Revalidation and Appraisal

Preparing for your revalidation or annual appraisal can seem daunting, but with Athona’s dedicated teams support and guidance the entire process will be straightforward and easy to manage.

Since revalidations were introduced in 2012, we’ve successfully revalidated 531 doctors* and every year we assist with over 500 appraisals. Better still, according to the GMC’s Revalidation Data Explorer our results show we not only have the highest revalidation percentage, but also the lowest deferral rate of all leading agencies. To see how we compare, simply check out the Data Explorer and filter by ‘Designated body type’ to ‘Locum Agency.’

If you’re a doctor or nurse, take a look below at how Athona can support you with annual appraisals and revalidation.

*Information correct as of September 2020.

Important Information Regarding Appraisals in 2020

NHS England and the GMC have made positive changes to 2020 Appraisal’s focusing on support not paperwork.

It has been a challenging time to say the least, all of us have all been affected by Covid-19 in some way and sadly some more disproportionately than others.  We are acutely aware of the impact this may have had on the usual process of obtaining CPD and achieving PDP but more importantly the impact on your health and wellbeing as we progress through the stages of the pandemic.

Appraisal Revalidation Quote NHS in England

Meet the Team

Tracie Spires

Tracie Spires – Associate Director of Quality & Insourcing
01277 255617
appraisal revalidation athona

Jessica Rawlinson – Appraisal & Revalidation Support Officer
01277 246882
appraisal revalidation athona

Sarah Ferguson – Appraisal & Revalidation Support Officer
01277 245868

Annual Appraisal for Doctors

Athona is pleased to be able to bring you some positive news about changes that NHS England and the GMC have made with regards to doctors undertaking their appraisals this year. The appraisal process has been amended to reduce the administrative burden when preparing for appraisal and refocused on supporting you during the pandemic.

Please see below the highlights of the changes and refer to the full 2020 Medical Appraisal Guide produced by the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges.

  • Changes to the ‘Scope of Work’ impacted by COVID-19 should be included and discussed.
  • PDP goals from the last appraisal can be dropped or carried forward.
  • Significant Events and Complaints remain (a simple list is sufficient, no documentation required) – as does anything else you may have been specifically asked to provide, or which you wish to include.
  • No further supporting documentation or written reflection is expected. Self-review (reflection) can be provided in discussion
  • There will be no counting of CPD credits or hours.
  • The appraisal discussion can be used as a confidential opportunity for you to debrief on your experiences this year.  Appraisers will not document this unless you specifically ask them to.

The reduced evidence and changes to verbal reflection have been designed, approved and implemented by NHS England and the GMC as an accepted method of evidence and this will not impact on a doctor’s revalidation recommendation.

It is important to note that whilst there is a reduction administration or evidence required for appraisal this year, you are still obliged under Good Medical Practice to remain up to date and fit to practice.

Our appraisal system PrepIT has been updated to reflect the relaxation on the documentary evidence required and promote the opportunity for reflective discussion as an accepted method of evidence.

To book your annual appraisal please contact the revalidation support team at

We have recently reduced the price of appraisal for all doctors by £50, and doubled our discount to £200 for doctors who have worked more than 975 hours in the last 12 months and any doctors who have worked 1800 + hours in the last 12 months are entitled to a free appraisal.

Changes to Supporting information for 2020 appraisal

Under normal circumstances you would have been required to upload evidence of CPD, QI, and progress against PDP with reflections.  In light of the challenges and time constraints during the pandemic there has been a significant relaxation of the rules to alleviate the administrative burden and verbal reflection is sufficient during the discussion.

Please see the changes below but do call us if you need any guidance or support.

  • Scope of Work: Changes to the ‘Scope of Work’ impacted by Covid19 should be included and discussed.
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD) – There will be no counting of CPD credits or hours and no requirement to upload evidence, but it would be helpful to have a list of any virtual courses or publications read and websites visited ready to discuss with your appraiser.
  • Personal Development Plan (PDP) – PDP goals from the last appraisal can be dropped or carried forward. For the appraisal meeting think about what your career aspirations are and any PDP plans you wish to suggest ready to discuss with your appraiser this year.
  • Quality improvement activity – No further supporting documentation or written reflection is expected. Self-review (reflection) can be provided in discussion.
  • Multisource Feedback – At least once in your five year revalidation cycle you need to conduct a 360 Multisource Feedback exercise, if you have not been able to complete this in advance of your appraisal due to the pandemic but are due to revalidate, this can be collected prior to your recommendation and reviewed independently.
  • Significant events and Complaints – Significant Events and Complaints remain (a simple list is sufficient, no documentation required) – as does anything else you may have been specifically asked to provide, or which you wish to include.
  • Professional Indemnity and Health Declarations – as part of your annual appraisal you will need to confirm that you have adequate indemnity provision and that any health conditions do not impact on your ability to practice.

Below are a number of documents available to assist with your appraisal and the revalidation process:

Colleague Feedback form

Patient Feedback form

Self-Assessment form

To access Athona’s Premier IT Appraisal system, please click here.

Revalidation for Doctors

Revalidation is the process by which licensed doctors demonstrate to the General Medical Council (GMC), on a five year cycle, that they’re fit to practise as a medical practitioner. They do this by keeping up-to-date within their field of medical knowledge, attending annual appraisals, engaging in regular Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and complying with their employer’s requirements. It is a mandatory process designed to protect both patients and doctors.

Over the five years of your revalidation cycle you will need to prepare for, and participate in, an annual appraisal, uploading evidence of CPD, quality improvement activity.  At least once in your five year revalidation cycle you need to conduct a 360 Multisource Feedback exercise, we can assist you with reporting on feedback from colleagues and patients.

