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Guidance on supporting information for appraisal and revalidation

Essential information to help you meet our revalidation requirements

Appraisal requirements and guidance from other organisations

17 This guidance covers our requirements for all licensed doctors. Every licensed doctor practising in the UK (or crown dependencies or Gibraltar) can meet our requirements for supporting information for revalidation.

18 Our requirements are sufficiently flexible to take account of the wide range of medical practice carried out by licensed doctors in the UK. If you are concerned you can’t meet our requirements, it is your responsibility to seek advice and agree any appropriate variations with your responsible officer.

19 The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, individual colleges, faculties and specialty-specific organisations also provide additional guidance about appraisal and revalidation for doctors working in different specialties. This is because the range of supporting information you must collect and reflect on will depend on your scope of practice and the type of work you do. Their guidance translates our high level requirements into a specialty-specific context and can therefore help you understand how you can satisfy our requirements.

20 The organisation where you work may set other appraisal or contractual requirements as part of your employment – for example, completion of health and safety training. That is a matter for employers and they are not GMC requirements. Failure to meet local appraisal or contractual requirements may be discussed at your appraisal but should not influence the revalidation recommendation made about you.

21 However, in exceptional circumstances your responsible officer may decide that significant failure to meet local requirements will impact on their recommendation. They would need to be satisfied (and satisfy us) that failure to meet local requirements means you are not engaging with revalidation and therefore failing to meet our requirements. They would need to specify which of our requirements you have not met.

Role of appraisers and responsible officers

22 Responsible officers, their revalidation teams, and employing or contracting organisations can advise you on local processes in place to support you to collect your supporting information.

23 Your appraiser can offer advice on how you can meet the requirements for your revalidation and signpost appropriate resources to help you. However it is your responsible officer who makes the recommendation about whether or not you have met the requirements. Most organisations have local appraisal guidance which will provide additional guidance on meeting our requirements.

24 Your appraisal should be with an appropriately appointed and trained appraiser. Your designated body must support you to access a whole practice annual appraisal.

25 If you do not have a connection to a designated body or suitable person and cannot access an appraiser through your employer or through the organisation with whom you have a contract to provide medical services, you must identify an appraiser who meets our criteria. We do not require your appraiser to be from the same specialty as you.

26 If you do not have a connection to a designated body or suitable person, and therefore have to give us an annual return, we can advise you on how you can meet our requirements of revalidation if you are unsure.

Doctors in training

27 Every licensed doctor must take part in revalidation including doctors who are in training. If you are a doctor in a UK training programme, your postgraduate dean will be your responsible officer.

28 Your responsible officer will make a revalidation recommendation for you based on your Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP). You do not need to collect any supporting information from your training programme posts other than what is required for your ARCP, as the ARCP process takes into account our requirements for revalidation. You must comply with ARCP or other programme requirements as long as you are in training.

29 If you carry out any work outside your training posts for which you need a licence to practise (including locum roles) you must declare this on your Form R (or electronic equivalent), and collect supporting information that covers the whole of this practice. This is consistent with the requirement on all doctors set out in paragraph 11. Your responsible officer may ask you to provide further evidence relating to your work outside training if they feel it is needed before making a revalidation recommendation about you.

Supporting information should be from UK practice

30 Revalidation assures patients and the public that doctors remain up to date and fit to practise, in line with the standards of practice required in the UK. It is founded on the principle that you have met the professional expectations placed on you as a doctor practising in the UK.

31 If you don’t carry out any medical practice in the UK, crown dependencies or Gibraltar, you don’t need to hold or maintain a UK licence to practise. If you practise outside of the UK and choose to maintain your licence, you will need to work closely with your responsible officer to understand how you can meet our requirements for supporting information and whole practice appraisals.

32 We expect you to collect, reflect on and discuss supporting information generated from your whole UK practice. Responsible officers may decide to accept supporting information drawn from overseas practice if they are satisfied it meets the same standards as those expected in the UK and therefore gives assurance about your continued fitness to practise. It is important that you speak to your responsible officer as soon as you know you intend to practise overseas while holding a UK licence to practise. Only in exceptional circumstances* would a doctor with supporting information drawn from practice wholly or significantly overseas be able to maintain their UK licence to practise.

Appraisal tools

33 We do not require you to use any specific appraisal portfolio tools or systems for revalidation. Your organisations may specify the portfolio tools they expect you to use. The tool or system used must be robust enough to allow you to engage with revalidation. If you’re unsure about which appraisal or portfolio tools you need to use, you should check your local appraisal guidance or contact your responsible officer.

Your professional obligations

34 You have a professional obligation to give an honest and comprehensive picture of your whole practice for revalidation. You must make your responsible officer and appraiser aware of all the places you have worked as a licensed doctor since your last appraisal.

35 In terms of supporting information and appraisal for revalidation, you must:

  • read, understand and meet our requirements for the sources, types and frequency of supporting information specified in each section of this guidance
  • make sure your supporting information and any other evidence for your whole practice appraisal is honest, accurate and comprehensive
  • participate in annual appraisals that cover your whole practice. This means collecting, reflecting on, and discussing supporting information in line with the requirements in this guidance.

* For example, a legislative requirement to hold a UK licence in a country outside of the UK, such as in Gibraltar.