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Licensing and revalidation


To practise medicine in the UK all doctors (including clinical academics) are required by law to be:

  • registered with the General Medical Council (GMC), and
  • hold a licence to practise.

Licensing is the first step towards revalidation; the approach to medical regulation designed to give patients and employers regular assurance that doctors are up to date and fit to practise.

Dentists (including clinical academics) are required to register with the General Dental Council (GDC).


Licensed doctors are required to demonstrate to the GMC, at five-yearly intervals, that they are practising in accordance with the standards of practice set by the GMC (as described in Good Medical Practice).

They will do this is by undergoing appraisal every year and submitting a portfolio of evidence sufficient to satisfy a Responsible Officer. The Responsible Officer will make the recommendation to the GMC about a doctor's fitness to practise. The GMC will then make a revalidation decision.
The UCEA guidance notes on clinical academic staff appraisal support the process for revalidation.