By medwireNews Reporters
The GMC will today begin writing to doctors to inform them of when they are expected to revalidate.
A first wave of around 13,000 doctors are being contacted initially, with the rest of the 230,000 licensed doctors in the UK to be written to by the end of January 2013.
Responsible officers and other medical leaders are the first to undergo revalidation, with their checks to be completed by March 2013. The GMC hopes to have around a further one-fifth of doctors revalidated over the next year, and the majority completed by March 2016.
So far around 200,000 registered doctors are signed up with a designated body and responsible officers have been working with the GMC over the summer to draw up schedules for their revalidation dates.
The GMC is still developing alternative plans for the remaining 30,000 doctors without a designated body.
GMC Chair Professor Sir Peter Rubin, who will be one of the first doctors to revalidate, said in a press statement: "This is an important day for doctors and patients. We are confident that over time revalidation will make a significant contribution to the quality of care that patients receive and should give them increased confidence that the doctors who treat them are up to date."
Dr Mark Porter, Chair of Council at the BMA, cautioned that the revalidation system still needs refinement "to ensure it is workable".
"The BMA will be monitoring its implementation to ensure the process is fair and consistent across the UK, and to make sure those doctors who need support receive it as soon as possible.
"While revalidation will strengthen current assessments, it is important to remember that doctors are already providing a very high quality service."
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