How to manage your GMC Registration
The GMC is the public body that maintains the official register of medical professionals with the UK. Once a doctor has gained full GMC registration, there are a number of actions they may take to maintain their registration and keep their information up to date.
In this blog we will be looking at the how to manage your registration and the different options you have if you need to change your status on the register.
Skip ahead to the relevant section if you know what you’re looking for.
Maintaining your Registration
In order to manage and maintain your registration and licence to practise, you need to meet certain requirements and keep your information up to date.
The details you need to keep up to date include your address, email, designated body or suitable person (for revalidation purposes) and your direct debit details. This can all be managed through GMC Online.
To change your address, your name or your name and gender status, you will need to complete forms which can be found on the GMC website.
Please note that to change your name and gender status, there is an application process involved.
All doctors on the GMC’s medical register with a licence to practise must go through a process called revalidation.
Revalidation allows you to demonstrate that you:
- are keeping your knowledge up to date
- provide a good level of care
- are fit to practise and no concerns have been raised about you
The process of revalidation differs slightly, depending on your revalidation connection type, which you can check using the GMC’s connection tool.
Doctors with a connection – most doctors have a connection and will revalidate their registration and licence every five years, by having annual appraisals based on the GMC’s core guidance for doctors: Good medical practice. All doctors working in the UK must have a designated body and will be given a five yearly recommendation from their responsible officer or suitable person, based on which the GMC would make a decision.
Doctors without a connection – you may not have a connection for example because you are not practising in the UK. In this case, you would similarly revalidate through a process of annual appraisals based on Good medical practice, annual returns submitted to us as well as a five-yearly assessment. The GMC would make a revalidation decision based on the outcomes of these activities.
Doctors in training – these doctors would revalidate through meeting the requirements of their UK training programme and the GMC would make a decision based on a recommendation from the responsible officer of their training body.
Full details on revalidation can be found on the GMC website.
Please note, if you fail to comply with the requirements of registration, including appraisals, this puts your licence to practise at risk.
Changing your Status on the GMC Register
If you're no longer practising medicine or enter into work that doesn’t require registration or a licence to practise, you can apply to give up your whole registration or just your licence.
You can choose to give up either your registration or just your licence. Which of the two options is best for you will depend on your circumstances and we will go into more details on this below.
Giving up your licence or registration is not final, and you can apply to restore it again when you're ready.
The table below will allow you to understand whether it would be better for you to relinquish your registration, your licence or both, based on some considerations you may have.
Relinquish your Registration
If you give up your licence only, you will still be able to prove your good standing with the GMC to other organisations, but you will pay a reduced annual retention fee. You will not be able to practise medicine in the UK.
Relinquishing your registration (voluntary erasure) means that your name will remain on the GMC register but with the status ‘Not registered – Having relinquished registration’
You can request to give up your registration up to three months in advance, but if you hold full registration with a licence to practise, you will still need to take part in revalidation until your registration ends.
Providing Medical Services
If you have provided medical services in the 5 years prior to giving up your registration, you will need to send the GMC a provision of medical services statement, from your employer to confirm you provided a medical service if you have used your medical knowledge and skills as part of your work.
The form can be downloaded from the GMC website and should be completed by the individual, body, or organisation where you most recently provided these services, anywhere in the world. This includes unpaid and voluntary work, or any other sort of arrangement, whether it be formal or informal.
Details of what should be accounted for in the form can be found here.
There is a processing fee which applies when giving up your registration. If your application is received by the GMC:
- before your annual retention fee (ARF) is due, you will be refunded any unused part of your ARF.
- after your ARF is due, you will have to pay the outstanding balance before the GMC will end your registration.
The fee is £10, but effective 1st April 2023, this will be changed to £0.
Relinquish your Licence
If you give up your registration, you will not have to pay an annual retention fee. You will not be able to practise medicine in the UK.
Giving up your licence but keeping your registration means you're able to prove your good standing with the GMC to other organisations. You will not however be able to practise medicine in the UK.
Some things to bear in mind if you give up your licence:
- It’s your responsibility to establish that you do not need a licence for your work.
- You’re still bound by the principles of Good medical practice if you keep your registration without a licence.
- You must tell your employer and those who contract and use your services that you’ve given up your licence.
You can apply to give up your licence to practise through your GMC Online account, through the ‘My Registration’ section and you will not need to provide any evidence or documentation.
Full details of the documentation needed to reinstate your licence can be found here.
There is a processing fee which applies when giving up your licence to practise. The fee is £10, but effective 1st April 2023, this will be changed to £0.
Restore your Licence to Practice
If you were up-to-date with revalidation when you gave it up, it is relatively straightforward to have it restored.
From 2016 to 2017, it took on average 22 days for licence restoration, and you can apply for restoration up to three months in advance.
You'll need to send the GMC:
- evidence to confirm your identity
- statements from organisations you have most recently provided medical services to
- certificates of good standing from any other regulators you’ve been registered with in the past five years
You might also be asked to attend an identity check, but the GMC will confirm this once your application has been granted and your licence restored.
Please note, if you were not up-to-date with revalidation when you relinquished your licence, you will be given a new revalidation submission date, and you will need to meet any requirements you failed to meet when you withdrew your licence.
You can apply to restore your licence to practise through your GMC Online account, through the ‘My Registration’ section, then ‘My Applications’.
There is a processing fee which applies when restoring your licence to practise. The fee is £10, but effective 1st April 2023, this will be changed to £0.
We hope this article gives you a clearer picture of the different ways you can manage your GMC registration.
If you are looking to restore your registration or licence, get in touch with our team for support in finding your perfect role in the NHS and relocating to the UK – we’re always happy to help.
Read more useful articles on exams, NHS jobs and salaries in our IMG Resources library.
For regular news and updates, follow IMG Connect on social media using the links below: