Information for patients and the public
Revalidation started on 3 December 2012. We will now begin to revalidate licensed doctors and we expect to revalidate the majority of them by March 2016.
Revalidation will help us strengthen the way we regulate doctors who practise in the UK. We are doing this by working with employers to ensure they use their appraisal systems to regularly check their doctors are up to date and fit to practise.
If we revalidate a doctor, this means they can continue to hold their licence to practise. You can read our leaflet which explains why doctors must hold a licence to practise to treat patients. You can also check the registration status of a doctor on our online register.
Benefits for patients
Over time we believe revalidation will improve the care you receive from doctors, and will mean that you are safer when you receive treatment from them.
Revalidation will do this because of the link we have made between our core guidance for doctors, Good medical practice, and the appraisals they receive from their employer. This means that doctors are regularly checked against the professional standards that we set and that you expect your doctor to meet.
A better system of appraisals for doctors will also help their employers to take action to deal with any concerns about their practice sooner than may happen now.
We believe you have an important role to play in the appraisal and revalidation of doctors. You will have an opportunity to do so by providing feedback about their practice.
Some doctors already ask their patients for feedback about their practice. Now that revalidation has begun, all doctors will have to do this regularly.
Support from patients
Revalidation is supported by a number of patient organisations from all four countries of the UK. Read their statement of support to the Secretary of State for Health. (pdf)