Revalidation - Frequently Asked Questions

The GMC provided information regarding education here.

 

What is the purpose of revalidation?

Who is my Responsible Officer and what is my Designated Body?

What is the role of my Responsible Officer and Designated Body?

Will I change my Responsible Officer if my training programme causes me to move between LETBs?

What does it mean if the Responsible Officer recommends that his or her recommendation about me is deferred? How long is a deferral?

How can I find out further information?

What are my responsibilities for revalidation?

What is the Form R?

Why do I need to fill in the Form R (Part B)?

When do I need to fill in the Form R (Part B)?

What happens if I don’t complete my Form R (Part B) in time for my ARCP?

In relation to completing the Form R (Part B), what is a significant event?

The Form R (Part B) asks for the last revalidation date. What should I enter?

The Form R (Part B) asks for my revalidation date. What should I enter?

How can I have my revalidation submission date changed?

What role does my employer have in my revalidation?

How often will my employer be asked for this information?

How will I know if I have been recommended or not for revalidation?

How is my grace period accounted for?

Who is the Postgraduate Dean responsible for?

If I get an outcome other than a 1 in my ARCP, does that mean I will not get revalidation?

What happens if I am absent for a period of time or have a break from my training programme (e.g. for maternity leave or out of programme experience); what effect will this have on my revalidation?

What do I need to do for my revalidation when I am out of programme?

Who will be my RO if I’m working as a locum or out of programme?

Who will be my RO if I’m between training programmes and do not have a National Training Number (NTN) or a Deanery Reference Number (DRN)?

As part of my training I have developed competencies in other specialty areas. When I revalidate will I be revalidated to take account of these additional areas?

How close to the ARCP does a CCT date have to be in order to count for revalidation so that it does not need to be repeated soon after the previous one?

What happens if I leave the training programme?

 


 

What is the purpose of revalidation?

The purpose of revalidation of a doctor's license to practice is to give patients greater confidence in the profession and support the individual in maintaining and improving their practice.

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Who is my Responsible Officer and what is my designated body?

For all non-military* doctors in a training programme (i.e. doctors who hold a National Training Number) who hold a full license to practice, your designated body for revalidation is the LETB/deanery for the region of England or for the devolved nation in which you are working. The Responsible Officer for revalidation for trainees is the Postgraduate Dean at that designated body.

So for trainees in the East of England, your designated body is Health Education England, working across the East of England (HEE EoE) and your Responsible Officer for revalidation is Professor Bill Irish. HEE EoE’s Revalidation Team works under Professor Irish to handle the administration of the revalidation of the three and half thousand trainees in the East of England.

*For military trainees, your designated body is the Defense Postgraduate Medical Deanery, though copies of appraisal evidence and documentation may also be required by your regional LETB/deanery. Your Responsible Officer for revalidation is the Defense Postgraduate Medical Dean.

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What is the role of my Responsible Officer and Designated Body?

It is important to remember that your revalidation is ultimately your own responsibility. The HEE EoE Revalidation and Assessment teams will work together to request information from you when required and process your revalidation recommendation to the GMC in good time, but you should be aware of the process and check that it is happening if your revalidation date is getting near.

The HEE EoE Assessment Team will contact you by email approximately 6-8 weeks before your ARCP to request that you complete a Form R (Part B), which is a self-declaration form about scope of practice, time out of training, significant events, complaints, compliments and honesty and integrity. It is important that you complete the Form R (Part B) by the deadline requested, or it may not be processed in time for your ARCP, which means you could receive an Outcome 5 (insufficient evidence provided) or ultimately a non-standard outcome. Persistent failure to engage with the revalidation process will be flagged to the GMC and could jeopardise your license to practice. For this reason, it is vital that you keep your designated body updated with your current email address and check it regularly. Failure to do this will not be accepted by HEE EoE or the GMC as an excuse for non-engagement.

Once HEE EoE has received your completed Form R (Part B), this will be processed and the information will be provided to your ARCP panel as formal evidence. The panel will use this evidence, along with all other evidence reviewed in the ARCP, to make a comment on your ARCP form about your fitness to practice. Such a comment is made each time you have an ARCP and recorded by the HEE EoE Revalidation team. If concerns are raised that have an immediate effect on patient safety, they will be flagged to your employer and your Training Programme Director (TPD) will put measures into place to address this. If concerns are raised that are not a direct threat to patient safety but may develop into serious fitness to practice concerns, these will be recorded by the HEE EoE team and reviewed by the Postgraduate Dean or Associate Dean linked to revalidation on his behalf. Once your revalidation date comes around, the Postgraduate Dean (as Responsible Officer) or his delegates will review the comments made by panels since your last revalidation (or since enrolling if you have not had a revalidation yet) and determine whether or not a recommendation to be revalidated should be submitted to the GMC.

