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Revalidation FAQs

Revalidation FAQs    

What is revalidation?

Revalidation is the process whereby doctors will need to demonstrate to the GMC, normally every 5 years, that they are up-to-date and fit to practise.

What is the purpose of revalidation?

The purpose of revalidation is to assure patients and the public that doctors holding a licence to practise are up-to-date and fit to practise.

Revalidation is a new way of regulating the medical profession that will provide a focus for doctors' efforts to maintain and improve their practice; facilitate the organisations in which doctors' work to support them in keeping their practice up to date; and encourage patients and the public to provide feedback about the medical care they receive from doctors.

Who will need to revalidate?

All doctors holding a licence to practise will need to revalidate.

What will I have to do to revalidate?

In order to revalidate, you will need to participate in annual appraisal which will involve the evaluation of your whole medical practice. Appraisals will normally be performed by a medically qualified appraiser. You will need to meet various GMC requirements in order to achieve a satisfactory appraisal. GMC appraisal guidance for revalidation -  The Good Medical Practice Framework for Appraisal and Revalidation -  outlines the approach to revalidation and Guidance on Supporting Information for Appraisal and Revalidation sets out the core supporting information doctors will need to bring to appraisal and the frequency this information will need to be provided in a five-year revalidation cycle. Information from the appraisal will be provided to your Responsible Officer who will make a recommendation to the GMC, normally every 5 years on whether to revalidate a doctor.

If you are a current trainee in Pharmaceutical Medicine Specialty Training (PMST) or Pharmaceutical Medicine Higher Medical Training (HMT) please click here for further information about your revalidation process.

What is Supporting Information?

The supporting information that doctors will need to bring to appraisal will fall under four broad headings:

1.    General information

2.    Keeping up to date

3.    Review of your practice

4.    Feedback on your practice

There are six types of supporting information that doctors will be expected to provide and discuss at their appraisal at least once in each five year cycle. They are:

1.    Continuing professional development

2.    Quality improvement activity

3.    Significant events

4.    Feedback from colleagues

5.    Feedback from patients (where applicable)

6.    Review of complaints and compliments

When will I be due for revalidation?

The GMC have now advised doctors, responsible officers and the designated bodies of the timing of individual doctors' revalidation dates. Revalidation commenced on 3rd December 2012 and it is anticipated that all doctors will have revalidated within 3 years.

What should I be doing now to prepare for appraisal and revalidation?

You should be collecting supporting information as described above to show that you are keeping up-to-date and are fit to practise.

How often will I need to revalidate?

Revalidation will normally take place at the end of a 5 year cycle; although in the introductory phase, doctors will be required to revalidate sooner.

Who will carry out my appraisal?

Your appraisal will be carried out by an appraiser nominated by the designated body with which you have a prescribed connection. Your appraiser will have been trained to the standards prescribed by the GMC and NHS Revalidation Support Team.

What is a designated body?

A designated body is an organisation which has been named in the responsible officer regulations or meets the appropriate criteria as described in those regulations. For example, the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine has been named as a designated body and is therefore required to appoint a responsible officer.

How do I work out my prescribed connection?

If you have not already done so, you will need to visit the GMC website and work through the online tool. Ths can be accessed at: You will then need to indicate to the GMC via your GMC online account the name of the designated body with which you have a prescribed connection. This should be a straightforward process for most doctors, but the GMC will provide access to advice in cases where it is not.

If you are a trainee in Pharmaceutical Medicine Specialty Training (PMST) or Pharmaceutical Medicine Higher Medical Training (HMT) please click here for information about your prescribed connection, designated body and responsible officer.

Will pharmaceutical companies be designated bodies?

Some pharmaceutical companies have designated body status. Individual companies will need to seek legal advice to determine whether they fulfill the relevant criteria listed in the Responsible Officer regulations. The full list of designated bodies can be found at:


If my company does not meet the criteria listed in the RO regulations, which body will I have a prescribed connection with?

If you are a member of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, then your prescribed connection is likely to be with the Faculty. If you are not a member, then you may apply for affiliate membership of the Faculty. You will then be able to access the Faculty revalidation system. You may not name the Faculty as your designated body if you are not a Faculty member

I work as an independent consultant, with which designated body will I have a prescribed connection?

If you are a member of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, your prescribed connection is likely to be with the Faculty.

If I do not wish to become a member of the Faculty, is there an alternative designated body I could have a prescribed connection with?

You should contact the GMC for advice. There is a GMC helpline which can be contacted on:
0161 923 6277.

I gained a CCT in another specialty prior to becoming a pharmaceutical physician, what will happen to this specialist registration, as I no longer practise in this specialty?

Your specialist registration will remain as an historical record on the GMC register. Revalidation is about evaluating your current practice and confirming that you are fit to practice in your present role.

I do not treat patients. Do I need to revalidate?

The Faculty strongly recommends that pharmaceutical physicians retain their Licence to Practise. It is anticipated that the major pharmaceutical companies will require their medical staff to revalidate; therefore, relinquishing the licence to practise could limit employment opportunities.

The MHRA has issued the following statement:

'When the pharmaceutical industry submits documents to the MHRA, which are signed by a medical practitioner, it would normally be expected that the person would be a licensed medical practitioner.'

I am working abroad; do I need to revalidate?

The GMC recommends that doctors working entirely outside the UK, either permanently or long-term consider relinquishing their licence to practise. The licence to practise is a requirement for practising medicine in the UK only and is not necessary for doctors working overseas. It is understood that the process for reinstating the licence to practise is essentially administrative and straightforward. Doctors working abroad who wish to retain their licence should be aware that they will be required to meet the same standards as those based in the UK and will also be required to undergo annual appraisal on a face-to-face basis.

What is the legislation that underpins revalidation?

The Medical Act 1983 is the primary UK legislation that provides the legal basis for everything that the GMC does. This legislation and accompanying regulations will set out the provisions for revalidation. These provisions will have to be switched on (commenced) before revalidation can be implemented.

The Responsible Officer legislation was passed on 1 January 2011 for England, Scotland and Wales and 1 October 2010 in Northern Ireland. The legislation places a responsibility on every organisation designated in the legislation to appoint a responsible officer who will then bear responsibility for overseeing the provision of adequate systems and processes for revalidation, including annual appraisal and local governance. The designated organisations, in return, have a responsibility to provide the responsible officers with the resources they require.

The legislation will provide the framework of powers and duties for revalidation but this will be coupled with detailed guidance for doctors, employers, responsible officers and other involved parties.

What happens if I wish to retain my Licence to Practise and do not engage in appraisal and revalidation?

It is anticipated that the majority of doctors will have no problem with meeting the requirements for revalidation if they engage in appraisal and local governance processes.

If you choose not to engage by failing to participate in the annual appraisal process or by not providing evidence to support revalidation, you cannot be revalidated and you risk having your licence to practise withdrawn.

Will there be a charge for the Faculty Revalidation System?

Yes, it will be necessary to charge participants in order to cover the costs of appraisal, administration and the RO service. For further information please click here.

We have posted some further FAQs  to assist with the completion of the registration forms for those in the Faculty Designated Body - please click here

Further FAQs

You are invited to submit questions for this page to

Additional FAQs can be viewed on the GMC website at: