The absence of clear remediation should not prevent revalidation from going ahead as planned, the General Medical Council's (GMC) GP director has said.
Speaking at the annual LMC conference in Liverpool on Tuesday (22 May), Professor Malcolm Lewis said a lot of practices are "ready to roll" with revalidation and warned any delays would "send out the wrong message to patients".
He acknowledged the lack of clarity over remediation is an "important issue" but said it shouldn't prevent revalidation going ahead.
"Revalidation brings remediation into focus not as dependent territory but as important territory that needs to be addressed," he said.
"While there is a need for remediation, it in itself shouldn't be a delaying factor for revalidation because the majority of doctors will revalidate very easily and will be nowhere near the remediation issue.
"Revalidation is not about identifying doctors that need action; it is about identifying doctors that are fit to practice.
"We can't wait for remediation to be in place otherwise revalidation will never happen."
Dr Ivan Camphor from Mersey LMC voiced his surprise at Professor Lewis' comments, claiming revalidation without remediation is like beauty without the beast.
"Consistent, fair and fully funded remediation must be at the heart of revalidation," he said.
"Ignore the beast and you will have a lost beauty."
Professor Lewis said he expects revalidation legislation to be "switched on" in December 2012 with all recommendations from all responsible officers submitted by March 2014.
By 2016, the GMC hopes the vast majority of doctors will be revalidated.