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Will I change my Responsible Officer if my training programme causes me to move between LETBs?

The aim is to maintain consistency in your relationship with a postgraduate dean throughout your training programme. The majority of trainees will remain connected to one designated body (LETB) and therefore one RO (Postgraduate Dean) for the duration of their programme according to where their programme is managed.

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What does it mean if the Responsible Officer recommends that his recommendation about me is deferred? How long is a deferral?

The RO can request a deferral of a doctor’s revalidation submission date if he is not ready to make a recommendation by the original revalidation date.  Deferral of the revalidation recommendation is a routine, administrative decision which does not have any impact on a trainee’s license to practice.  The deferral period must be between four and 12 months, but the RO can request more than one deferral if it can be justified to the GMC. Appropriate grounds for deferral include maternity leave, long term sickness, out of programme activity or involvement in a local investigation or disciplinary process.

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How can I find out further information?

The GMC have information on their website which can be found here.

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What are my responsibilities for revalidation?

As explained above, it is important to remember that your revalidation is ultimately your own responsibility. Revalidation is a GMC requirement so you should familiarise yourself with the process and ensure that you are meeting the requirements of it.

The main practical concerns for you as a trainee are:

  • ensure that your ePortfolio is kept up-to-date and that you are meeting all the requirements of your school/college curriculum and training programme
  • keep HEE EoE and your TPD updated with your current contact details, as required by your training agreement
  • return the Form R self-declaration to HEE EoE Assessment Team when requested to do so by HEE EoE, and meet deadlines set for this. (See 'Form R' sections below).

Remember that some of these requirements may still apply to you even if you are on OOP, Maternity Leave or long-term sick leave.  If you are unsure, please contact the HEEoE Revalidation Team to discuss your particular situation.

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What is the Form R?

The Form R is a self-declaration form completed by trainee doctors. Until January 2014, trainees were asked to complete an Enhanced Form R for the purposes of registration and revalidation. To avoid duplication and minimise the amount of unnecessary form filling for trainees, this combined form has now been made into two separate parts, Part A and Part B, so that both parts don’t always have to be completed when only one is needed.

The Form R (Part A) asks for personal and contact information that is used to maintain our database. It is requested from you by the HEE EoE Programme and Information Team at registration and then once annually to maintain accuracy of data. A request for this will be sent to you by the member of the Programme and Information Team who deals with your specialty, and any queries about it should be directed to that team member at the email address the request is sent from.

The Form R (Part B) asks for information about your recent scope of practice, time out of training, and declarations relating to revalidation. This information informs the ARCP Panel to comment on your fitness to practice, which in turn informs the Dean’s recommendation to the GMC about your revalidation.

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Why do I need to fill in the Form R (Part B)?

The Form R (Part B) is a self-declaration form that is part of the evidence required for your ARCP and revalidation. It is required each time you have an ARCP held for you, even if you are on an Out of Programme (OOP) rotation.

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When do I need to fill in the Form R (Part B)?

As part of the revalidation process, your regional deanery or LETB (Local Education & Training Board) will collect a Form R (Part B) from you at certain times during your training programme.  For all doctors in the East of England who are in training programmes, HEE EoE will request the Form R (Part B) from you approximately 6-8 weeks prior to your ARCP. This applies for your main annual ARCP and any additional ARCPs, e.g. if you received a 3-month extension in the last ARCP, etc. Times when the Form R (Part B) is collected may vary across regions by local policy.

At present, the HEE EoE Assessment Team will email you a template of the Form R (Part B) to the address we have on our database for you. It is important that you update us if you change your email address.

Soon, we will have an electronic system where you can log in to complete the Form R (Part B) online. Until this is implemented, all trainee doctors will need to submit their COMPLETED AND SIGNED Form R (Part B) by email to the Assessment Team, or by post to Assessment and Revalidation Team, Health Education East of England, 2-4 Victoria House, Capital Park, Fulbourn, Cambridge, CB21 5XB.

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What happens if I don’t complete my Form R (Part B) in time for my ARCP?

Your completed Form R (Part B) is essential for the ARCP to proceed.  In its absence, the panel will issue an outcome 5 and set you a new ARCP date within an appropriate time frame as agreed by the Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans of the UK (CoPMED).

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In relation to completing the Form R (Part B), what is a significant event?

