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RCGP exam move to attract members

The RCGP is to overhaul its membership assessment programe in a move aimed at encouraging all existing GPs to become members of the college.

An interim scheme to be

piloted before being introduced next year will cut the workload burden on GPs wanting to gain membership by assessment of performance.

The interim scheme, known as iMAP, will then run for two years.

It will focus on current performance at work and cut down the amount of data GPs must provide by relying largely on existing evidence.

Under the original assessment system, GPs had to gather a portfolio of evidence, a task which could take two years, and undergo a one-day visit.

From 2009 on, a new system called nMAP, comprising an applied knowledge test, a clinical skills test and work-based assessment will be introduced.

The planned changes come in parallel with recommendations by the Chief Medical Officer that all GPs should become 'members or affiliates' of the college as part of recertification.

Currently, just under 60 per cent of GPs are members of the college. New GPs have to pass the mRCGP exam.

Dr Brian Keighley, an RCGP fellow, said the college had viewed its exam system as 'rather exclusive to those doctors who have been established for a long time and a large hurdle to achieve'.

He added: 'We know there are large numbers of GPs out there who are not members who are entirely satisfactory if not excellent GPs.'

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