You will need to begin working with Athona to connect to us for the purposes of revalidation. When you next log on to your GMC account simply update or select your Designated Body connection to Athona or email us at and we can connect you.

During the pandemic the GMC made a decision to defer all doctors due to be revalidated between 17th of March 2020 to the 16th of March 2021 for 1 year to allow doctors and their organisations focus on clinical activity. This was applied in two tranches of deferrals, initially anyone due within 6 months, then a second tranche including anyone due within 6 – 12 months of the GMC’s original decision.

A further deferral of four months for doctors due to revalidate between March 2021 and July 2021 has been rolled out during the month of October 2020 to support doctors and designated bodies to manage during this unprecedented time. Doctors who fall in these dates are now considered under notice and can revalidate early if ready, or wait for the later revalidation date.

We were fortunate to be able to feedback to the GMC that many doctors were ready to be recommended and this action whilst important in the context of the pandemic was unfair on many who were ready to revalidate.  The GMC acknowledged feedback from us and many other designated bodies and adjusted the Responsible Officers ability to bring forward a revalidation recommendation date by 12 months for anyone affected by the GMC deferral.

We are contacting all of our connected doctors who have been affected by this, initially those who are ready to be considered for revalidation, and we will move on to support others to bring any remaining portfolio of evidence together and to have their date brought forward.

Since August we have brought forward over 30 doctors’ recommendation dates so far and invite any other doctors not receiving support who have been affected by the GMC deferral to contact us for advice.

Absolutely not, you will have had 5 years to prepare and although this year’s appraisal may be different in terms of uploading less supporting information, the reflections you discuss with your appraiser will satisfy the requirements of the GMC.

It is important to note that you will have to complete multisource feedback once in this 5 year cycle, if the pandemic has affected your ability to start this please do get in touch with the team as soon as possible who can help you plan to undertake this exercise in smaller more manageable sections in light of the pandemic.

The GMC will contact you and your Responsible Officer (RO) four months before your revalidation is due – Athona’s RO is the highly respected and influential Professor Fahed Youssef MD FRCS.  Our revalidation and appraisal support team will work with you to collate and prepare your revalidation portfolio of evidence and submit this to Professor Youssef to review and make a recommendation on your behalf to the GMC.

Not connected to a designated body or suitable person?  Struggling to know where to turn?

We identified many years ago that there is a disconnect and a lack of support for doctors without a prescribed connection or access to a suitable person, this could be due to a career break, being based overseas or working for a Trust bank where you are in a state of limbo as to who supports you to be appraised and keep your licence.

We have been supporting a large group of doctors for many years and welcome new enquiries to arrange and conduct a GMC Annual Return ready appraisal with full GMC Rev 12 support.

Enquire now by emailing

If you’re not getting the support or advice you need from your current designated body, please get in touch with our Revalidation & Appraisal support team. We have supported many doctors by listening to their concerns and giving clarity and context around the appraisal and revalidation process, enabling you to have a positive appraisal and revalidation experience.

Complete this short form to get in touch with our Revalidation & Appraisal support team and find out how we can support you.

Revalidation for Nurses

Since its introduction in April 2016, revalidation for nurses has provided assurance to the public of a nurse’s continued competence, as well as to encourage ongoing training and development.

Most nurses will feel some degree of anxiety about the process, but for agency nurses who don’t work in just one NHS Trust we understand that the pressure can be especially daunting.

We have a dedicated Revalidation Support Team on hand to support you through the entire process and have provided a breakdown on the revalidation process and a handy toolkit to get you started.

Get in touch with the team today to find out how we can help calculate your submission of Athona hours and facilitate the arrangement of reflective and confirmation discussions.

1) Sign up to NMC Online and check your revalidation date

  • Use NMC Online to manage your registration and check your renewal date (the date when you will be revalidating).
  • The NMC will notify you at least 60 days before your application for revalidation is due. You then have 60 days to log in to NMC Online and complete the application process.

2) It’s never too early to start preparing

  • For those with a renewal date in the next two years, revalidation can seem a long way away. But remember, you will be revalidating on your practice for the whole three year period up to this date, so it is important that you understand what is being asked of you.
  • You will naturally keep a portfolio of CPD so we recommend that you start collecting your evidence in the revalidation format to gradually build up your portfolio.  Take the opportunity to discuss your revalidation evidence with others early – that way you’ll avoid any unnecessary surprises when you receive your 60-day reminder from the NMC.

3) Identify your reflective discussion partner and your confirmer

  • As a nurse or midwife it’s your responsibility to find an appropriate person who you can have your reflective discussion with; someone who can review your portfolio and confirm to the NMC that you have completed all the revalidation requirements.
  • If you struggle to identify an appropriate person due to the ad hoc nature of agency work, our Clinical Nurse Interviewers are trained as Confirmers, we can facilitate a discussion and we recommend that nurses working for Athona can benefit from a discount by arranging their reflective and confirmation discussions in one session, these can be completed via Skype to maintain safe social distancing, each conversations takes around 1 to 1.5 hours and the nurse will review your submissions beforehand.  To find out pricing and book please contact

Download the NMC forms that you need to complete for your submission here.

Probably the most helpful resource for those of you revalidating for the first time, or those going again for subsequent revalidation, is the examples of completed revalidation forms and templates to guide you through the process, we hope by providing these examples in the toolkit you can cross reference and feel assured that what you are doing meets the NMC’s expectations.

You can also find additional presentations and materials here.

If you have any questions at any time please do not hesitate to contact the team.