The GMC state that a significant event (also known as an untoward or critical incident) is any unintended or unexpected event, which could or did lead to harm of one or more patients. This includes incidents which did not cause harm but could have done, or where the event should have been prevented, which is significant enough to be investigated by your employing organisation.

It is an expectation that all doctors record and reflect on significant events in their work, with the focus on what they have learnt as a result of the events.  This information should be recorded in your portfolio, and must also be declared on your Form R (Part B).

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The Form R (Part B) asks for the last revalidation date.  What should I enter?

This field is to capture those trainees who have already revalidated previously. It will not be used until your first revalidation has taken place with the GMC. Until that time you should leave this blank.

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The Form R asks for my revalidation date.  What should I enter?

The GMC writes to each trainee by letter and by email to inform them of their revalidation date. If you have not had this letter or have misplaced it, you can log into your GMC online account (GMC Connect) and go to the ‘My Revalidation’ section. Here you will find information on when your revalidation submission date is and who your designated body and Responsible Officer for revalidation are. 

You can also change your designated body here if it is incorrect, though you may wish to contact your current/supposed designated body first to check that you need to change or that it is not too soon to do so. Do not change your designated body until you are actually working there or have actually left there.

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How can I have my revalidation submission date changed?

The GMC can change this date for you if your designated body requests it. You cannot make this request yourself. Please contact the HEE EoE Revalidation Team if you think your revalidation submission date is incorrect and needs changing.

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What role does my employer have in my revalidation?

Your employer will be supplying information to HEE EoE in order to inform the revalidation process through your ARCP.  If there are concerns ongoing the employer should complete an exception exit report for HEE EoE and provide the trainee with a copy.

An exception exit report will be generated if there are any ongoing concerns raised.  It is the employers’ responsibility to produce this.  A failure of an employer to produce adequate information should not be detrimental to the trainee.

In the case of GP trainees, where they have undertaken a placement in general practice and been registered on the Local Area Team (formerly PCT) Medical Performers List, the Local Area Team will also be required to supply information to Shared Services.

This information will be provided under three headings:

Conduct/capability investigation

The employer will be asked to confirm whether you have been involved in a conduct or capability investigation.

If so, has this been resolved satisfactorily with no unresolved concerns about your conduct?

If there are unresolved concerns, they will be asked to give a brief summary (the exception exit report) and the anticipated date of the outcome of any investigation.

Serious Incident/Significant Event investigation

If you have been involved in a Serious Incident, whether investigated or not, you should have discussed it with your Educational Supervisor and reflected on the outcome in your ePortfolio as part of the normal education appraisal process.

You need to record this information on your Form R (Part B) for any resolved and/or unresolved SI's since your last ARCP or appraisal.  You also need to include information about where you have reflected on the incident on your ePortfolio.

The employer will be asked if you have been involved in a formal Serious Incident/Significant Event Investigation.

If so, has this been resolved satisfactorily with no unresolved concerns about your fitness to practice?

If there are unresolved concerns, they will be asked to give a brief summary and the anticipated date of the outcome of any investigation (the exception exit report).

Complaints

If you know you have been involved in a complaint, you should have discussed it with your Educational Supervisor and reflected on the outcome in your portfolio as part of the normal educational appraisal process.  You need to record this information on your Form R (Part B) for any resolved and/or unresolved SI's since your last ARCP or appraisal.  You also need to include information about where you have reflected on the incident on your ePortfolio.

The employer will be asked if you have been named in a complaint.

If so, has this been resolved satisfactorily with no unresolved concerns about your fitness to practice?

If there are unresolved concerns, they will be asked to give a brief summary and the anticipated date of the outcome of any investigation (the exception exit report).

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How often will my employer be asked for this information?

Information will be collected every 2-3 months in the form of Exception Exit Reports.

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How will I know if I have been recommended or not for revalidation?

The recommendation for revalidation to the GMC will occur every five years, and also at CCT. An ARCP will be held every year and if there are ever any concerns that might affect a trainee’s possible revalidation, these will be discussed face-to-face and recorded in the ARCP outcome form. The outcome of ARCP panels should always be passed to the trainee and their employer.

You will receive a formal notification of your revalidation decision from the GMC.

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How is my grace period accounted for?

Your LETB Post Graduate Dean will remain the Responsible Officer until the end of the period of grace.

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Who is the Postgraduate Dean responsible for?

The Postgraduate Dean is only responsible for trainees in GMC approved training programmes and posts. This will include LATs (Locum Appointment Training) and trainees who are currently out of programme.  The Postgraduate Dean is NOT responsible for any locums including LASs (Locum Appointment Service), Trust Grade and Staff Grade posts and other non-training grade posts.

