As every doctor is required to maintain a license to practice through the process of revalidation there are some key points to remember to ensure you engage with the process effectively.
- Know who your designated body is i.e. the organisation which you should make a connection with via the GMC Connect system. The GMC Connection guidance tool is very useful if you are unsure who your designated body should be. The Responsible Officer (RO) of your designated body will be the person to make a recommendation to the GMC as to whether or not they feel you should be revalidated. In NHS Wales, this is usually the Medical Director of the Health Board you undertake the majority of your work within. Some doctors not working within NHS Wales will be able to connect with the RO of their employing organisation where as others can identify a “Suitable Person” to connect with (a Suitable Person is a doctor appointed by the GMC who can take RO responsibility for non-NHS doctors). A small minority of doctors without a designated body will revalidate directly with the GMC.
- Register for appraisal on the MARS website which is the website used by all NHS doctors in Wales. If you do not work within NHS Wales your RO will be able to tell you what arrangements to make. Once you complete the registration details on MARS, you will receive confirmation of your registration. Once you have registered then ensure your professional details are fully up to date – do this at least annually.
- Familiarise yourself with the GMC guidance document on revalidation requirements. This will provide you with information on what to collect and evidence at appraisals regarding revalidation, further information can also be found on our Supporting Information page.
- Book your annual appraisal which is a supportive, non-judgemental and supportive discussion on the information collated and entered into your MARS account. To meet the requirements of revalidation the GMC requires all doctors to present supporting information covering all aspects of their professional duties. Doctors often undertake multiple roles – either cross specialty or in management, education etc. All of these roles will be covered by revalidation requirements and will need to be represented at an appraisal discussion , although they may not all be discussed in detail. Part of the appraisal discussion will include reference to your revalidation progress and is a timely reminder of what requirements you have met and those outstanding which can then feed into your Personal Development Plan to keep you on track for revalidation.
If you work overseas or are unsure of what supporting information can be considered for revalidation or what evidence needs to be included to cover whole scope of practice with areas not related to your main specialty then contact the revalidation team attached to your designated body for advice.
- Collect the requisite supporting information via your appraisals over the revalidation cycle which demonstrates activity covering your FULL scope of practice (i.e. all the roles you hold). In summary this requires evidence in 6 areas:
- Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activity e.g. meetings, reading, online learning etc – engagement in annual appraisal and reflection on learning, outcomes and any changes made
- Quality Improvement Activity – at least one in every revalidation cycle
- Significant Event Analysis – evidence of engagement and reflection on significant events involving yourself and / or led to change in your practice
- Patient Feedback – completion and reflection on one formal patient feedback exercise in every revalidation cycle – in Wales ORBIT is free to use and integrated into the MARS website
- Colleague Feedback – as per patient feedback but involves completion and reflection on feedback from colleagues covering whole practice and teams
- Complaints & Compliments-inclusion and reflection on these, identifying strengths and areas for improvement
- The Revalidation Progress page on MARS shows pictorially where you are with collating the evidence for revalidation. By the time of your revalidation you should have green ticks in all the requisite boxes.
- The GMC will allocate you a revalidation date which you can view via your GMC Connect account or MARS. Four months prior to your revalidation date you will be within the ‘under notice’ period. The Responsible Officer of your designated body will review your appraisal information and consider any relevant clinical governance information so that they can make a recommendation to the GMC as to whether you have met the requirements or not. The GMC will then consider the recommendation and make a final decision of which you will be informed and the GMC register will be updated. The formal outcomes can be revalidate, defer or withdraw license (usually in the event of non-engagement). The MARS website will also be updated automatically with a new revalidation date, usually five years on.
- If you have extended periods out of practice you should inform your RO of the reasons and they should be able to advise you of what action you should take.