Home » Revalidation & CPD » Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
last updated:09/03/2021 @ 10:00 am
Print this page

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Find answers to frequently asked questions about the various elements of revalidation at the Faculty of Occupational Medicine.


Do I need to revalidate?

Yes, if you hold a current licence to practise, you are required to engage with revalidation.

Which organisation is my Designated Body?

To find your Designated Body use the GMC’s helpful ‘find your connection for revalidation’ tool.

Can I choose to revalidate through FOM?

No, your Designated Body isn’t a choice you can make. There is legislation that sets out the hierarchy of prescribed connections based on a doctor’s practice. For example, if you are a doctor in an approved speciality training post, your prescribed connection to the deanery will supersede a connection to a Designated Body where you are employed.

What if I decide to work overseas?

It is important to note that the focus of revalidation is on a doctor’s practice in the UK. Those doctors who practise abroad are under no obligation to maintain their licence to practise in the UK and they should carefully consider whether or not they need to whilst they remain abroad.

When practising abroad, it is possible for a doctor to relinquish their licence to practise in the UK whilst at the same time maintain their registration with the GMC. View the GMC’s guidance on ‘changing your status on the register’.

If a doctor is to return to work in the UK, it is possible to re-apply for a licence to practise. View the GMC’s guidance on ‘I want to apply for or restore my licence to practise.

If you work abroad and you wish to maintain your licence to practise in the UK, you will need to consider whether or not you can comply with all of the requirements and gather all of the appropriate supporting information. All supporting information, including reports for colleague and patient feedback will need to be in English. Any documents which are translated must be done so by a certified and independent translator. We will ask all those doctors working abroad and relating to our RO to prove how they intend to fulfil the requirements for revalidation and the RO will make a judgement as to whether or not the proposal would be acceptable.

How do I check which organisation I was previously connected to?

Login to your GMC Online account, and check your history – this will advise which organisation/s you have had a prescribed connection to in the past.

I am about to, or have recently left the FOM as my Designated Body; can you outline the process?

The first step is to update your prescribed connection to inform the GMC who your new Designated Body is, via your GMC Online account. Following this, we will be in a position to amend your subscription, issue a pro-rata refund where applicable, and provide you with instructions for downloading appraisal information from our e-portfolio, for you to transfer to your new Designated Body. At the very least you will need the Input and Output Forms from your most recent appraisal. Your new RO may request some information from the FOM RO, which can be supplied on request.

I have retired from practising; do I still need to undertake an appraisal?

The final step is to contact the GMC and relinquish your licence to practise or registration. Once the change becomes effective, no, you won’t need to undertake further appraisals as you will no longer be subject to the requirements of revalidation. Until then, yes, you will need to continue with annual appraisal in line with your anniversary, and FOM will continue to prompt you.



How many appraisals do I need within a revalidation cycle?

Engagement with revalidation is on-going and appraisals need to take place annually in line with your anniversary, therefore, you must complete five within each revalidation cycle.

How do I get my annual appraisal underway?

You are able to request an appraisal via the SOM website. Once you have applied, you will be informed who your appraiser is, he/she will be electronically assigned to your PReP account, and you can begin discussing a mutually convenient date, in line with your anniversary.

How is my appraiser assigned?

Once you have applied to the Society of Occupational Medicine, they will assign you to an appraiser, to the best of their ability, with the same level of qualification, in a similar geographical location, and who practises in a similar area of occupational medicine as yourself. SOM will also take into account who has acted as your appraiser in the past. Logistically, SOM staff inform FOM staff directly of new appraisee/appraiser assignments, and FOM electronically link the PReP accounts.

How many times can I be assigned to the same appraiser?

You can undertake three consecutive appraisals with the same appraiser.

How do I check if my appraiser/appraisee is assigned to me?

To check your appraiser – when you login to your PReP account, on your home page, there is a box titled ‘Access’ which will show you the name and role of everyone with access to your portfolio, including your appraiser and RO. To check your appraisee – when you login to your PReP account, select the menu option ‘Connections’.

Can I undertake an appraisal which is not face-to-face?

Yes, you can undertake an appraisal via video link, for example via Skype. Please note that one in every three appraisals must be face-to-face and the expectation is that your first appraisal within the FOM revalidation scheme, and/or your first appraisal with a new appraiser, will be conducted face-to-face.

I thought that annual appraisal was required once per year; why is my “due date” less than one year since my last appraisal?

