The GMC protocol for making revalidation recommendations

Guidance for responsible officers and suitable persons

About the protocol

This guidance helps responsible officers (ROs) and suitable persons make recommendations for doctors. You must follow and be familiar with it. 

Doctors and designated bodies should also use the guidance to understand how recommendations are made.

It focuses on the statutory responsibility of ROs to make recommendations for the revalidation of doctors, set out in the Medical Profession (Responsible Officer) Regulations 2010 (as amended) and Medical Profession (Responsible Officer) Regulations (NI) 2010. While suitable persons aren’t covered by the RO Regulations, all guidance, instructions, and statements about making revalidation recommendations apply to them, except where otherwise stated.

This guidance may also help physician associate (PA) and anaesthesia associate (AA) recommenders to prepare for their future role in making recommendations for PAs and AAs.  Similarly, to suitable persons, PA and AA recommenders will not be covered by the RO Regulations and they may share similarities in their role and responsibilities.

However, the details of the recommendation model for PAs and AAs have yet to be developed and there may be additional requirements of PA and AA recommenders, that are not covered within this guidance.

What is the protocol?

The protocol outlines:

  • the three different types of recommendations (revalidate, defer, non-engagement)
  • criteria to help you decide which recommendation to make
  • step-by-step information on making a recommendation.

In this document we use the following abbreviations:

Term Abbreviation
Responsible officer RO
Employer Liaison Adviser ELA
The Medical Profession (Responsible Officer) Regulations 2010 (as amended) RO Regulations
The Medical Profession (Responsible Officers) Regulations (NI) 2010 RO Regulations (NI)