Guidance for doctors’: requirements for revalidation

The GMC's decision

We decide whether you should be revalidated. We may:

  • confirm that you should continue to hold your licence
  • defer your revalidation submission date to allow more time for your recommendation or our decision to be made
  • withdraw your licence for failure to comply with the requirements of revalidation set out in this guidance, failing to sufficiently engage with the processes that support revalidation1 or failing to send us the information we have asked for (see section 4.4.3 and section 5.5).

5.1 Checks before making our decision

Once we have received a recommendation about your revalidation, or your annual returns and revalidation assessment, we will do some further checks including,

  • you are fully registered, with a licence to practise
  • the recommendation has come from the correct responsible officer and designated body, or suitable person if you have one
  • your fitness to practise history for any current, or pending, investigations or considerations
  • your revalidation and registration history
  • any non-payment of your annual retention fee or failure to keep your registered address up to date
  • that any other information we hold has been kept up to date. 

If the checking process raises any significant issues, we may seek clarification from you, your responsible officer or suitable person, your appraiser or employer before we make a decision about your revalidation.2 There may be exceptional circumstances where we need to defer making a decision about your revalidation. In these circumstances we will let you know of this and explain why.3

5.2 Factors we take into account in making the decision

We take the following factors into account when deciding whether you should be revalidated and continue to hold a licence.

  • Information provided by you, or your responsible officer or suitable person, in making their recommendation about your revalidation.
  • Any other information about your revalidation that we have asked you for. For example an annual return.
  • Any information we hold which is relevant to the evaluation of your fitness to practise. Where a third party provides information, we will show you this before making our decision.
  • Whether you have complied with our guidance, including sufficiently engaging with appraisal and other processes that support your revalidation.
  • Whether you have met the required standard in an assessment designed to evaluate your fitness to practise, if you do not have a responsible officer or suitable person and were asked to take such an assessment. 

We will send you confirmation of our decision.

5.3 The decision to revalidate

Where we decide to revalidate you, there is no change to your licence or registration, and you may continue to practise as usual. 

We will give you a new revalidation submission date, and you will be able to see this in your GMC Online account.

5.4 The decision to defer your revalidation submission date

If we defer your submission date, you will continue to hold your licence and can practise as usual. We will give you a new submission date, which you will be able to see in your GMC Online account.

We will send you formal notification of your new submission date at least three months in advance of the new date.

We expect you to meet any outstanding revalidation requirements by your new revalidation submission date, and do not expect to receive multiple consecutive deferrals.

5.5 The decision to withdraw your licence to practise

We may withdraw your licence if you fraudulently give us any evidence or information relevant to your revalidation.4 Or if, without reasonable excuse, you fail to comply with a requirement in this guidance5.

We will:

  • tell you that we are considering withdrawing your licence and explain our reasons6
  • invite you to make written representations to us within 28 days.7

Your written representations should explain why we should not withdraw your licence. You should provide objective and, where possible, verifiable evidence to support your statements. If you cannot give us any information within 28 days you must tell us why. If you do not make any written representations within the given timeframe this may further evidence your failure to engage with revalidation and support a decision to withdraw your licence.

We will take into consideration any information or evidence you provide us.

If we decide to withdraw your licence we will explain why in writing and tell you when your licence will be withdrawn. We may share this decision with your responsible officer or suitable person, and with any future responsible officer or suitable person.

There is a right of appeal if we decide to withdraw your licence.8 More information about appeals is in section 7.

Once we tell you your licence has been withdrawn you must immediately stop any practice in the UK that requires a licence to practise. This decision does not affect your registration and you can apply to have your licence restored. We may advise you of any evidence or information that will be required if you apply to restore your licence/registration.9

More information for doctors about registration without a licence and restoring a licence is set out in section 6.

1 set out in regulation 4(3).
2 Section 29E(3) of the Medical Act 1983 (as amended) and Regulation 6(10).
3 Regulation 6(15) and 6(16).
4 Regulation 4(3)(f).
5 Regulation 4(3).
6 Regulation 4(4)(a)(i) and (ii).
7 Regulation 4(4)(a)(iii).
8 Section 29F(1)(b) of the Medical Act 1983 (as amended).
9 Regulation 4(5).