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Do you need to revalidate? (GMC Registrants)

The purpose of the revalidation process is to ensure the highest standard of medical practice. This is consistent with the mission of the FPH. Therefore public health doctors should be licensed, even if their practice does not include privileged activities. The FPH Board and FPH Workforce Committee have endorsed this position statement.

If you have a GMC registration with a licence to practise, you are legally required to revalidate, even if you practise wholly outside of the UK. If you have a GMC registration without a licence to practise, you are not required to revalidate.

You will usually revalidate every five years. However revalidation is an ongoing process. 

Here is a step by step guide on how the revalidation process works for licensed doctors and the organisations that support them.

  • You establish a connection to one organisation, called a designated body, which will arrange regular appraisal and support you with your revalidation.
  • You will have an annual appraisal based on the GMC’s Good medical practice. The framework of the appraisal is to demonstrate that you are up to date and fit to practise.
  • You will need to maintain a portfolio of supporting information based on your scope of practice and aspirations. You will need to collect this information yourself, as well as reflect on it. This supporting information will provide the basis for discussion at your appraisal.
  • Your designated body will have a person called a responsible officer (RO) who will make a recommendation to the GMC, usually every five years. A recommendation is a declaration as to whether you are up to date and fit to practise, and therefore should be revalidated. The RO will make their recommendation based on your appraisals over the last five years.
  • The GMC will receive the recommendation from the RO and will carry out a series of checks to ensure there are no other concerns. If there aren’t any such concerns, they will revalidate you. This means that you can continue to hold your licence to practise.

GMC requirements

Is FPH your designated body?

The GMC has developed an online help tool to help you find which organisation is your designated body. You should take the test before connecting to FPH.

There is a clear set of rules that determines which organisation is your designated body. You cannot choose who will be your designated body or responsible officer (RO).

For the majority of public health doctors, it will be straightforward and your designated body will be your employer (NHS Trust, board, health authority, agency, or similar). Only a UK organisation can be a designated body. This means that as you change employment over the years, most likely your designated body will also change. It is important that you keep the GMC informed of such changes.

For a small number of public health doctors, FPH will be their designated body. If you have gone through the GMC online help tool and believe that we are your designated body, please email us: so we can confirm the connection and give you more information about our revalidation service. Only FPH members that are in good standing can take up our revalidation service.

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FPH is the professional home for public health in the UK and abroad. We support over 5,000 members across all career stages enabling them to drive the profession forward and achieve our vision of improving public health.

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