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25 July 2017
Every doctor who is fully registered with a licence to practise needs to revalidate. This includes FY2 doctors and those in specialty training.
Revalidation is based on the annual appraisal system. The evidence gathered as part of the appraisal process is normally the main evidence of your fitness to practise.
The GMC doesn't require you to have a licence to practise if you've retired from clinical medicine, and in these circumstances you wouldn't need to revalidate. However, this could affect whether you were able to do any medico-legal work, as solicitors and insurers often require their experts to have a licence and be able to demonstrate they are up to date.
The majority of doctors are connected to an organisation that provides them with their annual appraisal and supports their revalidation. This organisation is your designated body.
If you're not sure of its identity, the GMC has an online tool to help you find your designated body (please note that the MDU cannot serve as your designated body).
Your responsible officer (RO) is a senior doctor working in your designated body who has a duty to make sure systems are in place for you to have annual appraisals.
Based on information from your appraisals, your RO will make one of three recommendations to the GMC about your ability to revalidate:
If you don't have a designated body (and therefore a responsible officer) you should tell the GMC.
The GMC provides guidance on its website for doctors who do not have a designated body. In this case, your options are to identify a 'suitable person' to make a recommendation about you, or, if this is not possible, to submit evidence directly to the GMC and to undergo an assessment of knowledge and skills.
There are several things you'll need to do to be ready for revalidation:
Because your ability to revalidate depends on success of your appraisals, the supporting evidence you collect should provide evidence that you are up-to-date and meeting the GMC's standards.
You will likely have some of this evidence already, which falls into six main categories:
The GMC provides guidance on supporting information for appraisal and revalidation.
In addition, the medical royal colleges' guidance is available to help doctors in all the main specialities meet GMC requirements for supporting information.
If it's not possible or appropriate to collect patient feedback, discuss this and any possible alternatives with your appraiser.
Remember, appraisals are YOUR responsibility.
Demonstrating your reflection and learning is an important element of successful appraisal, and therefore of successful revalidation. This should run through your supporting evidence, with examples as follows.
The GMC will check with you that the information they hold on your designated body is correct.
You can update these details via your GMC Online account, which holds all your relevant information including your revalidation submission date and the names of your designated body and RO.
The GMC will send you a formal notice that they need to receive your RO's recommendation by the revalidation submission date.
The GMC will contact you if your RO's recommendation hasn't been received. In this case you may need to ask your RO to submit their recommendation, as your licence to practise may be at risk.
The GMC will make its decision based on the recommendation received from your RO.
The MDU website offers a range of information on revalidation.
The GMC website provides a comprehensive resource to guide you through the process along with FAQs, case studies, tools and useful links.
Many royal colleges have CPD support frameworks that can be helpful.
This guidance was correct at publication 25/07/2017. It is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.
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