Aim of Advice
The purpose of this leaflet is to ensure that doctors leaving training are aware of their responsibilities with regard to revalidation.
Revalidation is the process by which all doctors with a licence to practise are required to demonstrate on a regular basis that they are up to date and fit to practise in their chosen field and able to provide a good standard of care.
All licensed doctors are required to revalidate every 5 years. Most licensed doctors have a connection with one organisation that helps them with revalidation. This organisation is called a ‘designated body’ and for postgraduate doctors in training in NI, the designated body for revalidation is NIMDTA. Revalidation information for trainees is usually collected at the same time as ARCP (Completion of Form R; Supervisor’s Reports).
Once a doctor leaves training in NI, they lose their connection to NIMDTA as their revalidation organisation. The doctor will receive a letter from the GMC advising them that they need to update the GMC on their revalidation position. This may be completed via GMC Online.
Doctors leaving training should give consideration to arrangements for future revalidation. It is the doctor’s responsibility to inform the GMC of their designated body, and to keep this information up to date. Some locum agencies are recognised as designated bodies. There can be other arrangements for doctors who do not have a designated body e.g. doctors undertaking ad hoc locums. A ‘suitable person’ can make a revalidation recommendation and advice is available via the GMC website on this.
If a doctor does not have a designated body or ‘suitable person’, they need to provide the GMC with robust evidence that they remain up to date and fit to practise. In these circumstances the doctor will need to complete and submit a revalidation annual return every year to provide the GMC with evidence of their practice and of their participation in annual appraisal. The GMC has introduced an assessment as part of the revalidation of doctors who do not have a connection to a Responsible Officer or Suitable Person. Doctors will choose a multiple choice knowledge test (from a selection of 12) that best matches their current practice.
Some doctors e.g. those planning to work abroad, may decide to give up their licence to practise but remain on the GMC register. In this situation being registered without a licence may have benefits. Such doctors are not required to take part in revalidation, however remaining on the register shows others (such as overseas regulators) that the doctor is in good standing with the GMC. The annual retention fee is less, and it is usually straightforward to reapply for your licence and have it restored if the doctor returns to practice in the UK.
There is a wealth of information regarding revalidation for doctors on the GMC website http://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/revalidation.asp (including FAQs). Doctors can also phone the GMC to seek advice on their specific circumstances.