The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has said that GPs need not use 360-degree feedback ahead of the revalidation of licences, as it is below par.
Of the 360-degree feedback tools introduced, only the General Medical Council's (GMC) multi-source feedback (MSF) questionnaire has been passed as suitable, and the RCGP still has reservations about it.
In particular, the last question, which asks "Do you believe that this doctor is fit to practise?" was considered "not useful".
It has given assurances that until questionnaires meet the GMC's standards, GPs do not need to complete MSF, unless they are part of a pilot scheme.
Professor Mike Pringle said: "We are not advising GPs to rush out and do an MSF. It will not be needed until year two of the full five-year cycle.
"Our intention is to provide the marketplace with a number of suppliers of systems that meet the GMC's requirements."
The final decision on which feedback tools are approved will be left to the GMC, while the RCGP oversees the development of potential questionnaires.
Copyright © Press Association 2009
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"I thought it would be useful if I clarified the position in relation to the GMC. There are currently no multi-source feedback tools (including those being piloted by the GMC) that have been approved for use as part of revalidation – we have not yet reached that stage. For its part, the GMC is currently developing colleague and patient questionnaires for use within the revalidation process. Early research undertaken by Peninsula Medical School into the validity, reliability and practicality of these questionnaires has been encouraging, and further indepth testing has been commissioned across whole organisations and in different clinical settings. The draft GMC colleague and patient questionnaires are available on the GMC website. We are clear that any MSF tools used in revalidation must meet agreed criteria, including that they are fair and reliable. All doctors will have an opportunity to share their views in our consultation on revalidation in February 2010, which will include the principles and criteria for multisource feedback. In the meantime, we continue to work closely with a range of organisations, including the RCGP, to ensure this important aspect to the revalidation process works effectively for doctors" – Paul Buckley, General Medical Council, Director of Education and Revalidation