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GenderGP Healthcare Professional Licensing Policy

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Summary

All healthcare professionals working with GenderGP must hold a license to practice with their relevant Licensing Body. The process of licensing involves healthcare professionals demonstrating that they are up to date, fit to practise and complying with all relevant professional standards.

A system of revalidating professional registration applies to healthcare professionals, counsellors, psychotherapists, nurses and midwives. Under the system all healthcare professionals working with GenderGP are required to revalidate every three years at the point of their registration renewal.

This policy sets out the practical details of licensing for all healthcare professionals providing services to GenderGP.

GenderGP Duties

GenderGP have a duty to:

  • ensure that all healthcare professionals working in the organisation have a current licence to practise and are on the register.
  • ensure that all healthcare professionals working in the organisation are involved in annual appraisal.
  • provide local support for the revalidation process, including support regarding annual appraisals.
  • support healthcare professionals to comply with their professional requirement to revalidate.

Healthcare Professionals' Duties

Healthcare Professionals have a duty to:

  • maintain their practice in line with guidance from their professional bodies, such as the Licensing Body’s professional code of practice.
  • participate in annual appraisal and regular reflection on their practice.
  • keep a folder of evidence to support their revalidation.
  • participate fully in the revalidation process.

In Practice

Registration

All Healthcare Professionals must be registered and hold a licence to practise with their regulatory body (Licensing Body).

Healthcare Professionals must be registered with a licence to practise if they wish to:

  • work as a healthcare professional with GenderGP.
  • prescribe drugs, the sale of which is restricted by law.
  • sign certificates required for statutory purposes.
  • refer onwards for further care eg counselling, therapy, surgery.

The GenderGP Register

GenderGP maintains a professional register of healthcare professionals who are eligible to provide services to GenderGP clients.

Online tools are available for anybody to check whether a healthcare professional is on the Register and if they are licensed to practise. The online Register is called the List of Registered Practitioners and is available on the Licensing Body website. The list also includes those healthcare professionals who are on the specialist registers and are eligible to work as a specialist practitioner with GenderGP.

The register includes the following details:

  • the type of registration a healthcare professional currently holds.
  • when and where they were awarded their main qualification.
  • whether they hold a licence to practise.
  • the work they are registered to carry out.
  • the date they registered.
  • whether they have any fitness to practise history.

There are different types of registration that healthcare professionals can hold with the Licensing Body:

  • provisional registration.
  • full registration.

Healthcare Professionals Licence to Practise

As well as being appropriately registered with the Licensing Body, healthcare professionals working with GenderGP must also hold a valid licence to practise.

A licence must be renewed periodically through the process of revalidation which is linked to appraisal and is designed to ensure that healthcare professionals remain fit to practice.

The following activities are required to be licensed:

  • assessing, diagnosing, treating, reporting or giving advice in a medical capacity.
  • signing any medical certificate required for statutory purposes, such as death and cremation certificates, GRC certificates, name and gender changes, but excluding signing passport photographs.
  • prescribing medicines.
  • holding out to the public or representing in any manner including advertising, research, that one is authorised to practise in their field.
  • making referrals to specialists for further care.

Practice in this context includes teaching, research, medical or health management in hospitals, clinics, general practices and community and institutional contexts, whether paid or voluntary.

All registered and licenced healthcare professionals must comply with the professional code of ethical conduct published by their Licensing Body.

Revalidation Requirements

GenderGP supports the processes of revalidation that apply to healthcare professionals working in their clinical environment.

Healthcare Professionals

Every healthcare professional who practises with GenderGP must revalidate their licence to practice as required by their licensing body. The process is integrated with the annual appraisal system. It requires healthcare professionals to show they are up to date and are complying with all relevant Licensing Body professional standards and code of practice.

New healthcare professionals registering with GenderGP are automatically set a revalidation date of five years ahead.

