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GPs should enjoy revalidation, says RCGP leader

Revalidation should be a process that GPs ‘enjoy’, the RCGP’s new revalidation lead has told Pulse.

In an exclusive interview at the RCGP’s annual conference in Glasgow, Professor Nigel Sparrow, chair of the RCGP professional development board, said the process, due to begin in December, should be ‘practical, meaningful and positive’.

But he acknowledged that one of the biggest challenges for the college will be to ensure consistency in how revalidation was delivered, and said it was ‘unfair’ that some GPs were being forced to pay to have their questionnaires analysed, as Pulse revealed last month.

‘We want this to be something that GPs enjoy doing,’ he said. ‘We need to make sure that appraisal remains a supportive and developmental process that allows GPs to consider where they are now and where they would like to be in the future,’ professor Sparrow said.

‘It is that opportunity on a one to one basis, with a colleague, to be able to talk about their own personal and professional development. That is something that is really important and must hold on to dearly. By doing that, it should be a positive process.’

But he added that it was important that ‘variability’ in PCTs delivery of the process was ironed out.

‘There is anecdotal evidence that some PCTs are asking for more information than is required for revalidation, he said.

‘They are intimated to do that for their own organisation, but it is not for revalidation. We must make it clear that the standards are kept to and we don’t see variability.’

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