News story

New guidance produced to support medical revalidation

The General Medical Council and other regulators launch joint revalidation handbook.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The GMC Revalidation Governance Handbook helps boards check that their organisations are placing quality and safety at the heart of their services for patients.

Revalidation is a new approach to the regulation of licensed doctors. It gives doctors a clear framework to reflect on and improve their quality of care as well as ensuring that a doctor’s practice is systematically reviewed. All doctors will have to take part in revalidation, usually every five years, to demonstrate that they are up to date and fit to practise by undertaking regular appraisals with their employer based on the GMC’s core guidance for doctors, ‘Good Medical Practice‘.

Revalidation is based on a local evaluation of doctors’ practice through appraisal building on existing local systems of appraisal and clinical governance, with the aim being to affirm good practice.

Medical revalidation started on 3 December 2012 and the first tranche of doctors (responsible officers and other medical leaders) will be revalidated by the end of March 2013. The GMC expects the majority of licensed doctors in the UK to be revalidated for the first time by March 2016.

Why is revalidation being implemented?

Patients have a right to expect that the doctors who advise and treat them are up to date in their knowledge and skills and are fit to practise. The purpose of revalidation is to provide assurance to patients and the public, employers, healthcare providers and other healthcare professions that licensed doctors are up to date and fit to practise medicine. The model for revalidation is supported by the public and patients, NHS management, medical royal colleges and the medical profession.

Who is responsible for implementing revalidation?

The overall responsibility for implementing revalidation rests with the GMC. The Department of Health and its delivery arm, the NHS Revalidation Support Team, and other partners had a critical role to play in delivering the implementation of revalidation in England.

Changes to the GMC Licence to Practise legislation, have been made.

Further reading

Published 14 March 2013