COVID 19 – GMC confirms revalidation date changes

The General Medical Council (GMC) has confirmed that doctors’ revalidation submission dates have been put back by up to 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It means doctors with a revalidation date between 17 March 2020 and 16 March 2021 can have their revalidation delayed for up to a year.

Revalidation is the process by which doctors demonstrate they remain up to date and fit to practise. By law, every doctor working in the UK is required to revalidate once every five years.

"The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented challenge and we are doing all we can to support doctors and employers. Deferring revalidation dates will help free up more time, allowing them to provide the best possible care to patients."

Charlie Massey

GMC Chief Executive

Recommendations for revalidation are usually submitted to the GMC by a doctor’s responsible officer, most often a senior doctor – such as a medical director – in an organisation employing doctors.

In response to feedback from responsible officers, the GMC has increased flexibility during the pandemic so responsible officers can make a revalidation recommendation at any point from now up to a doctor’s new revalidation date.

Charlie Massey, the GMC’s Chief Executive, said: 

‘The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented challenge and we are doing all we can to support doctors and employers. Deferring revalidation dates will help free up more time, allowing them to provide the best possible to care to patients.

‘We’ve also listened to responsible officers, who told us they would welcome flexibility in making recommendations to revalidate doctors whose dates have changed. So, we have agreed that those recommendations can be made at any time up to a doctor’s revised date.’

The GMC has also confirmed that a missed appraisal as a result of the pandemic should not prevent a recommendation being made about a doctor’s revalidation. This means responsible officers can make a revalidation recommendation for a doctor with less than five annual appraisals, providing there is a legitimate reason for the missed appraisal and that other necessary supporting information has been collated.

The GMC is writing to all doctors affected by the date changes with more information. Doctors with queries about their revalidation can also find out more online.