Revalidation is the process by which licensed medical doctors are required to demonstrate on a regular basis that they are up to date and fit to practise. Revalidation started in December 2012 and the GMC plans to revalidate the majority of doctors in the UK for the first time by March 2016. Doctors have to revalidate, usually every five years, by having regular annual enhanced appraisals with their employer that are based on the GMC’s core guidance for doctors, Good Medical Practice.

Revalidation is based on appraisal of a doctor’s whole scope of practice, including all aspects of his or her work as a medical practitioner, regardless of where this is undertaken. Its key elements include: continued professional development, colleague and patient feedback, two case reviews annually, audit in each five-year period and reflective practice and notes on all professional activity. Doctors also need to make a statement on their personal health and probity.

The enhanced appraisal process has a greater emphasis on reflection and quality. This assists the doctor to reflect on their year and identify further professional development and training needs on which they base their personal development plan.

Every doctor has a named Responsible Officer who makes a recommendation to the GMC about revalidating a doctor, based on the outcome of the appraisal. The Director of Public Health/Medical Director of the PHA is the Responsible Officer for all consultants affiliated to the PHA, and for the tier two Responsible Officers in Northern Ireland which includes the Responsible Officers of the five HSC Trusts, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service, and the Health and Social Care Board.

The postgraduate medical dean at NIMDTA is the Responsible Officer for all trainees working in the PHA.


Liaison with the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA) on medical training

NIMDTA is an Arms-Length Body sponsored by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) to train medical and dental professionals for Northern Ireland.  NIMDTA is accountable to the General Medical Council (GMC) for ensuring that the standards set by the GMC for medical training, educational structures and processes are met.

The PHA liaises with NIMDTA on key issues regarding postgraduate medical training including: developments in medical education, issues and themes relating to quality and safety of services, and the trainee medical workforce.

In recent years, there have been significant developments in UK medical education and training following recommendations made in a number of seminal reports. The Shape of Medical Training Report published in 2013 ( sets out a framework for delivering change to medical training with minimum disruption to service. It aims to ensure doctors are trained to the highest standards and prepared to meet changing patient needs. The PHA is working with NIMDTA to respond to local needs for medical training and education, and commission services accordingly.

The GMC has provided a regulatory structure for safe effective medical education. This includes the enhanced requirements for medical trainers: Recognising and Approving Trainers: The Implementation Plan. The PHA is working with the HSCB to scope out the implications arising from this, and to support its implementation. The PHA and NIMDTA are collaborating to deliver the implementation plan through supporting job planning for trainers, including trainers within the PHA.

The PHA liaises with NIMDTA on issues relating to quality and safety of services. Serious adverse incidents are reviewed by PHA staff working with HSCB, and the learning from these is shared with NIMDTA for dissemination to doctors in training. Equally, if serious concerns are raised during or following NIMDTA visits to Trusts, PHA and the HSCB are informed and will work with the relevant Trust to ensure any service issues are resolved.