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Revalidation

  • June 18, 2019

Revalidation

What is revalidation?

Revalidation is the process for doctors to positively affirm to the GMC that they are up to date and fit to practice. It is important to make sure that every doctor is up to date with medical advancements and their performance is being monitored by the medical licensing authority - this is to assist with continuing professional development and maintain patient safety.

Revalidation runs over a five-year cycle and you will only need to revalidate once in the cycle.

Please note, this blog post is merely a guide. Please click here for a full list of what is expected from you as an international doctor.

What does the process look like?

Everyone who holds a GMC license to practice is subject to revalidation and each organisation employing doctors in the UK is obliged to offer resources and support to ensure the process can be successfully navigated by their employees – organisations (both NHS and private) who provide this support are known as a ‘Designated Body’. Please bear in mind that it is ultimately the responsibility of each individual doctor to fulfil his/her obligations and maintain their license to practice medicine in the UK by completing each cycle of Revalidation, not the Designated Body. Revalidation itself is completed via a local evaluation of each doctors’ practice by a ‘Responsible Officer’ in every revalidation cycle – each Designated Body must have a Responsible Officer (usually the hospital Medical Director) who is charged with reviewing the evidence gathered during each cycle and deciding on behalf of the GMC whether the expected standards of medical practice in the UK are being met. This evidence includes annual appraisals, personal development plan’s (PDP’s), 360 feedback, self-evaluation, research, attendance at conferences and much more – all showing steps towards continual professional development.

The Responsible Officer will make a recommendation about your fitness to practice to the GMC via GMC Connect. The Responsible Officer’s recommendation will be based on previously mentioned evidence over the course of the five-year cycle, combined with information drawn from the hospital’s (Designated Body’s) clinical governance systems.

After the Responsible Officer’s recommendation, the GMC will decide whether to renew, request further information, suspend or revoke your license to practice.

What do I need to do?

Step 1: Open your GMC online account and make sure that you have a “connection” to a Designated Body and the Responsible Officer for that body is correct. This is so that the GMC knows who is taking responsibility for supporting you with the revalidation of your license.

Step 2: You will then need to understand and collate the different types of information and documentation needed to reflect upon for your appraisal.

This can include, but is not limited to:

  • Evidence of your Continuing Professional Development – for example, journal club, job rotation, audit and reflective practice and teaching
  • Quality improvement activity
  • Significant events
  • Feedback from patients
  • Feedback from colleagues
  • Compliments and complaints 
  • Your employment or practice history
  • Evidence of your Good Standing Certificates
  • Fitness to Practice and health declarations
  • Details of your annual appraisals, to show your continuing engagement with revalidation

Step 3: Have an annual appraisal.

An annual appraisal is a key part of revalidation. The appraisal should be supportive and developmental, but it is not a pass or fail exercise. An appraisal is an opportunity for a chance for reflection over your professional practice over the last year. Although your appraiser can facilitate further reflection, it is your responsibility to demonstrate examples of your reflective practice.

During your appraisal, you must discuss the changes you have made or plan to make and any areas of good practice you intend to maintain or build on as a result of your reflection. Please note, you will need to collect evidencing documentation that covers your practice.

Is there any guidance on the information I need to evidence?

Please click here for access to the NHS Toolkit. The toolkit is designed with the appraisal meeting in mind, it allows you to enter information in a logical manner that mirrors how the appraisal conversation may flow.

What does it cost to revalidate?

If you have a Designated Body, then the GMC will not charge you a fee to revalidate. However, if you do not have a Designated Body, you will be charged £1,127 to revalidate

What if I am not working in the UK and have no Designated Body?

Doctors without a connection to a responsible officer or a 'Suitable Person' revalidate through a process of annual appraisals based on “good medical practice”, annual returns submitted to the GMC and a five-yearly assessment. A revalidation decision is based on the outcomes of these activities. It may be harder to complete Revalidation if there is nobody to oversee your progress and support aspects such as your appraisals and clinical governance or to make a revalidation recommendation about you, but it is still very possible.

If you do not plan to work in the UK in the upcoming months or you practice entirely outside of the UK, then you may not need a license to practice and it may be better to give up or suspend your license until required. You can still maintain your registration without a license to practice. Please click here for further information on giving up and restoring your license.

Please note, if you fail to complete any activity within the time frames the GMC specifies – without a reasonable excuse, the GMC will begin the process of withdrawing your license to practice.

Click here to find a suitable appraiser.

When can I “connect” to my new NHS employer via GMC online for revalidation?

Once you have been offered a job in the UK and have officially accepted it in writing, you should be able to establish a connection with your employer as your Designated Body. This can be done by logging in to your GMC online account, locating the ‘Revalidation’ option from the sidebar on the left hand side of the screen and selecting the name of the NHS Trust/Company you are due to start with. The GMC will send a message to whoever you name asking them to confirm that they know who you are and will indeed be assisting you with Revalidation – it may be worth confirming with HR that this will be approved before making the request if you are not yet in post.

What if I do not complete revalidation?

If you fail to comply with the requirements of revalidation and to engage with the local processes that underpin it, including appraisal, this will put your licence to practise at risk. You can find more information about how the GMC decides whether you can continue to hold a licence in their guide; Revalidation and the licence to practise: withdrawing, giving up or restoring your license and licensing appeals.

Relocation to the UK

If you are an international doctor who needs support securing their first NHS post, email your CV to [email protected] and we can aid you in your relocation process. From securing a job, supporting you with your Tier 2 visa application to finding schools for your children.

IMG Advisor

Are you a member of our Facebook Group IMG Advisor? We publish regular blog posts, you can receive professional guidance and get the chance to meet other IMGs.

References

Licensing, R. (2019). Revalidation. ] Gmc-uk.org. Available at: https://www.gmc-uk.org/registration-and-licensing/managing-your-registration/revalidation [Accessed 17 Jun. 2019].

Licensing, R. (2019). Fees and funding. ] Gmc-uk.org. Available at: https://www.gmc-uk.org/registration-and-licensing/managing-your-registration/fees-and-funding [Accessed 17 Jun. 2019].

Gmc-uk.org. (2019). Guidance on supporting information for appraisal and revalidation. ] Available at: https://www.gmc-uk.org/registration-and-licensing/managing-your-registration/revalidation/guidance-on-supporting-information-for-appraisal-and-revalidation [Accessed 17 Jun. 2019].

Gmc-uk.org. (2019). ] Available at: https://www.gmc-uk.org/-/media/documents/RT___Supporting_information_for_appraisal_and_revalidation___DC5485.pdf_55024594.pdf [Accessed 17 Jun. 2019].

Bma.org.uk. (2019). BMA - Introduction to revalidation. ] Available at: https://www.bma.org.uk/advice/employment/revalidation/introduction [Accessed 17 Jun. 2019].

RCPCH. (2019). Revalidation - guidance for doctors working overseas. ] Available at: https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/resources/revalidation-guidance-doctors-working-overseas [Accessed 17 Jun. 2019].

 
 
 
 
 

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