Changes made to revalidation in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

We've been talking to doctors and responsible officers across the UK to understand how we can best support doctors to revalidate in the coming months.

Following feedback, we’ve moved revalidation dates for some doctors and amended our processes to be more flexible to allow responsible officers to recommend doctors for revalidation.

Doctors who were due to revalidate between 17 March 2020 and 16 March 2021 have had their revalidation submission dates moved back by one year.

To accommodate flexibility in making recommendations, all doctors whose dates have been moved as part of our pandemic response will also be put under notice. This means that responsible officers can submit recommendations to revalidate those doctors at any time up to their new submission date.

We hope the changes we have made support doctors and employers on the frontline, where patients need them most.

Information for doctors whose revalidation date has moved

If you were due to revalidate between 17 March 2020 and 16 March 2021, on this page you’ll find information about what you need to do to engage in revalidation and maintain your licence to practise.

How can I find out my new revalidation date?

You can view your revalidation date on GMC Online.

My revalidation date has been moved what do I need to do now?

There is nothing you need to do now. Like you and the majority of doctors in the UK, responsible officers and their teams will be busy dealing with the pandemic. We advise you not to contact them during this period. We’ve written to your responsible officer to let them know they have until your new submission date to make their recommendation. We’ve advised them to contact you if they need any information.

I’ve had less than five appraisals. Can I still be revalidated?

Responsible officers can make a recommendation based on less than five appraisals if there is a legitimate reason for the missed appraisal(s), so long as all the supporting information has been collected and discussed at other appraisals in the revalidation cycle. This has always been the case and is outlined in The GMC protocol for making revalidation recommendations: Guidance for responsible officers and suitable persons.

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.

Should I still be having an appraisal during the pandemic?

We are aware some organisations suspended appraisals because of the pandemic. You should follow the advice of your responsible officer. If your responsible officer hasn’t suspended appraisals because of the impact of the pandemic, you should be engaging with the process as normal.

What if I am not ready to revalidate?

Your responsible officer can submit a deferral recommendation for you up to four months before your submission date if you have not been able to collect all of the required supporting information and discuss it at an appraisal. We have asked responsible officers not to submit deferrals recommendations more than four months in advance of revalidation dates.

My responsible officer has told me I am not engaging sufficiently

If you are not engaging with revalidation your responsible officer can tell us at any time. If your responsible officer has tried to contact you about your revalidation you should respond to them immediately and provide them with information they have requested or explain to them why you can’t do this.

I don’t have a connection to a designated body. What do I need to do?

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. What do I need to do to maintain my licence to practise?

You will still need to submit an annual return. Your annual return date has not changed, and we will write to you separately when that becomes due. Please read our guidance Completing and submitting your annual return about what you need to do to engage.

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.

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.