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If you need further advice

This page is in Section 2 : Making a revalidation recommendation – part of the GMC's guide for Responsible Officers and Suitable Persons on making revalidation recommendations.

2.9 If you need further advice

Preparing to submit your recommendation is not the only time at which you can discuss a doctor’s revalidation with the GMC. You can seek advice on a doctor’s revalidation at any point from the GMC employer liaison advisers or the revalidation team.

You may need to discuss a doctor’s revalidation with the GMC before finalising your recommendation. In particular, you may wish to contact the GMC to discuss either a recommendation to defer or a doctor’s non-engagement in revalidation.

2.9.1 Advice before you submit a recommendation

You should feel free to contact the GMC for advice about your recommendations at any time on an informal basis.

You can approach the GMC for advice without making a formal recommendation. We will only proceed to a decision about a doctor’s revalidation after you have made a formal recommendation.

In some circumstances, you will need to ask the GMC for advice about a recommendation.

Examples of these include:

  • if you have insufficient information on which to base a recommendation to revalidate
  • if you are considering making a recommendation to defer that takes the total deferral time for the current recommendation beyond 12 months (whether a single deferral, or a second or subsequent consecutive deferral)
  • if a doctor is not engaging with local systems that support revalidation.

Advice on the thresholds for revalidation

The thresholds for revalidation are defined in the statements and criteria for each of the recommendation categories. You can read detailed information about these in Sections 3, 4 and 5.

If you have a query relating to the thresholds you need to apply when making a judgement about the revalidation of any licensed doctor, your first point of contact will be our Employer Liaison Service. Updated information is also available in the revalidation section of the GMC website.

2.9.2 Advice about non-engagement

You can speak to your employer liaison adviser for advice about non-engagement. Section 5 explains how you should escalate non-engagement issues, and how this relates to the GMC issuing notice that a recommendation is due.

2.9.3 Advice on processes related to revalidation

Systems and processes that support revalidation

The GMC is not responsible for developing local systems and processes that support revalidation. Systems such as appraisal and clinical and corporate governance remain a local and organisational responsibility.

GMC fitness to practise processes

If you have a query about the thresholds for referring concerns about doctors’ fitness to practise to the GMC you can discuss this with the Employer Liaison Service. You may also wish to consult our guidance on raising concerns about doctors.

Employment and remediation issues

If you have a query about remediation or employment issues that could affect a doctor’s revalidation, you should, in the first instance, contact the organisation responsible for the doctor’s remediation or employment arrangements, if that is an organisation other than your own. You do not need to involve the GMC unless the issue is not resolved and will impact on your ability to make a revalidation recommendation, when it is due.

If you have a query about carrying out your role as a RO in relation to revalidation, you should contact the GMC.

If your query relates to the other aspects of the RO role, or the RO regulations, you should consider contacting:

  • your own RO, as a first port of call
  • NHS England (for ROs in England)
  • the Department of Health (England) (for the regulations applying in England, Scotland and Wales)
  • the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (Northern Ireland) (for the regulations applying in Northern Ireland).

Approved practice settings

An Approved practice setting (APS) is one we consider to be an appropriate setting in which doctors who are new to UK practice, or returning after a significant break can practice.

From April 2014, doctors who are granted or restored to full registration in APS may only practice in the UK when they have a prescribed connection, until they revalidate for the first time. The GMC’s decision to revalidate a doctor will be the trigger for lifting the APS requirement from a doctor’s registration.

ROs and Suitable Persons do not have to take additional steps in relation to APS. Individual doctors are responsible for making sure that they meet our requirements for APS.

More information about APS and our new requirements is available on our website.

2.9.4 Specialty specific advice

You may have a query about the specialty specific information that a doctor collects for revalidation, or indeed, about any aspect of their specialty work. As such you may wish to consult organisations that can advise you on specialty specific issues and who may have produced specialty advice.

Sources of information and advice include:

  • The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (who have produced specialty guidance)
  • individual medical Royal Colleges and faculties
  • specialty associations.