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Revalidation is the process by which doctors holding registration with a licence to practice will have to demonstrate to the General Medical Council (GMC) that they are up-to-date & fit to practice, and that they comply with all relevant professional standards. 

Although, initially, there were proposals for a separate process of re-certification for those on the Specialist Register, this has now been abandoned. 

The GMC has stated that the purpose of revalidation is to reassure patients, the public, employers and other healthcare professionals that licensed doctors are up-to-date and fit to practice.

Licence to practice

In Autumn 2009, licensing was introduced for any doctor wanting to practice medicine in the UK. By law, all doctors need to be registered and to hold a licence to practice. This applies whether they practice full-time, part-time, as a locum, privately or in the NHS, or whether they are either employed or self-employed. There is no need for a doctor to have a licence if working abroad. 

Holding registration without a licence will allow doctors to show employers, overseas regulators and others that they remain in good standing with the GMC but a doctor cannot practice in the UK without a licence.

Registration fees.

The process of revalidation

The surgical Royal Colleges, and the surgical speciality associations, have published a revalidation guide which brings together key information on the current revalidation requirements / processes in all four UK nations. It aims to provide answers to  the most frequently-asked questions about surgical revalidation. Naturally, it will be subject to change as the GMC, the Department of Health, the Royal Colleges and other partners update / amend their guidance.

Revalidation Guide for Surgery

BAUS has emphasised that the requirements for all urologists are:

  • mandatory participation in annual appraisal;
  • mandatory completion of a new-style appraisal with Good Medical Practice as its focus;
  • mandatory collection and reflection on all six types of supporting information;
  • supporting information can be team-based with personal reflection; and
  • patient and colleague feedback from the last five years may also be utilised.