Intended for healthcare professionals


Revalidation for doctors in the United Kingdom: the end or the beginning?

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 03 June 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1490

The process should celebrate what we do well while showing that we are accountable

  1. Clair du Boulay, director of medical education (
  1. Trust Management Offices, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton SO16 6YD

    Proposals for the revalidation of doctors in the United Kingdom were released last week in a consultation document from the General Medical Council (GMC).1 Elsewhere, notably in Canada and the United States, it is routine for doctors to undergo recertification at regular intervals to show that they are maintaining their skills and are competent. The purpose of revalidation is to reassure the public that their doctors are competent and abide by high ethical standards. Revalidation will be the culmination of an ongoing review of professional performance that should aid doctors in developing their skills while at the same time identifying at an early stage those who are performing poorly.

    All doctors in the United Kingdom will undergo revalidation whether they work within or outside the NHS, are in training, or are in temporary employment. The stakeholders in revalidation include the individual doctor, the NHS, other healthcare providers and purchasers, the medical royal colleges, and, most importantly, the public. The challenge for doctors over the next year or so will be …

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