Do doctors have to use a portfolio defined by the responsible officer to revalidate?
This Blog clears the commonly held misconception that doctors have to use a portfolio defined by the responsible officer to revalidate.
The format of the portfolio of supporting information is not prescribed by the GMC, so having an electronic portfolio is not a requirement for revalidation. The RCGP recommends that your portfolio of supporting information should include all the core elements required by the GMC in a format that is professionally presented, typed so that it is legible, and capable of being transmitted electronically. Some other items of supporting information, such as original complaint letters or compliment cards, which may be hand-written, are usually best kept in paper form and shared privately with your appraiser to maintain confidentiality. They can then be referenced anonymously by the appraiser in the summary.
In some areas, responsible officers (ROs) have commissioned bespoke IT solutions for their doctors to encourage them to use a single system e.g. Scottish GPs have SOAR and Welsh GPs have MARS, but NHS England clearly says that, while they require appraisals to be submitted electronically and not on paper, the individual GP should have a choice about which toolkit to use (https://www.england.nhs.uk/ revalidation/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/05/medical-appraisal-policy-0415.pdf, page 15). The Medical Appraisal Guide Model Appraisal Form has just been updated and it provides a free interactive pdf: the MAG4, available from the NHS England website. This provides the template for all other toolkit providers. Other providers have worked hard to create online electronic portfolios that can be accessed from a variety of devices and platforms.
Your RO may have expressed a preference among the available options, which they are entitled to do under RO regulations, in order to avoid the appraisers and the revalidation team having to struggle with managing multiple formats. The RCGP recommends that you ensure that you are aware of any requirements made by your designated body and that you agree any variations in advance with your RO if there are exceptional circumstances to be considered. For example, special arrangements might need to be made to solve an issue of accessibility for a GP with a protected characteristic. If you move to a new area of the country it is worth checking if there is a preferred local choice of portfolio.
If your RO has not determined which electronic portfolio should be used locally, the RCGP recommends that you review the available options and choose a solution that meets your needs. You may find discussion with your appraiser, who will be very familiar with the different options, helpful. The RCGP reminds you that your portfolio, with all the GMC required supporting information, needs to be available to your RO, potentially at short notice, to inform the revalidation recommendation decision. You should ensure that, whatever format you choose, this important documentation is securely stored and readily available.
MEDSU (medsu.org) uses a nice, user friendly cloud based portfolio with a companion mobile app for all drs to use.
For further information and support on locum doctor appraisals, please visit: http://medicalapprais.wpengine.com
For further information on medical appraisals and revalidation,
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