Coronavirus (COVID-19) – update on revalidation for doctors

Earlier this year, we made changes to revalidation dates in response to the pandemic. We wanted to give doctors and responsible officers more time to be ready for revalidation and prioritise clinical care for patients.

Doctors who were due to revalidate between 17 March 2020 and 16 March 2021 had their revalidation submission dates moved back by one year. Given the ongoing challenges that doctors are facing, we’ve decided to extend this approach to doctors who are due to revalidate between March and July 2021, if their dates haven’t already been rescheduled. We’ve moved back their dates by four months, but they can revalidate at any time from this autumn right through to their new date.

We hope the information on this page answers some of the main questions doctors might have about their revalidation. But if you have any other queries, please contact us our Revalidation Team on 0161 923 6602 (+44 161 923 6602) or email revalidation-support@gmc-uk.org. We’ll do our best to help.

Information for doctors whose dates we've moved

We’ve written to you to let you know what date we’ve moved your revalidation submission date to.
By giving you notice of your revalidation date, your responsible officer will be able to make a recommendation once you’re ready at any point from now up until your new date. When we revalidate you, we’ll set your new revalidation submission date five years from your new date.

We’ve also explained what you need to do now, including if you need to tell us the name of your designated body.

You can view your new revalidation date on  GMC Online.

Information for all doctors

Should I still be having an appraisal during the pandemic?

We know that some organisations suspended appraisals because of the pandemic, and we are aware that appraisals have only recently restarted across the UK. You should follow the advice of your responsible officer about appraisals at your designated body. If your responsible officer hasn’t suspended appraisals because of the impact of the pandemic, you should be engaging with the process as normal.

Will I be able to revalidate if I missed an appraisal due to the pandemic?

We encourage you to engage in revalidation activity as normal. However, we recognise local context will determine when and how appraisal will resume.

If you miss an appraisal because of the pandemic it should not impact your ability to revalidate if you are otherwise ready.

Responsible officers can make a recommendation to revalidate a doctor with less than five appraisals providing all the required supporting information has been collected and discussed at earlier appraisals in the revalidation cycle.

What if I’m not ready to revalidate?

Your responsible officer can submit a deferral recommendation if you have not been able to collect all of the required supporting information and discuss it at an appraisal, or your organisation has not been able to support you to do so.

A deferral simply postpones your revalidation date, it has no impact on your licence or ability to practise. It does not reflect any concern about your practice or professionalism.

I was or am due to be revalidated at the point of eligibility for my Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT). What should I do now?

If you are still connected to your local education training board or deanery, they will be able to submit a recommendation.

If you were going to be revalidated at the point you were eligible for a CCT and have a connection to a new designated body, your new responsible officer should consider making a recommendation to revalidate if they are assured you would have been revalidated at point of CCT if your date had not changed. They must also be able to sign up to up to the revalidate statements outlined in The GMC protocol for making revalidation recommendations: Guidance for responsible officers and suitable persons

What will happen if my responsible officer has told me I am not engaging sufficiently?

If your responsible officer has tried to contact you about your revalidation, you must respond to them immediately and provide them with information they have requested or explain to them why you can’t do this.

When we have issued you with a notice, your responsible officer can make a non-engagement recommendation if you continue to not engage sufficiently. If we receive this recommendation, we will write to you and ask you to explain how you are meeting the requirements of revalidation or to give us any evidence to show why you haven’t been able to do this. It is important that your respond to us. You can read more details about recommendations on our website. 

I don’t have a designated body or suitable person. What do I need to do?

If you need a UK licence to practise and you continue to not have a designated body or suitable person, you need to submit an annual return by your annual return date. Please read our guidance Completing and submitting your annual return about what you need to do to engage.

If you’re not currently practising, ask yourself if you need a UK licence to practise. If you don’t, you’ll save time, money and effort by changing your status to registered without a licence. Find out more about  managing your registration.

I don’t have a designated body and need to keep my licence. Do I need to sit the revalidation assessment?

We are not asking doctors to undergo the assessment at the moment. We will write to you when we are able to ask doctors to do this. In the meantime, if you need your UK licence and you continue to not have a designated body, you’ll still need to have appraisals and to submit your annual returns by your annual return date.

Top tips

  • Make sure contact details and designated body details are up to date on GMC Online.
  • If your practice has changed you should use our online tool to check if your connection to your designated body has changed. If it has please update this on GMC Online. 
  • If your responsible officer or their team has requested information from you, you should respond in a timely manner to help them support you with your revalidation.
  • If you need any more information please contact our Revalidation team on 0161 923 6602 (+44 161 923 6602) or email revalidation-support@gmc-uk.org. We’ll do our best to help.