ROAN information sheet 11: Advice on revalidation for doctors new to the UK

Welcome to the UK. We hope you enjoy working here. Here are some important things you need to know about the UK process of doctors’ relicensing, known as revalidation.

  • Revalidation is the process whereby doctors positively affirm to the General Medical Council (GMC) that they are up to date and fit to practise. This is so that patients receive safe, high quality care wherever they live in the UK.
  • Revalidation applies to all licensed doctors in the UK, including those working in the NHS, the private sector and all branches of practice. To maintain your licence to practise, you’ll need to meet standards set by the GMC, taking into account guidance for your specialty.
  • Each doctor relates to a Responsible Officer (sometimes called RO), who has legal responsibilities for your practice. These include making sure you have access to an appraisal every year and recommending to the GMC that you are fit to practise, usually once every five years.
  • There are rules about who your responsible officer is, but usually it is the responsible officer in the organisation in which you carry out the majority of your practice (this organisation is known as your ‘designated body’).
  • You need to have an annual appraisal at which you present a portfolio of supporting information to your appraiser, to show the GMC that you meet the 280necessary standards.
  • You responsible officer then relies on your appraisal, as reported by your appraiser, as a large part of the basis for their recommendation about your fitness to practise. They may also take into account other information that they hold about your fitness to practise.
  • If for some reason it is not possible for you to have your appraisal you need to agree this with your responsible officer.

Please use the links below to understand more, including how to identify your responsible officer and designated body:

This information sheet is relevant to all designated bodies in England.

Released January 2018.