Revalidation of surgeons: UK example could catch on in Europe

UK surgeons have to revalidate every five years to prove that they are still fit to practice. This example could be followed by other European countries, experts said at the 15th EFORT Congress in London. The European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology promotes a harmonisation of orthopaedic education in Europe.

London, 5 June 2014 – “In 2013, revalidation became a legal requirement in the UK. This means that licensed doctors have to show evidence to the relevant authority that they are up to date and fit to practice for the next five years,“ Prof Timothy Briggs, President of the British Orthopaedic Association, explained at the 15th EFORT Congress in London. “Being up to speed with the latest treatments and technologies is essential in providing high quality patient care.”

The Congress is organised by the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (EFORT) together with the British Orthopaedic Association (BOA). Patient safety is the main topic of this major scientific event which gathers more than 7,000 participants from around the globe.

The revalidation process is based on a local evaluation of doctors’ performances through annual appraisals. The BOA has developed a revalidation training cycle both in elective orthopaedics and trauma surgery to “make it easy for surgeons to get the information and continuing professional development they need to reappraise themselves as a basis for revalidation”, Prof Briggs said. As part of this process the BOA provides special revalidation sessions at the EFORT Congress for UK doctors. The sessions cover topics such as trauma surgery, total knee replacement, urgent spine conditions, and external fixation.

Even though the BOA revalidation sessions held at the EFORT Congress were specially designed for UK surgeons to meet their revalidation needs, EFORT delegates from other countries were welcome to attend these symposia. Prof Briggs: “We think that the revalidation process, which is now mandatory in the UK, will gradually become a standard practice throughout Europe.”

“Harmonising orthopaedic and trauma education throughout Europe is indispensable in view of the fact that the European Union has set the framework for professional and patient mobility. A single healthcare market calls for uniform professional standards,” EFORT President Prof Manuel Cassiano Neves (Lisbon) underlined. “When we go on a plane we feel safe because we know that every pilot has to pass regular exams to make sure that he or she has the skills and knowledge to fly the aircraft. Our patients also have a right to feel safe when they need orthopaedic care, no matter where in Europe they are being treated.”


The European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (EFORT) is the umbrella organisation linking Europe’s national orthopaedic societies. EFORT was founded in 1991 in the Italian Marentino. Today it has 45 national member societies from 42 member countries and eleven associate scientific members.


EFORT is a non-profit organisation. The participating societies aim at promoting the exchange of scientific knowledge and experience in the prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system. EFORT organises an annual congress, seminars, courses, forums and conferences within Europe. It also initiates and supports basic and clinical research.

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