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Revalidation for public health and other PHE consultants in England

The first revalidation cycle for licensed medical practitioners commences on 1 April 2013. All doctors who wish to remain licensed with the General Medical Council (GMC) and have a prescribed connection to a designated body for revalidation should by now have received a letter from the GMC with information about their revalidation date. This date is the final date by which your Responsible Officer (RO) needs to have all the necessary information, generated by the annual 'revalidation-ready' appraisal process, to make a recommendation to the GMC regarding your revalidation.

This note explains how licensed doctors in public health in England will revalidate. Different arrangements will apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but the process in England is complicated by the additional challenge of NHS and public health reconfiguration. The UK Public Health Register is intending to introduce a system of professional revalidation, closely modelled on the GMC system, as soon as possible, and further information about this will follow.

The single largest employer of public health consultants and specialists from 1 April 2013 will be Public Health England (PHE). PHE will automatically become the designated body, as from 1 April 2013, for all doctors who currently have a prescribed connection to any organisation or function that will form part of PHE. All affected doctors should have received written notification of this employment change. The RO for PHE will be Professor Anthony Kessel, currently Medical Director for the Health Protection Agency (HPA). Anthony will be Deputy Medical Director for PHE.

PHE will also have responsibilities for clinical academic staff who, though employed by universities, will (from April 1 2013) have their honorary consultant contracts with PHE which before were with Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities. Many of these are public health clinical academics but not all. These staff will have the ability to alter their Designated Body affiliation to PHE from 1 April or to choose a different Designated Body if more appropriate. We are endeavouring to contact all these staff but welcome their approaching us through the email address below.

Additionally, following the recent consultation on the role of the RO, PHE will also become the designated body for medical revalidation for public health consultants employed by local authorities from April 2013. Implementation plans for medical revalidation for PHE are well advanced. A PHE Revalidation Steering Group and a network of trained appraisers have been established with membership widened to reflect the new and potential revalidation responsibilities of PHE. Documents and resources providing guidance and support for revalidation are available on the HPA intranet and on NHS Networks*, a secure extranet site.

Communication with doctors who are unable to access the HPA intranet remains a challenge and this note is intended to initiate a broader approach to communication and guidance. Please email PHE on so that it can ensure you are on its communications database, to give you access to material and guidance currently available to support revalidation and to answer any questions you may have.

* Revalidation in PHE network

Written: 07/03/2013 , last modified: 03/05/2013