The GMC protocol for making revalidation recommendations: guidance for responsible officers and suitable persons

This protocol is a GMC guide for responsible officers (ROs) and suitable persons (SPs) about revalidation recommendations.

Throughout the protocol, we refer to responsible officers. This should be taken as including SPs except where we say otherwise.

In this document, when we cite “the RO regulations”, this refers to the Medical Profession (Responsible Officers) Regulations 2010, as amended by the Medical Profession (Responsible Officers) (Amendment) Regulations 2013, or in Northern Ireland, to the Medical Professions (Responsible Officers) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2010.

In addition, “the Licence to practise regulations” refers to the General Medical Council (Licence to Practise and Revalidation) Regulations Order of Council 2012.

Section 15(b) of the RO regulations provides that responsible officers must ‘have regard for […] guidance given by the General Council [GMC]’. This protocol should be read with that in mind.

The protocol:

  • describes what revalidation recommendations are
  • clarifies the roles and responsibilities of ROs and their delegates in making and sending recommendations
  • sets out the GMC’s expectations of what will underpin RO recommendations
  • provides ROs with statements and criteria for the three recommendation categories.

The protocol gives guidance for ROs when they consider their recommendations about doctors’ revalidation. ROs should consult the protocol when they are making revalidation recommendations.

The protocol also enables employers, doctors and others to familiarise themselves with what ROs need to do in order to make recommendations.

There are six main sections to the protocol. They provide information about:

  • the RO’s role in revalidation
  • how ROs should consider their recommendations
  • positive recommendations
  • deferral requests
  • notifications of a doctor’s non-engagement in revalidation
  • checklists for ROs when making recommendations.

The protocol is available as a series of web pages and as a PDF version to download

The most up to date version of the protocol can always be found on the GMC’s website. If you would like to check that you have downloaded the latest version, please visit the guidance page of our revalidation pages.

Using the RO protocol online

There are several ways to use the protocol online. You can: