What is Revalidation?
Revalidation is the process by which all licensed doctors are required to demonstrate on a regular basis that they are up to date and fit to practise in their chosen field and able to provide a good level of care.
General Medical Council
It was introduced by the GMC at the end of 2012, as a way of regulating licensed doctors. The purpose of revalidation is to give extra confidence to patients that their doctor is being regularly checked by their employer and the GMC.
GMC Registration and Revalidation
After provisional registration (F1), there are two main tiers of registration with the GMC:
- Registration without a licence to practise
Registration is the recognition of a doctor’s qualifications at a point in time
- Registration with a licence to practise
Doctors who want to practise medicine in the UK need a licence as well as registration
By holding a licence to practise you are legally required to revalidate.
In simplified terms, this means you must keep up to date and have an annual appraisal based on Good Medical Practice. For trainees, this is achieved through the training curricula and the ARCP process.
Depending on your career path you will need to engage with appraisal or ARCP processes each year, and, over the course of a 5 year revalidation cycle, may have a mixture of both.
So, what do I need to do?
To prepare for revalidation, you should:
- Set up your GMC Online account
- Know your designated body and responsible officer
- Collect supporting information
- Have a regular appraisal/ARCP
The following table explains how these apply for doctors in training (left) and non-trainees (right).
|Revalidation||Doctor in training||Any other doctor|
|Career Path||Foundation Year 2
|Clinical / Research / Teaching Fellow
Trust Grade / SAS Doctor
Locum / Agency
Voluntary / Charity
Consultant / GP
|GMC Online||GMC Online is a secure area of the GMC’s website that helps you manage your registration with them. Your GMC Online account is where you can see all your revalidation details.|
|Designated body and RO||Your responsible officer (RO) is the person who will make a recommendation to the GMC that they should revalidate you. They will be acting on behalf of your ‘designated body’ – the organisation that has a duty to provide you with a regular appraisal or ARCP and support you with revalidation.|
If you are a trainee, your designated body is your LETB or Deanery. For trainees in Severn and Peninsula this is Health Education South West.
Your responsible officer is your Postgraduate Dean.
There is a clear set of rules that determines which organisation is your designated body, and the GMC have an online help tool to help you find your it.
If you haven’t got a designated body, the GMC have further advice on their website.
There are six types of supporting information that doctors will be expected to provide and discuss at their appraisal/ARCP at least once in each five year cycle. They are:
1. Continuing professional development (CPD); 2. Quality improvement activity; 3. Significant events; 4. Feedback from colleagues; 5. Feedback from patients; 6. Review of complaints and compliments
For doctors in training, supporting information is part of your curriculum and training programme, so you are already gathering it.
If a type of supporting information is not in the curriculum, you do not have to collect it.
You are responsible for collecting supporting information.
Your designated body should help by giving you access to complaints, compliments, feedback from patients and colleagues etc.
|Appraisal / ARCP||The Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) counts as an appraisal, and your LETB/Deanery is responsible for organising it. You should have an ARCP at least once every 12 months.||You won’t be able to revalidate without having a regular appraisal, and your designated body will need to provide you with one. You should have an appraisal every 9-15 months.|
How often will I be revalidated?
Most doctors will usually be revalidated once every five years, however, trainees have an “extra” revalidation around the time that they attain their Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT).
How do I find out when I will be revalidated?
You can check this via your GMC Online account, but the GMC will also be in touch with you in the run up to your revalidation:
- Six months before, they will ask you to check that your designated body information is correct.
- Four months before, they will send you formal notice that they need to receive a recommendation about you from your RO by your revalidation submission date.
How will I be revalidated?
When your revalidation recommendation is due, your Responsible Officer can make one of three recommendations about you.
A recommendation that you are up to date, fit to practise and should be revalidated.
Because they need more time or more information to make a recommendation about you. This might happen if you take an extended break from practice. Deferral does not affect your licence to practise.
Notifying the GMC that you have failed to engage with appraisal or any other local systems or processes that support revalidation.
What if I decide to work overseas?
If you are planning to work overseas you are unlikely to have a designated body. In this situation the GMC will usually advise you to keep your registration but relinquish your licence to practise.
If you go overseas on an approved OOPE/R/T from your training programme you are still a trainee and should maintain your licence to practise and connection to your LETB/Deanery. See our OOP and Revalidation Guidance for more information.
Is revalidation affected by statutory leave?
Statutory leave such as maternity, paternity, adoption or sick leave might affect your revalidation, but it will depend on your individual circumstances. It is possible that your RO will decide to defer your revalidation.
Dr Geoff Smith is supported in his role as Responsible Officer by Associate Postgraduate Deans Jon Francis (Severn) and Hiu Lam (Peninsula), and Revalidation Manager Anastasia Stanton. The revalidation team can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.