Working with doctors Working for patients

GMC commissions review on how revalidation is taken forward

Press Release

09 Mar 2016

The General Medical Council (GMC) has commissioned Sir Keith Pearson, Chair of the GMC’s Revalidation Advisory Board, to lead a review of revalidation.

The General Medical Council (GMC) has commissioned Sir Keith Pearson, Chair of the GMC’s Revalidation Advisory Board, to lead a review of revalidation.

The review will draw on evidence of the operation and impact of revalidation since it was launched in December 2012 and look forward to how it can be improved. The aim will be to produce recommendations for changes during 2017. Sir Keith will look at all reports published to date on how revalidation is working in practice, as well as data gathered throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Sir Keith’s report, which will include recommendations to the GMC, will be produced by the end of this year and will be published.

The report will focus on:

  • UK wide research into revalidation and appraisal and UK wide surveys completed since the introduction of revalidation
  • Data held by the GMC including breakdowns of revalidation figures and complaints received.
    Doctors’ experiences of revalidation from previously published reports and interactions between doctors and the GMC’s liaison advisers
  • Available evidence detailing formal and informal feedback from Responsible Officers.
  • Reports on how appraisal and clinical governance are working in each country of the UK
  • Submissions by organisations including the four health departments, the medical Royal Colleges, the
  • BMA, independent sector representatives, NHS England and the systems regulators and improvement bodies
  • Views from patients who have provided feedback to their doctor from available evidence.

An interim evaluation of revalidation, being produced by an independent UK-wide collaboration of researchers, under the name UMbRELLA, is due to be published during the spring and will be a key element in the evidence reviewed.

Notes to editors

Read the terms of reference for the review.

The Revalidation Advisory Board (RAB), chaired by Sir Keith Pearson, provides advice to the GMC and gives insight from a range of perspectives about how the system is working.

Sir Keith Pearson is also Chair of Health Education England. He has held the post since Health Education England was established in 2012.


Revalidation started on 3 December 2012. Revalidation is the process by which all licensed doctors are required to demonstrate on a regular basis that they are up to date and fit to practise in their chosen field and able to provide a good level of care. This means that holding a licence to practise is becoming an indicator that the doctor continues to meet the professional standards set by the GMC and the specialist standard set by the medical Royal Colleges and Faculties.

Responsible Officers (ROs) are senior doctors within organisations that employ doctors who have an overall statutory responsibility for evaluating the fitness to practise of those doctors on an ongoing basis.

The General Medical Council (GMC) is an independent organisation that helps to protect patients and improve medical education and practice across the UK.

  • We decide which doctors are qualified to work here and we oversee UK medical education and training.
  • We set the standards that doctors need to follow, and make sure that they continue to meet these standards throughout their careers.
  • We take action when we believe a doctor may be putting the safety of patients, or the public's confidence in doctors, at risk.

We are not here to protect doctors - their interests are protected by others. Our job is to protect the public.

We are independent of government and the medical profession and accountable to Parliament. Our powers are given to us by Parliament through the Medical Act 1983.

We are a registered charity (number 1089278 with the Charity Commission for England and Wales, and number SC037750 with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator), we have to show that our aims are for public benefit.

The GMC Media Relations Office can be contacted on 020 7189 5454, email

To find out more please visit our website

Join us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.