In November 2009, the General Medical Council (GMC) issued every doctor with a licence to practise. Since December 2012 the licence to practise is subject to periodic renewal, normally every five years. Doctors must revalidate against their current clinical and/or non-clinical practice, and both the generic and specialist components of their work.

Revalidation is based on positive evidence that a doctor remains up-to-date and fit to practise against generic standards set by the GMC and specialist standards set by Colleges and Faculties and the Specialist Societies. The process centres on a revised system of annual appraisal, to which a doctor will bring a range of supporting information relating to the relevant generic and specialist standards.

Sir Keith Pearson's Review, Taking Revalidation forward (link is external), published in January 2017, reports that revalidation is settling in and is beginning to impact on clinical practice, professional behaviour and patient safety. The report also makes a number of recommendations including making revalidation more accessible to patients and the public, reducing buereaucracy and supporting those in short-term locum positions. The GMC published an Action Plan (link is external) on taking this forward in July 2017.

The role of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in revalidation is to facilitate the work of the medical Royal Colleges and Faculties and to encourage them to share their experience and expertise for the development of revalidation methods. This is done through the Revalidation and Professional Development Committee where the College is represented by Dr Basant Chaudhury.

Contact and support

Dr Basant Chaudhury is the CPD and Revalidation Director for the College.  He can be contacted via the College’s revalidation helpdesk.