The legislation that supports revalidation
The Medical Act 1983
The Act is the primary UK legislation that provides the legal basis for everything that the GMC does, including our responsibilities in relation to the revalidation of doctors. Section 29A, part 5 states that '"revalidation" means "the evaluation of a medical practitioner’s fitness to practise''.
The 1983 Act has been amended on a number of occasions since it first came into force. The main changes that have taken place since 2002 are shown in the following amending legislation.
Under the Act the GMC is able to make additional regulations that govern the way that the GMC works. These include the General Medical Council (Licence to Practise and Revalidation) Regulations 2012.
The General Medical Council (Licence to Practise and Revalidation) Regulations 2012 (as amended)
The General Medical Council (Licence to Practise and Revalidation) Regulations 2012 (as amended) were made by the GMC and agreed by the Department of Health and Privy Council. They include:
- the GMC’s powers to grant, withdraw, restore, or refuse to restore licences in a range of different circumstances
- additional powers that the GMC needs in order to maintain, withdraw, restore, or refuse to restore licences in the context of revalidation.
The Medical Profession (Responsible Officers) Regulations 2013 (as amended)
The RO role was introduced in the UK by the Medical Profession (Responsible Officers) Regulations 2010 and the Medical Profession (Responsible Officers) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2010.
What the regulations describe
The RO regulations and accompanying guidance:
- create a statutory role in UK healthcare (Responsible Officers)
- describe the duties of ROs
- clarify who is eligible to undertake the RO role
- require ROs to make recommendations to the GMC about medical practitioners’ fitness to practise.
- sets out which organisations are designated bodies
A set of amendments to the regulations, principally reflecting changes to the structure of the NHS in England in 2012 and adding new designated bodies, was published as the Medical Profession (Responsible Officers) (Amendment) Regulations 2013.
The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety for Northern Ireland produced accompanying guidance on the role of responsible officers in 2011.