP revalidation lead Professor Mike Pringle told Pulse that GPs would get credits more quickly by focusing on learning that benefits patients.

‘The reality is, GPs do far more than 50 credits worth a year. Our pilots show an immense amount of learning activity going on. But we want people to recognise the difference between education of value and education just for the sake of doing it,' he explained.

He added: ‘The default is one credit per hour, but when people get the gist of it, we would expect a GP to be able to look the appraiser in the eye and show that education has actually made a difference to patient care.'

RCGP Chairman Professor Steve Field said: ‘The RCGP recognises that GPs have a wide variety of working environments and careers – and that GPs have individual learning preferences and styles. The Impact model should help individual doctors to demonstrate their development at appraisal.'

Professor Field added: ‘We recognise that the system is new and that we need to ensure it can be used easily by all GPs. In common with other requirements for revalidation, the credit system will be subject to evolutionary changes. We be will adapting the scheme if necessary as we move closer to revalidation.'

The new system was agreed by the College in consultation with stakeholders including the GPC.

RCGP

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