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Consultation on revalidation

Released: 18 August 2016
Closed: 30 Novemeber 2016

The Board is committed to developing a process that supports medical practitioners to maintain and enhance their professional skills and knowledge and to remain fit to practise medicine. The Board has been using the term ‘revalidation’ for this process.

The Board wants its approach to be practical, effective and tailored to the Australian healthcare environment. The Board has ruled out UK-style revalidation and made it clear that doctors will not be required to re-sit their fellowship exams periodically.

The Board appointed an expert advisory group (EAG) to provide it with technical expert advice on revalidation. The Board has asked the EAG to develop one or more models for revalidation in Australia and to provide advice on how to pilot the models so that they can be evaluated for effectiveness, feasibility and acceptability.

The EAG's interim report

The EAG developed an interim report that identified a two part approach that proposed:

  • maintaining and enhancing the performance of all doctors practising in Australia through efficient, effective, contemporary, evidence-based continuing professional development (CPD) relevant to their scope of practice (‘strengthened CPD’), and
  • proactively identifying doctors at risk of poor performance and those who are already performing poorly, assessing their performance and when appropriate supporting the remediation of their practice.


Between August and November 2016, the Board consulted with the profession and the community about the options for revalidation in Australia as proposed by the EAG.

During the consultation we:

  • received 116 submissions
  • met with all specialist medical colleges, the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges (CPMC) and the Australian Medical Association (AMA)
  • held forums in each state and territory, attended by more than 400 stakeholders
  • heard from more than 1,000 doctors and community members in our online discussion forum and our online survey
  • met three times with the Consultative Committee established to provide feedback on issues related to the introduction of revalidation in Australia, and
  • submitted and had published in the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) a perspective on revalidation from Medical Board Chair, Dr Joanna Flynn, along with a podcast in January 2017.
  • The consultation responses can be viewed on the Past consultations page.

What we heard

There were a number of general themes that emerged from the consultation, including:

  • wide support for improving standards and managing risk to patients, through strengthened CPD
  • most specialist colleges are already in the process of strengthening their CPD programs, but there is variation between colleges in the types of CPD currently offered (that is, the balance of educational activities, outcome measurement and performance review activities)
  • wide support for maintaining the supportive, educational and standards-focused role of specialist colleges
  • general support for new CPD providers
  • the proposal to identify and manage at-risk and already poorly performing practitioners was more contentious, with some individuals unconvinced there is a problem to be solved
  • wide support for better information and data sharing between health sector agencies, and demand for role clarity to prevent double handling and confusion of responsibilities
  • a need for improved processes that offer remediation and support for individual practitioners to return to safe practice, outside of the regulatory framework, and
  • widespread concern that any new process should not increase the administrative burden on practitioners without demonstrable improvements in patient safety.

Read the written submissions received.

Read the comments received.

Next steps

The expert advisory group (EAG) and the Board considered all the feedback received and the EAG recommended actions to the Board in a final report presented in August 2017. The final report is available on the Professional performance framework page.

Read the details of the consultation and the supporting evidence:

Document name PDF Accessible format

Full interim report of the expert advisory group on revalidation

 PDF (1.57MB)

 Word version

Executive summary of the interim report

 PDF (203KB)

 Word version

Discussion paper about the proposed approach for revalidation

 PDF (227KB)

 Word version

Media statement: Medical Board consults on revalidation in Australia 16 August 2017

 PDF (256KB)

 Web page

Expert Advisory Group on revalidation terms of reference

 PDF (219KB)

 Word version

Consultative Committee on revalidation terms of reference

 PDF (215KB)

 Word version

Medical Practitioners' ongoing fitness and competence to practise: A report of social research into community and doctors’ views about trust, confidence and fitness to practise in the medical profession

 PDF (1.47MB)

 Word version

International research from the Collaboration for the Advancement of Medical Education Research and Assessment (CAMERA) The evidence and options for medical revalidation in the Australian context, published 2015

 PDF (1.65MB)

 Word version

Submissions and comments received

Page reviewed 4/03/2024