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What is revalidation?

Revalidation is the process by which all licensed doctors have to demonstrate to the GMC that they are up-to-date and fit to practise. Since its launch in December 2012, revalidation is now a legal requirement for all doctors, underpinned by dedicated legislation called the Medical Professional (Responsible Officers) (Amendment) Regulations 2013.

The purpose of revalidation is to promote patient safety and improve the quality of patient care. It is also intended to strengthen continuing professional development and reinforce systems that identify doctors who encounter difficulties and require support.

Revalidation is based on a local evaluation of doctors' performances through annual appraisal. Doctors are expected to provide a core set of supporting information over each revalidation cycle at appraisal. The information from the appraisal will be assessed by a responsible officer who will then make a revalidation recommendation to the GMC, normally every five years.  

For full details on the revalidation process please read our Revalidation Guide for Surgery.

The GMC has set the generic standards for revalidation for all doctors. The medical royal colleges and specialty associations have further defined the supporting information requirements for each medical specialty.

The College’s role in revalidation

The College has worked closely with the surgical specialty associations and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges to set the specialty-specific requirements on supporting information for surgical revalidation, including continuing professional development, outcomes and audit.

The College aims to support revalidation across all surgical specialties. Together with the surgical specialty associations, we continue to monitor revalidation implementation developments in surgery, and keep under review the specialty standards, guidance and tools for surgeons and their employers.

In the next few years, the College will continue to work with the GMC and the Department of Health to ensure that the revalidation process improves and that more advanced, specialised standards are adopted. In particular, we expect measuring outcomes to become an integral and mandatory part of surgical revalidation. We aim to ensure that the revalidation process remains fit for purpose and is relevant to surgeons and surgery.

Support from the College

The surgical colleges have developed resources and tools to help surgeons understand revalidation:

Online revalidation portfolio

The surgical colleges have an online portfolio – the Surgeons’ Portfolio – which can be used to bring together and store all the information needed for appraisal and revalidation. For further support we have a dedicated revalidation helpdesk that links to an advisory network of senior surgeons from the College and  specialty associations.


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