A Guide to the ARCP & GMC Revalidation

The ARCP (Annual Review of Competency Progression) is a requirement for all doctors in training. It confirms that junior doctors meet requirements to continue with their training, ensures patient safety, and is a mechanism by which doctors revalidate with the GMC.

If you are at consultant level, you do not participate in the ARCP, but instead an annual Medical Appraisal, which is similar to the ARCP. To find out more, click here.


The requirements of the ARCP are dependent on your level and specialty.

  • For information on F1 and F2 ARCP, click here.
  • For information on post Foundation, Specialty specific ARCP, click here.


Throughout your training year you’ll be required to collect different types of evidence, showing you meet the ARCP requirements, in your e-portfolio. It is your (the trainee’s) responsibility to keep your e-portfolio up to date. For more information on your e-portfolio, click here.

As demonstrated above, HEE (Health Education England) recommends meeting with your educational supervisor at the beginning of your training year, mid way through, and before the ARCP meeting. These meetings should prepare and review your personal development plan and support your progression. For more information from HEE, click here.

Towards the end of the training year, an independent ARCP panel will review your e-portfolio. You and your educational supervisor will be informed of the outcome and receive feedback. The ARCP process will be repeated throughout your training years until your CCT.


Revalidating with the GMC



Doctors in training revalidate by engaging in the requirements of their UK training programme, assessed through the ARCP. The GMC make a revalidation decision based on a recommendation from the responsible officer of their training body – usually your Postgraduate Dean.

The GMC do not expect you to collect additional supporting information that is not already a requirement of your training programme or curriculum. However, if you do any additional practice that requires a licence, outside your training programme posts (for example, locum work or private practice), you must declare it as part of the documentation for your ARCP, and potentially provide details of the responsible officers at other places where you work. This will allow your responsible officer to get feedback on your work as a whole and gain assurance that you are fit to practise.


When do you revalidate?


When you revalidate depends on how long your training lasts. If your training programme lasts less than five years, your first revalidation will be at the point of eligibility for CCT. If your training programme lasts longer than five years, you will be revalidated five years after you gained full registration with a licence to practise, and again at the point of eligibility for CCT.


The recommendations


Your responsible officer will make a recommendation of revalidation, deferral, or non-engagement. Their recommendation will be based on: your participation in the ARCP process, and any other relevant information from across your whole practice, including clinical governance information or feedback from employers. Your revalidation does not depend on successful progression through training. Therefore, an adverse training outcome does not mean you won’t be revalidated, provided you remain fit to practise within your scope of practice.

  • Revalidation – you are up to date and fit to practise.
  • Deferral – a doctor is meeting the requirements for their revalidation, but their responsible officer or suitable person needs more time to make a recommendation to revalidate. A deferral is not a penalty, it does not affect your licence to practise and it is not publicly available or published on the medical register.
  • Non- engagement – you are not sufficiently engaged with the processes that support revalidation, or you are failing to comply with the requirements for revalidation (in this guidance).


The GMC decision


After receiving a recommendation from your responsible officer, the GMC will do a number of checks and then make a decision about your revalidation. They will send you formal notice of this decision.


Taking a break from training


If you take an approved break from training and keep your national training number, you remain connected to your training body and your postgraduate dean remains your responsible officer.

If you leave training and do not have a National Training number, you will no longer have a connection to a training body. You must tell the GMC if you have a new connection or not. You can use the GMC’s online connection tool to check this, and you should update your details using your GMC Online account.

If you make a connection to another designated body, or a GMC approved suitable person, you must meet GMC revalidation requirements. If you do not make another connection, and continue to hold your licence, you must meet GMC revalidation requirements.

Looking to return to training, check out Messly’s library of articles to help you.


What to do when you complete your training


When you complete your training you must update your connection details with us. You can do this using your GMC Online account. As with taking a break from training, if you make a connection to another designated body, or an approved suitable person, you must meet GMC revalidation requirements. If you do not make another connection, and continue to hold your licence, you must meet GMC revalidation requirements. You can use the GMC’s online connection tool to find out your connection.

Summarised from the GMC. For more information, click here.



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