The Purpose of Revalidation

The purpose of revalidation is to assure patients, employers and other healthcare professionals that licensed healthcare professionals are up-to-date and are practising to the appropriate professional standards.

Revalidation is designed to provide a focus for healthcare professionals’ efforts to maintain and improve their practice, to encourage the organisations in which healthcare professionals work to support them in keeping their practice up-to-date, and to encourage patients and the public to provide feedback about the care they receive.

The Revalidation Process – Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare Professionals achieve revalidation by participating fully in an appraisal process with a “Responsible Officer” or another “suitable person” who then provides a recommendation to revalidate to the Licensing Body.

The Licensing Body refers to healthcare professionals who have a “connection” and to those who do not. Most healthcare professionals are “connected” to a designated body which is usually the organisation within which they work. The Responsible Officer, or RO, is usually a senior, licensed healthcare professional within the designated body who oversees revalidation in the organisation.

Healthcare Professionals who do not have a connection to a designated body (and so do not have an RO) may be able to identify a licensed healthcare professional who can support their revalidation and make a recommendation. This is referred to as a “suitable person”. In all cases the suitable person must be approved by the Licensing Body before they can make a revalidation recommendation.

Healthcare Professionals are reminded that revalidation is a five year process, not a fifth year process. They must be collecting supporting information about their practice and participating in appraisal throughout the five years.

Appraisal

All healthcare professionals are expected to take part in regular annual appraisal. The appraisal should include a review of supporting information for revalidation and result in the development of a valid annual Personal Development Plan (PDP).

Appraisal and personal development planning is closely linked with revalidation. Regular structured appraisal helps healthcare professionals to improve the quality of their practice and identify any problems that may need to be addressed so that they can obtain appropriate support.

Personal Development Plans

A personal development plan, or PDP, is a formal document that sets out the learning and development needs of the healthcare professional being appraised. It is a key output of the appraisal interview and must be drawn up or revised and agreed between a healthcare professional and their appraiser every year to meet the requirements of revalidation.

It is usual to review the previous year’s PDP when discussing progress and learning in any appraisal meeting. In particular the PDP will set out planned continuous professional development (CPD) activities. The appraiser will usually want to note which of these have been satisfactorily completed and whether there are learning needs that are still unmet.

There is no formal requirement the PDP must or must not include – that is up to the healthcare professional being appraised and their appraiser.

There is no requirement about the number of PDP goals that should be included or if those goals should be clinical or non-clinical.

Performance objectives should be part of job planning and not necessarily part of an appraisal and revalidation PDP unless the healthcare professional concerned wishes to include them.

Goals around being a good role model for patients and maintaining personal health and wellbeing are entirely appropriate.

The PDP is a personal document that should be owned by the healthcare professional concerned. What is included is a matter for agreement between the healthcare professional and their appraiser. Some healthcare professionals will prefer to have a larger number of goals listed. Others will want to concentrate on just a few.

Supporting Information

GenderGP suggests six types of supporting information that healthcare professionals are expected to provide and discuss at their appraisal at least once in each five-year cycle:

continuing professional development (CPD).

quality improvement activity (QIA).

significant events (SE).

feedback from colleagues.

feedback from patients.

review of complaints and compliments.

Revalidation is based on what a healthcare professional actually does in practice. The nature of the supporting information should therefore reflect each healthcare professional’s particular specialist practice and their other professional roles.

Requirements are deliberately broad so that they can fit every healthcare professional, no matter what area or sector they work in or how wide their scope of work.

By providing all 6 types of supporting of information over the revalidation cycle healthcare professionals should, through reflection and discussion at appraisal, have demonstrated their practice against all 12 attributes outlined in the GenderGP code of practice.

The Licensing Body states that it is not necessary to structure the appraisal formally around the framework, or to map supporting information directly against each attribute. However, it is acknowledged that some healthcare professionals may prefer to do this and some appraisers may find it useful to structure the appraisal interview in this way.

