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

In April 2021 we began routinely contacting doctors to give them four months’ notice of their revalidation submission dates. The earliest date these doctors will need to revalidate is August 2021. 

As our health services move towards recovery, we understand the challenges the profession is still under. We know that not all doctors will be ready to revalidate at their scheduled date and we’ll explain the options available to them. Our approach to revalidation continues to provide doctors and responsible officers with maximum flexibility to meet local needs.

Doctors whose dates have previously been moved in response to the pandemic have already been given notice of their revalidation date. We won’t send any further notices to them.  

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 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.

 

Should I still have an appraisal during the pandemic?

Appraisal is managed and delivered locally. The approach taken by each designated body towards appraisal may vary according to local pressures. We support this flexible approach, so please follow the advice of your responsible officer.

 

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

If you miss an appraisal because of the pandemic it should not impact your ability to revalidate if you’re 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.

 

Will I have to make up any missed appraisals before my responsible officer can make a revalidate recommendation?

No. While appraisals should normally be annual, you don’t have to catch up on an appraisal if there is a legitimate reason for missing it, such as because of the pandemic.

 

What if I’m not ready to revalidate?

Your responsible officer can submit a deferral recommendation if you've 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 to practise. It does not reflect any concern about your practice or professionalism.

 

I'm a trainee, so I'm due to be revalidated at the point of eligibility for my Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT). What should I do now?

If you're 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 but this did not happen and you now have a connection to a new designated body, your new responsible officer should consider making a recommendation to revalidate you.  They’ll need to be assured you would have been revalidated at point of CCT if your date hadn’t 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, it’s important that you respond to them immediately and provide them with the information they’ve requested, or explain why you can’t do so.

When we’ve issued you with a notice, your responsible officer can make a non-engagement recommendation if you are still not engaging sufficiently.

If we receive this recommendation, we’ll write to you and ask you to explain how you’re meeting the requirements of revalidation or to give us evidence to show why you haven’t been able to do this. It is important that you respond to us; we’ll consider any information you share with us before making any decisions about your licence. You can read more about recommendations in our guide to the revalidation process.

 

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 don't have a designated body or suitable person, you need to submit an annual return by your annual return date. Our guidance on completing and submitting your annual return  explains 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?

Yes. We will write to you when it’s time for you to take your revalidation assessment. Normally, this will be within 12 months of your revalidation date. You will need to book your assessment within four months of us contacting you. The first available date to take the assessment will be in July 2021 and there will be a range of dates after then for you to choose from. Find out more about the revalidation assessment.

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.