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 detail on the revalidation process across all UK nations, please see our Revalidation Guide for Surgery.
The GMC has set generic standards for revalidation applicable to doctors of all medical specialties. The medical royal colleges and specialty associations have defined further supporting information requirements specific to each medical specialty.
The College’s role
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 surgical revalidation across all surgical specialties, and has set up a service that delivers coordinated advice and support to surgeons, appraisers and responsible officers.
In collaboration with the surgical specialty associations, we continue to monitor revalidation implementation developments in surgery, and keep under review the specialty revalidation standards, guidance and tools available to surgeons and their employers.
In the next few years, as revalidation is implemented, 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 produced a range of revalidation guidance, as well as information on how to prepare for revalidation and information on appraisal. There is also dedicated and .
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.