Getting ready

This page is for responsible officers and employers and provides information about how you can support your doctors with revalidation from December 2012 onwards.

Revalidation is based on a local evaluation of doctors’ practice through the regular appraisals which they receive from their employers. Employers in the NHS and the independent sector need to have the right systems in place locally, such as appraisal and clinical governance, to support doctors with the requirements we have set.

What readiness means

To be ready for revalidation, organisations need to ensure they have:

  • a responsible officer with the systems in place to support them in their role
  • an up to date appraisal system that reflects our core guidance for doctors, Good medical practice, and ensures every licensed doctor is having a regular appraisal
  • a sufficient number of trained appraisers in post
  • clinical governance systems that can provide doctors with the supporting information they need for appraisal and revalidation
  • policies and systems in place for identifying and responding to concerns about doctors
  • robust links with the other organisations where your doctors may also be working, so information about their practice and any concerns about them can be shared.

Starting revalidation

The four UK health departments (and the NHS Revalidation Support Team in England) have worked with responsible officers to develop national plans for how revalidation will start in each country.

Each country is taking a slightly different approach but has signed up to a set of principles (pdf) that will ensure revalidation is implemented in a way that is fair and consistent for all licensed doctors across the UK.

Revalidation started on 3 December 2012 and our plan for the first cycle is to revalidate:

  • medical leaders and the majority of responsible officers by March 2013 (‘year zero’)
  • around 20% of licensed doctors between April 2013 and the end of March 2014 (year ‘one’)
  • around 40% of licensed doctors between April 2014 and March 2015 (year ‘two’)
  • and the remaining 40% of licensed doctors between April 2015 and March 2016 (year ‘three’)

This means we should revalidate the majority of licensed doctors by the end of March 2016. We want to revalidate all licensed doctors by March 2018 – the end of the first cycle.

Support from our partners

The four health departments of the UK and a number of other organisations are working with employers in their countries to help them prepare for the introduction of revalidation. This help includes support for responsible officers and the development of supplementary guidance to help them with the management of doctors’ appraisals. For links to these organisations, please visit our useful links page.

Our Employer Liaison Service

In early 2012, we launched a new service to help responsible officers with revalidation and the management of concerns about doctors. We now have 15 employer liaison advisors across the UK. Find out more about our employer liaison service