In 2010 the revised Intercollegiate Guidance on Safeguarding Children and Young People was published. The aim of the intercollegiate framework is to provide guidance in relation to safeguarding competences for different staff groups and at different levels, and to emphasise a flexible approach to knowledge and skill acquisition.
This framework identifies six levels of competence, and gives examples of groups that fall within each of these. GPs practise at level 3:
Level 3: Clinical staff working with children, young people and/or their parents/carers and who could potentially contribute to assessing, planning, intervening and evaluating the needs of a child or young person and parenting capacity where there are safeguarding/child protection concerns.
For the purpose of revalidation, GPs need to demonstrate that they are up to date and fit to practise in all aspects of their work. Level 3 describes the scope of work of GPs in relation to safeguarding of children and young people. It is the responsibility of GPs to demonstrate that they maintain their competence.
A GP may keep up to date in a variety of ways, for instance completing an e-learning module, attending a training session in or out of the practice or reading appropriate local guidelines. There should not be a defined frequency of updates; the important point is that it is the responsibility of the GP, in their appraisal, to demonstrate they are competent and up to date. Case reviews can be used to show how knowledge and skills are used in practise.
We believe that there may have been some confusion over the appropriate level for general practitioners as different levels were used in previous guidance and so we hope that this statement will clarify that under the 2010 Intercollegiate Guidance level 3 is the minimum level required.