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My revalidation

We will revalidate you, usually every five years, based on a recommendation that we receive from the responsible officer in the organisation that is supporting you with your appraisal and revalidation. This organisation is called your ‘designated body’.

Your Responsible Officer is a licensed doctor who is usually the medical director or their deputy of that organisation.

Your revalidation submission date is the date by which we need to receive a recommendation about you from your Responsible Officer.

What happens before your revalidation submission date?

Six months before, we will ask you to check that the designated body information we hold for you is correct.

Four months before, we will send you formal notice that we need to receive a recommendation about you from your Responsible Officer by your revalidation submission date. Your Responsible Officer will know that we have issued you with this notice.

Ten days before, if we have not received a recommendation about you, we will write to you to let you know. Your Responsible Officer may well have everything in hand but you need to be aware that your licence to practise may be at risk if we do not receive a recommendation about you by the required date. You should contact your Responsible Officer and ask them to submit their recommendation about you by the submission date.

If we hold an email address for you, we will email you about your revalidation.

Keeping your designated body information up to date

It is important that you keep your designated body information up to date, including letting us know if you no longer have a connection to a designated body. You can use GMC Online to do this. Your GMC Online account is the place where all your revalidation details, including your revalidation submission date and the name of your designated body and responsible officer are displayed.

If you are new to an organisation, you should not assume that the responsible officer has added you to their list for revalidation. You should update your designated body information yourself, on GMC Online. When you do this, the system will alert the relevant Responsible Officer that you have connected to their organisation.

How will Responsible Officers make recommendations?

When your revalidation recommendation is due, your Responsible Officer can make one of three recommendations about you. They can submit:

  • a recommendation to revalidate that you are up to date, fit to practise and should be revalidated (we expect this will be the case for the vast majority of doctors)
  • a recommendation to defer 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.
  • a recommendation of non-engagement notifying us that you have failed to engage with appraisal or any other local systems or processes that support revalidation.

Occasionally we receive information that raises concerns about the systems and processes that are used to make recommendations about a doctor’s revalidation.

Our guidance on managing and responding to information about revalidation explains what we do when receive this type of information.

Doctors with a connection to a Responsible Officer (RO)

What happens when my RO makes a recommendation?

This depends on what recommendation your RO makes. Your RO should have told you what recommendation they are making. The GMC will make a decision taking into account your ROs recommendation and any other relevant information. We will always inform you of our decision.

What happens after my RO makes a recommendation?

When we receive a recommendation from your RO we will undertake a number of checks before making our decision. Examples of these checks are

  • Is the recommendation from the correct RO?
  • Has the recommendation been made at the right time?
  • Are you in any other GMC process that we may want to consider before making our decision?

We may need to obtain seek additional information from you or your RO before making our decision.

Decision to revalidate

When we make our decision to revalidate you we will set you a new revalidation date, we will confirm this to you and it is available to view on your GMC Online account. This will normally be five years from the date of our decision. If we decide to give you a different date we will write to you and explain why.

After you have been revalidated you must continue to meet the requirements for revalidation on an on-going basis. This includes having an annual appraisal and collecting and reflecting on the supporting evidence for revalidation.

Defer

If our decision is to defer your revalidation we will write to you to tell you your new revalidation date. You should work with your RO and appraiser to ensure you meet the actions they have set for you by your new revalidation date.

Non engagement

When we receive a formal notification that you are not sufficiently engaging with revalidation, we then write to advise you we are considering if we should withdraw your licence. We will ask you to provide us with robust, objective evidence as to how you are meeting the requirements for revalidation or to provide an explanation as to why you have not done so.

Read more information about licence withdrawal.

Your first revalidation

For the majority of licensed doctors, if you were on the register at the time we started revalidation in December 2012, your first revalidation will be sometime between April 2013 and March 2016. If you’ve been granted full registration and a licence since December 2012, your date will be around 5 years from then. You can check your date on GMC Online.

Each country has signed up to a set of principles that will ensure revalidation is implemented in a way that is fair and consistent for all licensed doctors across the UK.

We have worked closely with your Responsible Officer to set the date they will submit their first recommendation about you. We have done this because we believe Responsible Officers are better placed than we are to know when you are likely to be ready for revalidation. They have used supplementary guidance (pdf) to assess this.

If you have any questions about your revalidation submission date or your appraisal, you should contact your Responsible Officer.