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 your certificate of completion of training (CCT).
- 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 Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) date and revalidation submission date do not need to align, and you can revalidate with fewer than five ARCPs.
Your revalidation date
Your revalidation submission date will be:
- sent to you at least three months in advance
- recorded in your GMC Online account
- communicated to your responsible officer via GMC Connect.
Your responsible officer must make their recommendation on or before your revalidation submission date, during the statutory notice period (usually from 12 months before your date). You do not need to have received your CCT to revalidate.
If you’re not in your notice period when you become eligible for your CCT, your responsible officer can ask us to bring forward your revalidation date. This is so they can revalidate you at the right time.
Your responsible officer’s recommendation
Your responsible officer will be asked to confirm you are up to date and fit to practise. Their recommendation will be based on:
- your participation in the ARCP process
- any other relevant information from across your whole practice, including clinical governance information or feedback from employers.
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.
Your responsible officer will make one of the following recommendations:
A recommendation to revalidate
This shows that you are up to date and fit to practise.
A recommendation to defer
This provides flexibility where a doctor is meeting the requirements for their revalidation, but their responsible officer or suitable person needs more time to make a recommendation to revalidate.
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.
There are two reasons why we would accept a recommendation to defer:
- You 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.
There is more information about recommendations to defer in chapter 4 of our guide, The revalidation process for doctors with a responsible officer or an approved suitable person (chapter 4).
A recommendation of non-engagement
Your responsible officer or suitable person can make a recommendation of non-engagement if you are:
- not sufficiently engaged with the processes that support revalidation
- failing to comply with the requirements for revalidation (in this guidance).
Your responsible officer or suitable person can inform us of this at any time.
More information about the recommendation process for doctors in training is in our protocol for making revalidation recommendations.
The GMC decision
After receiving a recommendation from your responsible officer, we'll do a number of checks and then make a decision about your revalidation. We will send you formal notice of this decision. More about our decision is in chapters 5–6 of The revalidation process for doctors with a responsible officer or an approved suitable person (chapter 5–6).
What to do when you complete your training
Please ensure that your responsible officer has made a revalidation recommendation to us when you become eligible for your CCT and before updating your designated body connection in GMC Online.
If you do not receive a recommendation before disconnecting from your training body then you will need to follow the steps outlined below. This may delay your revalidation.
I have finished training and have a connection to a new designated body but I wasn’t revalidated at the point of eligibility for my CCT. What should I do now?
If you were going to be revalidated at the point you were eligible for your CCT, but this did not happen, your new responsible officer should consider making a recommendation to revalidate you.
They’ll need to be assured you would have been revalidated at point of CCT. They must also be able to sign up to the revalidate statements outlined in The GMC protocol for making revalidation recommendations: Guidance for responsible officers and suitable persons.
Please speak to the revalidation team at your new designated body. You can find contact details on our A-Z list of designated bodies.
Taking a break from training
If you take an approved break from training and keep your national training number you remain connected to your training body and your postgraduate dean remains your responsible officer.
If you leave training and do not have a national training number, you will no longer have a connection to a training body. You must tell us if you have a new connection or not. You can use our connection tool to check this. You should update your details using your GMC Online account.
If you make a connection to another designated body, or a GMC approved suitable person, you must meet our revalidation requirements for doctors with a connection to a designated body or suitable person. If you do not make another connection, and continue to hold your licence, you must meet our revalidation requirements for doctors without a connection. Our connection tool will help you find out whether you have a designated body connection.