UK Processes More Than 7,600 Applicants in First Six Months of Revalidation

The United Kingdom's General Medical Council (GMC) reported recently that it had processed the applications of 7,663 physicians during the first six months of its new revalidation system. According to the GMC, at least 30,000 will revalidate by the end of the year.

The UK revalidation system requires physicians to demonstrate their ongoing engagement in efforts to keep their skills and knowledge up to date. The system was adopted last year after many years of development. All of the UK's more than 230,000 physicians are impacted by the new system. The GMC's goal is to have the majority of practicing physicians in the UK revalidated for the first time by 2016.

Revalidation in the UK is based on an annual appraisal in which physicians gather information about their practice, including complaints from patients, for examination by review officers. The UK is the first country in the world to introduce a system of ongoing physician review across its entire health care system. Other countries are developing similar systems, including the United States, where a proposed maintenance of licensure system would require physicians to demonstrate their engagement in continuous professional development as a condition of license renewal.

Source: Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation Blog, July 2013

IAMRA Adopts Standards for Sharing of Information Worldwide

The International Association of Medical Regulatory Authorities (IAMRA) has adopted the Statement of Intent on Proactive Information Sharing, providing guidance for the exchange of disciplinary information about physicians worldwide. The statement was prepared by IAMRA's Physician Exchange Working Group as a follow-up to a resolution adopted by IAMRA's Members General Assembly during its bi-annual meeting in 2012 in Ottawa, Canada.

The purpose of the guidance document, according to IAMRA, is to protect patients and the public from those physicians whose practice may put them at risk, ensure a high level of quality in health care around the world and ensure the public's confidence in medical professionals and their regulation.

The statement offers guidance for the circumstances in which disciplinary information about physicians should be exchanged — including situations involving criminal behavior, professional misconduct, professional incompetence or poor performance — and the way information should be exchanged. It also covers restrictions imposed as a result of impaired fitness to practice by reason of ill health.

The statement provides a framework for protecting privacy and due process for physicians, for transmission of information in multi-language settings and for timing of release of information. Among its recommendations, the statement suggests that medical regulatory authorities should not release disciplinary information about physicians if no final decision has been taken because the case is still under investigation, a temporary sanction has been imposed pending a final decision or the physician has appealed the decision against him or her.

Source: IAMRA website (, August 2013