21st June 2016

Appraisal and Revalidation for Locums: Issues and Solutions

Appraisal and Revalidation for Locums: Issues and Solutions


The General Medical Council has set the same set of instructions for locum doctors for the revalidation. However, locum doctors experience some challenges regarding the appraisals and revalidation such as finding responsible officer or collecting supporting information etc.

Medical locums are essential part of the National Health Service of the UK. Most of them are from outside the UK. These doctors often have a limited time in the UK thus have very less time to familiarize themselves with the requirements of appraisal and revalidation.

The UK healthcare system has completely different licensing assessment and competencies than other countries. The whole registration and revalidation process represent a structured preparation of doctor responsibility with evidences of moral, health wellness and competence included by feedback of all related aspects along with learning and improvement.

A responsible officer examines your evidences, engagements and feedbacks and makes a judgement on whether a doctor is fit to continue to hold a license to practice. If satisfied, the responsible officer later recommends you to the GMC.

Here are some issues and its solutions for locum doctors that may arise while revalidating and collecting its requirements.

Evidence and Verifiability

All statements in appraisal and revalidation need supporting evidences with verifications. GMC sees no equal value to all the evidences provided. Best evidence is the self sufficiently verified and the easiest evidential one for the responsible officer. Some examples are Royal College CPD certificates are the best with reflection as they are evident in the learning and doctor’s attendance. Self-awarded CPD are legitimate and limited whereas specific evidences from outside the country are of lower value.

Source and Context of Evidence   

Your evidence value also depends on where it was done and how it is presented. They should be clear and concise. The evidences reflections and verification counts good values. GMC recommends that most evidences took place in the UK and must be relevant to your scope of practice. Evidences from abroad should explain verification in a reflection and its relevance to UK practice.

Scope of practice and career changes

A Personal Development Plan ensures trained competence and career growth. The GMC asks for the PDP reflection in every step of your career. At the point of change in your career direction, you will need to show a considerable plan for your new future development. Your previous reflection and evidences won’t be of any value. A doctor who left a training in an alter might not have an appraisal, later delaying your revalidation.

Appraisal Cycle

A ideal appraisal is UK relevant with UK evidences including its achievements, an entire PDP with supplement reflection. These facts are necessary for a perfect appraisal cycle and at least of two. If you don’t have at least of two, you will need an explanation and its evidence to provide to your responsible officer for the absence of the annual appraisal.

CPD Requirements

Continuing Professional Development covers an average of 50-hour credits a year with profiles of components as recommended by the Royal Colleges. Doctors working without specialty college training should create reflective for their learning needs and a justification if the portfolio shows less than 50 credit hours. Doctors working with 2 or more specialties will need more than 50 credits hours. Sometimes one of those specialties may carry enough CPD credit values for both specialties thus no need to show more credits.

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