Revalidation for doctors at UHS

Revalidation is the process by which all doctors who hold a licence to practise will have to demonstrate to the General Medical Council normally every five years, that they are up to date, fit to practise and complying with the relevant professional standards. The legislation for revalidation was implemented with effect from December 2012.   

The purpose and effect of revalidation

The purpose of revalidation is to provide assurance for patients and the public, employers and other healthcare professionals that licensed doctors are up to date and fit to practise. Revalidation should contribute to the provision of high quality healthcare in the UK by:

  • providing a focus for doctors’ efforts to maintain and improve their practice
  • enabling the organisations in which doctors work to provide support to doctors in keeping their practice up to date
  • identifying concerns about doctors at an early stage so that these cases are more actively managed locally or, where required, referred to the GMC’s fitness to practise process for investigation
  • encouraging patients and the public to provide feedback about the medical care they receive from doctors
  • acting as a driver for improving clinical governance at the local level, and ultimately, improving standards of patient care.

Preparing for revalidation

The following elements are essential to preparing for revalidation:

Designated body

Through the GMC you will need to identify your ‘designated body’, i.e. the organisation responsible for supporting your revalidation, and you will need to know who your RO is. For information on designated bodies please see the GMC website. 

GMC online 

You will need to have an account with GMC online to manage your revalidation and registration details. 

Supporting information (SI)

All doctors will need to maintain a portfolio of SI about their practice and about how they are keeping up to date. This will form the basis of the annual appraisal discussion. The RO has the absolute right to review all portfolio information.

Annual appraisals

You will need to have a regular annual appraisal based on the GMC core guidance on good medical practice. The annual appraisal should consider the whole of your practice including private practice, locum work and voluntary work where relevant.

360° or multi-source feedback 

This needs to be done every five years but no more than 3 years before you revalidate.

Patient feedback

It is a GMC requirement for revalidation to include patient feedback in your SI. 

Full information on SI, annual appraisal, patient and 360° feedback is available on the appraisal for senior medical staff web page.

How revalidation works

The responsible officer will rely on the outcome of the appraisal process, combined with information drawn from clinical governance systems and other relevant information to make a recommendation to the GMC regarding the individual doctor’s revalidation. The recommendation will fall into one of the following three categories:

  • a positive recommendation that the doctor is up to date and fit to practise
  • a request to defer the date of your recommendation
  • a notification of the doctor’s non-engagement in the appraisal process 

After the RO’s recommendation has been submitted, the GMC will make a decision about your revalidation based on this recommendation. The RO is not responsible for, or able to make a decision about a doctor’s revalidation. This can only be made by the GMC. Once the GMC makes a positive decision about a doctor’s revalidation, the next revalidation cycle begins. The GMC will then confirm when you are next due to revalidate.  

The revalidation cycle

Once doctors have completed their initial revalidation, the typical length of a revalidation cycle will be five years. The GMC then proposes the following periods of notice:

  • Nine months before the submission date, the GMC invites the doctor to confirm their revalidation details (including the identity of their RO and designated body) via GMC online.
  • Four months before the submission date the GMC issues notice to the doctor, informing them of the date by which they expect to receive a recommendation about revalidation. The GMC informs the RO that notice has been issued.
  • The RO submits their recommendation to the GMC on or before the submission date.
  • After receiving an RO’s recommendation, the GMC will consider the recommendation and make a decision about the doctor’s revalidation.
  • The GMC notifies the RO and the doctor when a decision is made.

Trainees

Trainees on deanery recognised programmes and who have Wessex Deanery as their designated body will be revalidated via the deanery.