I don't have a designated body or Suitable Person

If you want to keep your licence but don't have a designated body or Suitable Person, you will need to provide us with robust evidence that you are up to date and fit to practise. We need this to decide whether you can continue to hold your licence.

Revalidation and your licence to practise

Every licensed doctor must take part in revalidation. This involves collecting and reflecting on supporting information about your whole practice and having an annual appraisal based on our core guidance, Good medical practice.

We can withdraw your licence if you don't engage with revalidation. If we do this, it is likely to affect any application you make to get it back.

  • It's likely to take longer to deal with your application because you'll need to give us more evidence.
  • You'll need to give us the evidence we asked for before your licence was withdrawn.
  • We might ask you to revalidate before we grant your application.

If you don't need your licence, we recommend that you give it up.

Your annual appraisal

You should already be having annual appraisals based on our Good medical practice (GMP) framework and collecting supporting information about your practice, to show how you're meeting our professional standards in your everyday practice.

If you're unable to arrange your appraisal through your employer, you need to make arrangements yourself, through an independent provider of UK medical appraisals.

Your appraiser must meet our criteria, which includes:

  • being a licensed doctor with a connection to a designated body or Suitable Person
  • participating in revalidation
  • being trained in delivering medical appraisals in the UK
  • carried out at least five appraisals in the preceding 12 months.

Read more about our requirements for annual appraisal and the criteria to be an appraiser in our guidance (pdf). You can find this in the section ‘Engagement with revalidation for doctors who do not have a Responsible Officer or approved Suitable Person’.

Your annual return

Every year, you will need to complete and submit a revalidation annual return to give us evidence of your practice and participation in annual appraisal. 

Read our guidance for doctors about completing the revalidation annual return form.

Revalidation assessment

As well as submitting your annual returns, you will need to take part in an assessment to show your medical knowledge is up to date. This will normally be once every five years. In the absence of a Responsible Officer or Suitable Person who can give us a recommendation, the assessment forms part of the evidence we need for doctors without a connection.

The assessment tests your ability to apply your current knowledge and experience to the care of patients. 

We'll usually ask you to take your revalidation assessment in the year in which you are due to revalidate. This means you may sit the assessment before you have completed an annual return. You won’t be able to revalidate until you have submitted a satisfactory annual return.

We’ll give you four months’ notice of the date by which you need to book your assessment. You'll book your place through your GMC Online account. You will be charged a fee to book your assessment.

If you can provide evidence that you have passed a UK Royal College or Faculty exam within the last five years, you may not need to take the revalidation assessment. You can find more information about this below.

We have more guidance about the revalidation assessment, including:


Alternatives to the revalidation assessment

You may not need to take the revalidation assessment if you have passed a UK Royal College or Faculty exam within the last five years.

We have a list of the exams we accept as evidence of your medical knowledge for your revalidation. This only includes exams which lead to membership or fellowship of the College or Faculty.

You will need to provide us with evidence of your pass. This must be a letter or certificate from the College or Faculty.

You should submit your evidence when we send you notice to book your revalidation assessment. You will do this through your GMC online account, uploading the evidence using the 'submit alternative evidence' button on screen.

We'll then review the evidence and let you know if  it meets our requirements.


You’ll be charged a fee for us to evaluate your annual return. You’ll need to pay this at the point you submit your return online, through GMC Online. See our fees page for the current fee

We will not refund your fee once your annual return has been evaluated. We normally evaluate an annual return within five working days.

There’s a fee for sitting the revalidation assessment. You’ll need to pay this at the point you book a place to sit it. See our fees page for the current fee. We only offer refunds in certain circumstances. See our cancellations and refunds page for more information.

You may incur other costs, for example, for arranging your annual appraisal and for travel to the UK to sit the revalidation assessment.

Your revalidation decision

We will use the information we get from both your annual returns and from your assessment to make a decision about your revalidation. It is important you meet all of our requirements for revalidation. You will not be able to revalidate even if you meet the required standard in the assessment, if you have not met our other requirements.  

If concerns arise about your fitness to practise at any point in the revalidation process, we may refer you into our fitness to practise procedures. This means your registration, as well as your licence, may be at risk.

We will take steps to withdraw your licence to practise if you do not provide the information we ask you for or you fail to take part in a revalidation assessment when we ask you to do this.

Read our guidance on how we make a revalidation decision.