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Revalidation FAQs

 Some frequently asked questions on revalidation:


Can I revalidate as a medical manager?

The actual nature of a doctor’s practice is not of itself relevant; doctors revalidate as licensed medical practitioners, taking into account the full scope of their medical practice, and not specifically as surgeons, anaesthetists, GPs and so on, nor indeed as "medical managers".  To quote the GMC,"the licence to practise is generic and does not restrict doctors to a particular specialties or fields of practice." 

It is only necessary to have a licence to practice if a doctor is engaged in work that requires them to be a doctor, and that in this role they must be up to date with current medical knowledge and considered fit to practise as a doctor.  Further guidance is provided on the GMC website.

For example, a doctor who works in a management appointment that could be filled by a person who is not a doctor (for example as the Chief Executive of a NHS Trust) and has no other work that requires him or her to be a doctor, should not be required to have a licence to practise.  Such doctors working as medical managers under these circumstances therefore do not need to revalidate. 

However, most doctors in managerial appointments do have an element of such management roles that requires them to be a doctor, even if they have no clinical responsibilities within their scope of practice (for example the Medical Director of an NHS Trust).   Such medical managers will therefore need to revalidate.

To retain a licence to practise as a doctor, and to be revalidated, the GMC requires all licensed doctors to undertake a professional appraisal each year. Annual appraisal provides the principal evidence on which the revalidation recommendation is made, and will address the full scope of a doctor’s practice. The supporting information required is specified in the GMC guidance. FMLM has provided further guidance on the leadership and management aspects of a doctor's scope of practice to be considered at appraisal.

Those medical managers who do not require a licence to practice may chose to relinquish their licence, but elect to remain registered with the GMC.  The advantage of remaining on the Medical Register without a licence is that this allows the individual to continue to use the title “Doctor” provided they remain in good standing with the GMC (including payment of the annual registration fee, at the lower rate that applies to doctors without a licence, and most importantly, to continue to accord by the principles set out within Good Medical Practice).  Guidance on relinquishing the licence to practise, and the process for reapplying for a licence, can be found on the GMC website.

As a member of FMLM, would FMLM be my Designated Body (DB) for the purposes of revalidation of doctors?

Not usually. The great majority of our members will not revalidate through the Faculty, as the GMC algorithm will lead to their having a Prescribed Connection to another Designated Body. Most commonly, including the majority of doctors in management roles, such as Medical Directors, this will be their employer (for example their NHS Trust or Health Board, or the private hospital in which they have practising privileges and where they undertake more than 50% of their medical work). There are however a small number of doctors practising in medical managerial roles in the UK, with no clinical commitment, but whose work requires them to have a licence, who do not have a Designated Body by virtue of their employment or other connection. In this situation the Prescribed Connection may be to FMLM, arranged following application to the Faculty (email revalidation [at] An additional annual fee is payable by these doctors to cover the Faculty's costs in providing revalidation services, and also for appraisal. Find out more.

I am a member of FMLM but do not undertake any medical practice in the UK. Am I able to have a Prescribed Connection to FMLM?

No. FMLM revalidation services are not available to members who do not practise in the UK. This is because a licence to practise is only required, and only applies, to medical practice in the UK (read the GMC guidance), and because in governance terms it is very difficult for FMLM Responsible Officer (RO) to provide assurance to the GMC that a doctor is up to date and fit to practice where there is no UK practice on which to base this recommendation. 

Individual's circumstances will, of course, vary and this is a matter of personal choice, but in line with GMC guidance, we in FMLM usually recommend that doctors with no medical practice in the UK will benefit from retaining their registration with the GMC, but should consider relinquishing their licence to practise while they are overseas. Further guidance on relinquishing the licence to practise and the process for reapplying for a licence on return to the UK can be found on the GMC website.

Contact us

If you have questions or would like to access our services, please contact us at revalidation [at]


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