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Medical Revalidation, a legal requirement in the UK since December 2012, is the process by which doctors demonstrate to the General Medical Council (GMC) that they are up-to-date and fit to practise. It is based on a recommendation by the doctor's Responsible Officer (RO).

This recommendation is informed by satisfactory participation of annual appraisals and any available clinical governance information in 5-yearly cycles.

The principles of Medical Appraisal and Revalidation, which are separate processes, is supported by the Scottish Government; and the guidance offered throughout this website describes how revalidation is delivered in Scotland.

Although it is recognised that the overwhelming majority of doctors in Scotland already practice to a high standard, it is important to support doctors to maintain and develop the care they provide. Appraisal and Revalidation allow doctors to demonstrate that this is the case and to reassure patients that their doctor is keeping up-to-date.

In addition, doctors on the specialist register or general practice register are required to demonstrate that they are practising to recognised minimum standards. The GMC has worked with stakeholders to identify these standards and to recommend a menu of supporting information that would be appropriate for a doctor to present at their appraisal over a five year period.

Visit the GMC website or your Royal College's or Faculty's website for further details.

Revalidation builds on the appraisal structures already in place in both primary and secondary care across Scotland.

Revalidation is a process that happens in the background.  Unless specifically requested by the Responsible Officer, doctors are expected to simply continue with annual processes in place.

There is also a GMC blog post which helps answer some myths around revalidation which you may find useful.

For newly qualified consultants, this recorded webinar on YouTube from GMC explains how revalidation works.

This page was last updated on: 21/03/2023