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Who can become a suitable person?

Suitable persons must:

  • be a responsible officer, or undertake a role with similar responsibilities to a responsible officer, for an organisation operating within the healthcare environment (for example, by employing, contracting or providing membership services to doctors), located in the UK, a Crown Dependency or Gibraltar
  • currently hold GMC registration with a licence to practise
  • have held GMC registration continuously for at least the last five years
  • have either a connection to a designated body or an approved suitable person
  • have access to the information needed to make robust revalidation recommendations for their connected doctors, including assurance that:
    • they are taking part in annual appraisals
    • records of a doctor’s fitness to practise are maintained, including appraisals and any other investigations or assessments
    • concerns about their practice are communicated as they arise
    • they are complying with any local conditions, or conditions imposed by, or undertakings agreed with, us
    • formal arrangements (that are not time bound) are in place with other relevant organisations or persons, to access information to make recommendations about their whole scope of practice.
  • have experience, skills and knowledge to carry out their responsibilities (including performance management, appraisal, quality assurance of appraisal systems and appraisers, remediation or rehabilitation)
  • have the available resources to fulfil their responsibilities
  • have a clear and rational link to the doctor or group of doctors, ie through an employment relationship, sharing a niche specialty or sector, or governance arrangements.
  • have sufficient knowledge and oversight of the doctor's working environment to make an accurate assessment of their fitness to practise and to make sure they participate in revalidation
  • not be a suitable person for a doctor where they already have a prescribed connection to a designated body under the responsible officer regulations (check the doctor's connection status and full scope of practice before connecting to them)
  • consider whether there is a conflict of interest, bias, or any perception of bias, when connecting to a doctor. More information about conflicts of interest and appearance of bias is in the guidance that accompanies the responsible officer regulations.

You can find more information about the information and systems suitable persons need to access in:

Our criteria may be updated from time to time in line with our guidance and instructions.