The importance of maintaining high standards in medical practice cannot be overstated. In the UK, the process of revalidation plays a crucial role in ensuring that doctors remain competent and up-to-date throughout their careers. Revalidation is a testament to the dedication of licensed doctors to provide safe, effective, and ethical care to patients.

In this blog, we will guide you through the revalidation process, its requirements, the steps involved, and some tips for successful revalidation. 

The Revalidation Process


Medical revalidation typically occurs at regular intervals, ensuring that doctors remain current and competent throughout their careers. In the UK, doctors are required to undergo revalidation every five years. This frequency allows for ongoing assessment and ensures that doctors continually update their skills and knowledge to meet evolving healthcare standards. 

Routes to Revalidation

The way you revalidate will depend on your revalidation connection type. 

1. If you're a doctor with a connection

Having a connection typically means being associated with a designated body recognised by the General Medical Council (GMC), such as an NHS Trust. This connection is crucial, as it facilitates oversight and support throughout the revalidation process.

As a doctor with a connection, you must keep your GMC Online details current and accurate. Understand your revalidation requirements, collect and reflect on your supporting documents, and participate in annual appraisals based on Good Medical Practice. Being ready to provide extra information when needed shows that you meet GMC standards. The recommendation from your responsible officer or suitable person to the GMC by your revalidation deadline confirms your ongoing competence and dedication to patient care, emphasising your joint effort to maintain high standards and ensure patient safety.

2. If you're a doctor with no connection

You can only establish a connection with a designated body (or suitable person) once you have started work. The process of revalidation places specific responsibilities squarely on you, as outlined by the General Medical Council (GMC). First and foremost, you must ensure that your GMC Online profile accurately reflects your current status regarding your connection to a responsible officer or suitable person. Without such a connection, you need to take greater individual responsibility. You'll need to keep your contact information updated and meticulously understand and meet all revalidation requirements. This includes gathering and reflecting on supporting information, participating in annual whole practice appraisals based on Good Medical Practice standards, and providing additional documentation as requested.

Additionally, you must submit an annual return containing detailed employment history, evidence of good standing, fitness to practice declarations, and records of annual appraisals. Crucially, you must undergo a revalidation assessment to independently verify your fitness to practice, ensuring ongoing compliance and competence in your medical roles.

You need to complete these actions within the specified timeframes in order to maintain your licence to practise.

Steps to Revalidation

The revalidation process typically involves several key steps:

  1. Gather Supporting Information: Collect evidence to support your revalidation, including appraisals, CPD records, patient feedback, and evidence of participation in clinical governance activities.
  2. Submit Revalidation Application: Submit your revalidation application to the relevant regulatory authority, such as the UK's General Medical Council (GMC).
  3. Review and Evaluation: The regulatory authority will review your supporting information to assess whether it meets the required standards for revalidation. 
  4. Decision: Based on the review, the regulatory authority decides your revalidation status. If successful, you are granted revalidation and can continue practicing. If not, you may be required to address any areas of concern before reapplying.
  5. Ongoing Monitoring: Revalidation is not a one-time event; it is an ongoing process. You are expected to continue meeting the revalidation requirements throughout your career, ensuring that you remain fit to practice.

Benefits of Revalidation

Professional Development: Revalidation promotes continuous learning and professional growth, ensuring doctors stay current with medical advancements.

Patient Trust: By maintaining high standards through revalidation, doctors reinforce public trust in the medical profession.

Career Advancement: Successful revalidation can positively impact career progression by demonstrating commitment to professional excellence.

Tips for Successful Revalidation

Start Early: Begin gathering supporting information and planning your appraisals well in advance to ensure a smooth process.

Stay Organised: Maintain a well-organised portfolio and regularly update it with new information and reflections.

Seek Support: Utilise available resources, such as professional development programmes and support from your designated body or suitable person.

Feedback Collection: Proactively seek feedback throughout the revalidation period rather than waiting until the end.


Revalidation is essential for maintaining high standards in medical practice and ensuring patient safety. By understanding the revalidation process and proactively managing its requirements, doctors can demonstrate their commitment to excellence and continuous improvement. Embrace revalidation as an opportunity to enhance your skills, reflect on your practice, and contribute to the advancement of healthcare standards in the UK.

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