Quality improvement for revalidation: p-CAT tool

The RCP has developed a personal clinical audit tool (p-CAT) to guide doctors through the audit process for revalidation.

Doctors will have to demonstrate that they review and evaluate the quality of their work, through participation in quality improvement activity, for the purposes of revalidation.

Audit and other quality improvement activity should reflect the breadth of a doctor’s professional work over each 5-year revalidation period. The nature and balance of these activities will vary according to a doctor’s specialty, so these activities should:

  • be robust and systematic
  • include an element of evaluation and action
  • where possible, demonstrate an outcome or change.

Personal clinical audit tool (p-CAT)

Doctors should participate in at least one complete audit cycle during the 5-year revalidation period. Audit is often undertaken in teams, but the information taken to appraisal must represent the doctor’s particular participation and learning from the audit.

To enable doctors to achieve this, the RCP has developed a personal clinical audit tool (p-CAT) to guide them through an entire audit process, which:

  • guides the user through the audit
  • provides a place to record reflection as a result of the audit
  • provides a place to record the action plan and the completion of the audit cycle through re-auditing
  • generates reports that can be used as supporting information for revalidation.

Access the p-CAT

Please note: when you first visit the site, you'll be asked to register and set up a user account, so have your GMC number to hand to do this.

The RCP has been working with the speciality societies to provide added functionality to the p-CAT. We are now developing a range of templates to add to the site, based on national audits, run by the speciality societies. This will make the tool even easier to use. We are also adding a library of audits searchable by college and specialty.

Audit is often undertaken in teams, but the information taken to appraisal must represent the doctor’s particular participation and learning from the audit.

Alternatives to clinical audit

If within the doctor’s physician specialty or subspecialty there is regular collection of validated and robust clinical outcome data (for example a national database), the relevant data should be taken to appraisal. The data should be accompanied by evidence of reflection and, where relevant, improvement in practice.

Where high-quality clinical audit data are not available, case review or discussion, with documentation of appropriate reflection and action taken, may provide an alternative. In these cases, 10 case reviews should be documented over the 5-year period. The RCP template for recording case review or discussion is available to download below.

Doctors working in a non-clinical area should discuss options for quality improvement activity with their appraiser, college or faculty.

The RCP has also developed a template to capture outcomes and learning from quality improvement activity and an 'untoward incidents' summary template, which can be downloaded below.

For further information please contact revalidation@rcplondon.ac.uk.