An appraiser will be interested in the material collected and maintained in a portfolio but will also wish to examine a healthcare professional’s reflections on that information.

Continuing Professional Development – CPD Credits

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is demonstrated by collecting credits from educational activities. Each credit relates to an hour spent on CPD and the 250 learning credits should be collected as 50 credits per year.

Over the five-year revalidation cycle CPD should cover the breadth of the GenderGP curriculum, including clinical, managerial and leadership skills, and should emphasise the quality of learning activities rather than merely hours spent.

GenderGP recommends:

  • keeping a structured learning log to capture CPD credits throughout the year.
  • making notes of impact on practice and any changes made as a result of learning.
  • documenting a balance of learning methods and experiences over the five-year cycle.

 

Quality Improvement Activities

Most healthcare professionals are involved with a broad range of quality improvement activities and should record evidence of these. Eligible activities include case discussions and reviews of clinical and other work. They should show that the practitioner regularly reviews their practice and learns from events, concerns, errors, audits, etc.

 

Significant Events and Audit

GenderGP requires healthcare professionals to declare and reflect on every significant event they have been involved in since their previous appraisal. They define a significant event as any unintended or unexpected event which could or did lead to harm of one or more patients. It includes incidents which did not cause harm but could have done, or where the event should have been prevented.

Healthcare professionals must only submit an analysis of a significant event in which they have been directly involved, and where the event was discussed with other colleagues.

Where a clinical audit is a chosen quality improvement project, this should be a full-cycle clinical audit (initial audit, change implemented, re-audit to demonstrate improvement). Full details should be recorded in the revalidation portfolio.

 

Feedback from Colleagues

A portfolio should include reflection on feedback from colleagues using a feedback tool compliant with Licensing Body requirements at least once in every five year cycle.

GenderGP accepts that a survey feeding back from colleagues (previously called multisource feedback or MSF) is a recognised way for a person to gain formative information on how they are seen by those with whom they work.

Colleague surveys can therefore be used at each appraisal to demonstrate that a healthcare professional is both reflecting and improving on their own performance.

Healthcare professionals who work in multiple roles should ask individuals from as many of these roles as possible to provide feedback.

 

Feedback from Patients

A healthcare professional will be expected to provide a patient survey and discuss this with their appraiser in each revalidation cycle.

Guidance recommends that healthcare professionals undertake a patient survey in the first three years of the revalidation cycle to enable time for a follow-up survey if any issues are identified and discussed with an appraiser. However, they state that the survey for a first revalidation can date from up to five years before the date of the revalidation as long as it remains relevant to current practice.

Surveys are commonly completed by arranging for a receptionist to hand a paper questionnaire to a patient before a consultation. The most important aspect of undertaking such a survey is to reflect upon the results and make any necessary changes.

GenderGP recognises that healthcare professionals in some roles, such as non-clinical roles, will need to collect such feedback from other sources. For example, an educator may seek feedback from trainees or students.

 

Complaints and Compliments

Any formal complaint or complaints initiated or resolved within the revalidation period must be disclosed and discussed at appraisal. Failure to disclose any cause for concern at appraisal may be considered a “significant breach of probity” by GenderGP.

Healthcare professionals should include reflection on all complaints in which they have been personally named or involved, as and when they arise. It is appropriate for healthcare professionals to make a declaration that there have not been any complaints if they have not been personally named or involved in one.

 

Non-clinical healthcare professionals

Non-clinical healthcare professionals include healthcare professionals working in NHS management, academic practice and independent healthcare systems who may not be in active clinical practice.

Non-clinical healthcare professionals will submit a portfolio that demonstrates their fitness for their non-clinical roles. However, those who undertake limited clinical work will also need to demonstrate they are up to date and fit to practise in the clinical component of their work, with appropriate CPD, quality improvement activity and reflection.

 

Published 1 May 2018

Due for review 1 May 2023