When and how the revalidation recommendation is made
4.1 When you will revalidate
You will usually revalidate once every five years1.
If you are a doctor in training, when you revalidate depends on how long your training lasts:
- If your training programme lasts less than five years, your first revalidation will be at the point of eligibility for CCT. Your revalidation date can be set up to 60 days after your CCT date.
- If your training programme lasts longer than five years, you will be revalidated five years after you gained full registration with a licence to practise, and again at the point of eligibility for CCT. This means your second revalidation may fall less than five years after your first. Your ARCP date and revalidation submission date do not need to align, and you can revalidate with fewer than five ARCPs.
You do not need to have received your CCT to revalidate.
4.2 How the revalidation recommendation is made
Your revalidation submission date will be:
- sent to you at least three months before the date2
- recorded in your GMC Online account
- communicated to your responsible officer or suitable person via GMC Connect.
Your responsible officer or suitable person must make their recommendation on or before your revalidation submission date. You must take reasonable steps to arrange for a recommendation to be made about your revalidation by your responsible officer or suitable person by your revalidation submission date, by fully engaging in the processes that support revalidation.3
Changing your revalidation submission date
There may be exceptional circumstances where we need to change your submission date, or defer taking further steps in relation to your revalidation4. If we do this we will give you at least three months’ notice, and explain why.5 Examples of such circumstances include:
- If we agree a recommendation to defer made by your responsible officer or suitable person, we will change your revalidation submission date to give you more time.
- If as a doctor in training, your CCT date moves forward, but you’re not in your notice period. Your responsible officer can ask us to bring forward your revalidation date so they can make their recommendation to us.
- We might change your submission date after you have received formal notice of your date in exceptional circumstances. For example if you are subject to a GMC fitness to practise investigation, and we need to delay your revalidation until the outcome of the investigation is known (see section 1.2).
- If you do not sufficiently engage with revalidation, we may cancel your submission date and reissue you with notice of an earlier date, to allow your responsible officer or suitable person to make a recommendation of non-engagement (see section 4.4.3).
If you change employer, or your designated body changes, your revalidation submission date stays the same. Your new responsible officer or suitable person must submit a recommendation on or before that date, within the statutory notice period.
4.3 Making the recommendation to us
Your responsible officer or suitable person will be asked to confirm you are up to date and fit to practise. They will follow instructions set out in the GMC protocol for making revalidation recommendations when making their recommendation.
Their recommendation will be based on:
Doctors in training
- the assessments and other curriculum requirements of your training programme
- your participation in the ARCP process. Your revalidation isn’t linked to a specific outcome at ARCP. You can still revalidate if you haven’t successfully progressed through training, provided you remain fit to practise within your scope of work.
- any other relevant information from across your whole practice, including clinical governance information or feedback from employers
All other doctors
- the supporting information you have collected and reflected on
- your participation in annual appraisals
- information arising out of the system of clinical governance within your workplace(s)
- information from all organisations in which you have practised medicine
- your compliance with any GMC conditions or undertakings on your registration
- your compliance with any locally agreed conditions on your practice
- any outstanding concerns about your practice.
If you do not have a responsible officer or suitable person, then there is no recommendation made to the GMC.
We will use the information we get from your annual returns, your assessment, and any other information we have requested from you about your revalidation when we make a decision about your revalidation.
If you achieve the required standard in the assessment and have met all the other requirements in sections 1 and 2 of this guidance, you will be revalidated. If you do not fulfil all these requirements we will decide if you need more time. You can find more information about our decision in section 6.
4.4 The types of recommendation
There are three recommendations your responsible officer or suitable person can make about your revalidation:
4.4.1 A recommendation to revalidate
This is a formal declaration from your responsible officer or suitable person that you are up to date and fit to practise. It confirms that you have:
- collected and reflected on the required supporting information for appraisal as outlined in the Supporting information for appraisal and revalidation guidance
- participated in the systems and processes to support revalidation, and
- met the requirements for revalidation as outlined in this guidance.
If we accept a recommendation to revalidate, both you and your responsible officer or suitable person will receive confirmation of our decision and of your next revalidation submission date.
4.4.2 A recommendation to defer
This provides flexibility where a doctor is sufficiently meeting the requirements for their revalidation, but their responsible officer or suitable person needs more time before they can make a recommendation to revalidate.6
A deferral of your revalidation submission date:
- is not a penalty
- does not imply any judgement about your fitness to practise
- does not affect your licence to practise
- is not publicly available or published on the medical register.
The reasons we would accept a recommendation to defer are:
- You have been unable to collect and reflect on all of the required supporting information by your revalidation submission date and there are reasonable circumstances to account for this.
- You are a doctor in training and have been unable to complete ARCP or provide the necessary full scope of practice information.
- You are participating in an ongoing local HR or disciplinary process and your responsible officer or suitable person needs that process to conclude before they can make a recommendation to revalidate.
Your responsible officer or suitable person must specify the period for which they need to defer your submission date and agree with you what you need to do by this new date. We expect you to meet these requirements by this date unless you have a reasonable excuse.
These requirements may include having another appropriate appraisal within the deferral period.
If we accept a recommendation to defer we will notify you and your responsible officer or suitable person of this decision, and confirm your new revalidation submission date at least three months in advance.7 We would not expect to receive a further recommendation to defer unless there were exceptional circumstances.
4.4.3 A recommendation of non-engagement
Your responsible officer or suitable person can make a recommendation of non-engagement if you have:
- not sufficiently engaged with the processes that support revalidation
- failed to comply with the requirements for revalidation (set out in this guidance).
Your responsible officer or suitable person can inform us of this at any time. They do not need to wait until your formal notice period. If they tell us you are not engaging before you receive notice of your submission date, we may remind you that you are required to engage in order to continue to hold your licence to practise.
If we accept a recommendation of non-engagement, we will begin the process of withdrawing your licence. We will:
- write to inform you that we have received a recommendation of non-engagement and that we are considering withdrawing your licence
- give you the opportunity to make representations to us
- obtain further information from your responsible officer or suitable person, based on your representations, as to whether they consider you are sufficiently engaging with revalidation.
- consider your representations and any other information available to us and make a decision about whether you have failed to meet the requirements of revalidation without reasonable excuse and to withdraw your licence.
You can find more information about withdrawal of a licence in section 5.5.
If you begin to sufficiently engage with the revalidation process, we may decide not to withdraw your licence. Instead we may, for example, decide to defer your revalidation and issue you with a new revalidation submission date.
You can appeal a decision to withdraw your licence. More information about appeals is in section 7.
1 Regulation 6(1).
2 Regulation 6(3)(a).
3 Regulation 6(5).
4 Regulation 6(5).
5 Regulation 6(3)(a).
6 Regulation 6(5)(c) and 6(6)(c).
7 Regulation 6(16) and 6(17).