Revalidation of Doctors in England: interfaces with organisational systems for managing medical performance

Arrival: 12pm Seminar: 12.15pm - 1.15pm.

Tea, coffee and sandwiches provided (please register if you want these, and to guarantee a seat!)


Kieran Walshe, Professor of Health Policy and Management, AMBS

Abigail Tazzyman, Research Associate, AMBS


The introduction of medical revalidation (and the associated changes to the way that medical performance is appraised and managed in healthcare organisations) is perhaps the most significant reform to professional regulation in recent years. Every organisation which employs doctors (designated bodies in the language of the legislation and regulations) is required to appoint a doctor as the Responsible Officer, who is responsible for evaluating the fitness to practice of doctors and making referrals and recommendations to the General Medical Council.

As part of research funded by the Department of Health Policy Research Programme and with the support of the General Medical Council, we surveyed all Responsible Officers for designated bodies in the UK to examine their experiences of implementing revalidation and its effects on their organisation. We secured full or partial survey responses from 418 responsible officers/designated bodies (a response rate of 70%, noting that some doctors act as responsible officer for more than one designated body and we only asked those individuals to respond for one designated body).

We collected data on the resources organisations had made available to support and implement revalidation; the role and responsibilities of responsible officers and their teams; the use and impact of systems for managing quality and safety (which provide much of the supporting information for appraisal and revalidation); decision making about recommendations on revalidation; processes for dealing with concerns about doctors’ performance; the perceived impact of revalidation on the organisation and on the quality and safety of clinical practice; and responsible officers’ ideas about how revalidation arrangements could be improved.

We found that the introduction of revalidation had led to some substantial change in organisations, particularly in those which had not had well established systems for quality and safety before. Responsible officers reported improvements in the rigour, coverage and reporting of systems for appraisal, CPD, clinical audit, complaints and significant events, and some impacts on clinical practice. They also noted an impact on the way early concerns about performance were dealt with and the interface with the General Medical Council.

About Kieran Walshe

Kieran Walshe is Professor of Health Policy and Management at Manchester Business School, and head of the health management group at AMBS. He is also a non-executive director of the Christie NHS Foundation Trust, a board member of the UK Health Services Research Network and a member of the US AcademyHealth International Advisory Board. He often works at the interface between research, policy and practice and values the opportunities it offers to engage with the policy and practitioner communities and to put ideas into action. He has particular interests and expertise in quality and performance in healthcare organisations; the governance, accountability and performance of public services; and the use of evidence in policy evaluation and learning.

About AbigailTazzyman

Abigail is a research associate in the Health Management Group at Alliance Manchester Business School. She joined the department in June 2015 and is currently working on two projects evaluating the introduction and implementation of medical revalidation in the UK. In 2015 Abigail completed a PhD in Women’s Studies at the University of York examining women’s experiences of body modification practices across the life course with a focus on sociality, identity and embodiment. Abigail’s research interests include qualitative research methods, gendered identity and embodiment, gender and education and the organisation and control of bodies.


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