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If I get an outcome other than a 1 in my ARCP, does that mean I will not get revalidated?

Not at all. It is quite possible to get an outcome 3 or 4 for failure to pass key exams, but unless there are other problems (e.g. conduct or health) it would have no effect on your revalidation decision.

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What happens if I am absent for a period of time or have a break from my training programme e.g. for maternity leave or out of programme experience; what effect will this have on my revalidation?

If you are absent or take a break from the training programme, which is approved by your LETB (meaning that you do not give up your training number), then your revalidation date and prescribed connection will remain the same, and you do not need to do anything else. This might include taking up an out of programme training or research post, or going on maternity or long term sick leave. If your revalidation date happens to fall whilst you are out of training, your Responsible Officer will have the option to defer your revalidation. Deferral of the revalidation recommendation does not have any impact on your license to practice, and is not a detrimental judgment.

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What do I need to do for my revalidation when I am out of programme?

You should discuss how you will keep up to date and fit to practice with your Educational Supervisor before you go out of programme.  If your out of programme experience includes clinical practice then your Clinical Supervisor is likely to recommend that you complete your ePortfolio and Form R (Part B) as usual in order to demonstrate that you are meeting your curricular requirements.  This would need to include your assessments, incidents, complaints and compliments and your reflections and learning from them.

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Who will be my RO if I’m working as a locum or out of programme?

If you are working in a Locum Appointment for Training (LAT), the postgraduate dean will be your RO.  If you are working in a Locum Appointment for Service, your RO will either be the Trust employer or Locum agency RO.

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Who will be my RO if I’m between training programmes and do not have a National Training Number (NTN) or a Deanery Reference Number (DRN)?

If you do not have a NTN or DRN, then you will need to find your RO according to the guidance on the GMC website. A tool called ‘Helping you find your designated body’ can be found here.

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As part of my training I have developed competencies in other specialty areas. When I revalidate will I be revalidated to take account of these additional areas?

As a trainee you will revalidate in accordance with the requirements for the specialty that you are training.  Your Postgraduate Dean, acting as your Responsible Officer, will base their recommendation on your participation in the ARCP process.

Once you have completed training, your revalidation will be based on annual appraisals that reflect your full scope of practice. At that point many doctors' careers spread out to cover areas beyond the specialty they trained in, and this in turn will define their revalidation to affirm that they remain up-to-date and fit for purpose for their role(s).

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How close to the ARCP does a CCT date have to be in order to count for revalidation so that it does not need to be repeated soon after the previous one?

The postgraduate dean will make his revalidation recommendation for trainees at either CCT or within a five year cycle determined by the GMC. However, revalidation is a continuous process of you demonstrating your fitness to practise and not a point in time assessment.

Trainees’ revalidation recommendations have been linked to their CCT dates in order for it to make it easier for trainees. Successful completion of the training programme will trigger a trainee’s revalidation recommendation. In order for the Postgraduate Dean to positively affirm a trainee’s suitability to continue to hold a license to practice, the trainee must have been issued with an ARCP outcome 6 or RITA G and have no accompanying fitness to practice issues. The trainee does not need their CCT in order to revalidate.

The GMC sends the trainee and Postgraduate Dean a formal revalidation notice four months before the trainee’s revalidation recommendation is due, and the RO can make their recommendation to the GMC at any time during this notice period. The GMC refer to this time period as trainees being under notice.

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What happens if I leave the training programme?

If you leave your training programme and go into employment, your revalidation will be undertaken by your new designated body, which will be the Hospital Trust/Employer where you take up work. Once again, please ensure in this case that you log on to your GMC Connect account and change your designated body for revalidation once you have started work there.

If you leave the training programme and start work as a locum appointed to service (LAS), you would have a new designated body. This would be either your locum agency if it is one of the few big ones on the GMC’s list of designated bodies, or more likely the Hospital Trust where you start work. In this case your new designated body will need to tell you what they require from you in terms of appraisal and evidence of CPD for the purposes of revalidation.

If you start work in a non-locum staff grade service post (e.g. a permanent or rolling contract), your new designated body will need to tell you what they require from you in terms of appraisal and evidence of CPD for the purposes of revalidation.

If you leave your training programme and do not go into employment, the GMC will instruct you in what you need to do as you approach your revalidation date. You can call the GMC Contact Centre on 0161 923 6277.

The most important thing to do, whether you go on a career break in the UK or overseas, or remain in work, is to keep a regular eye on your emails and keep your LETB / designated body updated with any changes to your contact information, in case it is necessary to contact you about a matter relating to your revalidation, assessments, etc.

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