Revalidation is the process by which doctors will have to demonstrate to the GMC, normally every five years, that they are up-to-date and fit to practise. Revalidation started on 3 December 2012 and the GMC expects to revalidate the majority of licensed doctors by March 2016.
The purpose of revalidation is to assure patients and the public, employers and other healthcare professionals that licensed doctors 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. In these ways, revalidation will contribute to the ongoing improvement in the quality of medical care delivered to patients throughout the UK.
It is important that patients have confidence in the way that revalidation will work. One way of achieving this will be through patients providing feedback on their doctors' practice. This will be done through the use of patient questionnaires, that will need to be based on the principles in the GMC's Good Medical Practice. The information that these questionnaires provide about a doctor's practice will be considered at their annual appraisal alongside other information, which will include complaints and compliments.
For more information, please visit the public information section of the GMC's website
Revalidation will be based on a local evaluation of doctors' performance through appraisal. Doctors will be expected to participate in annual appraisal in the workplace and will need to maintain a folder or portfolio of supporting information to bring to their appraisals as a basis for discussion. There will be some types of supporting information that all doctors will be expected to provide at appraisal over a revalidation cycle. However, doctors can take any other additional information to demonstrate their practice at appraisal.
Information from the appraisal will be provided to a Responsible Officer who will make a recommendation to the GMC, normally every five years, on whether to revalidate a doctor. In order to revalidate a doctor, the GMC will require assurance that a doctor is fit to practise.