Your appraisal anniversary month remains static each cycle, only the year will roll over following the completion of each appraisal. Therefore, having an appraisal later, or earlier, than your anniversary, will not shift it.


Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

What’s the link between CPD and revalidation?

The GMC guidance on Good Medical Practice requires doctors to keep their knowledge and skills up to date throughout their working life and to maintain and improve their performance. CPD is a key way for doctors to meet these professional standards and is one of the sources of information required for appraisal and revalidation.

What is the required number of CPD points per appraisal/revalidation cycle?

The GMC require you to do enough appropriate CPD to remain up to date and fit to practise across your full scope of work and to be able to demonstrate this at your appraisals. They do not, however, specify a number of CPD points you must achieve within a cycle. In line with the Academy of Medical Royal College’s (AoMRC) core principals (2016), emphasis should be placed on the quality and relevance of your CPD, and reflecting on it’s impact on your practice, as opposed to simply reaching a target. However, as a rough guide the AoMRC recommend 250 points over a five year revalidation cycle, averaging 50 points annually.


Supporting evidence

What must be completed for each appraisal?

Each appraisal cycle you are required to document and reflect on progress against your Personal Development Plan (PDP), Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities and, where applicable, any significant events, complaints or compliments. Finally, you should agree a new PDP with your appraiser for the forthcoming year.

Please explain what constitutes a quality improvement activity (QIA)?

Demonstrating that you regularly participate in activities that review and evaluate the quality of your work. Where possible, the activity should demonstrate an outcome, or change. Typical examples of QI include clinical audit and case reviews/discussions.

How many times do I need to submit patient and colleague (multi-source) feedback within a revalidation cycle, and how many examples of each/responses do I need?

Patient feedback once (where applicable), and colleague feedback once, which can be done together or separately. The number of responses depends on the validated questionnaire you have used – as a guide, if using the GMC’s questionnaires the recommended number is 34 patient and 15 colleague responses.

My work does not involve much patient contact; does this mean I do not need to submit patient feedback?

You will need to collect feedback from a proportion of patients appropriate to your practice. Please discuss this with your appraiser well in advance of your revalidation due date, as they are best placed to advise you what an appropriate number of responses would be for patient feedback.

Do I need to reflect on all of my supporting information entries?

Yes, Good Medical Practice requires you to reflect regularly on all aspects of your professional work. You must also reflect on what you have learnt from your CPD activities and record whether your CPD has had any impact (or is expected to have any impact) on your performance and practice. Effective reflection is critical for all elements of your portfolio, and must be integral to your PDP and appraisal discussions.

Why do I need to complete the Appraisee Clinical Governance Questionnaire?

The FOM as a Designated Body are unique in that we do not employ any of the doctors for whom the RO is responsible, and as such have no oversight over a doctor’s clinical governance arrangements in the place/s where they practise. This differs with most other Designated Bodies such as NHS Trusts. The questionnaire is therefore crucial to capture that a doctor has adequate clinical governance systems in place.

Where is the health and probity document?

These form mandatory questions within the Appraisal Input Form in PReP. It is not necessary to add them as a stand alone document.


Premier IT Revalidation e-Portfolio

I need login details or to reset my password for my PReP account, how can I do this?

For initial access to PReP, email us at admin@fom.ac.uk to request login details. If trying to access your existing PReP account, remember your username will be your GMC number. If still no joy, use the ‘forgotten login details’ option on the login page, enter your GMC number, and you will be sent an email to the address PReP holds for you, containing a hyperlink to re-set this. If you have not received the password re-set email in 30mins or you no longer have access to that email account, we can manually generate a random password for you if you contact us at admin@fom.ac.uk.

Is there any other way to add my reflection, rather then typing it into each Supporting Information item?

Yes there is. You are welcome to upload a document containing your typed reflection and link this to the appropriate Supporting Information item. For example this may suit you if you have reflected on a presentation whilst you were attending this at a conference, or on the train home. Likewise, you can scan and upload a copy of your handwritten reflection and link this to the appropriate item. The bottom line is you do need to provide evidence of your reflection.

I am moving Designated Body and won’t have access to the appraisal section of PReP; can I keep/download my evidence before my access is rescinded?

Yes, let us know that you will be moving and when, by emailing admin@fom.ac.uk. We will assist you to formalise the change, if not already, and provide instructions on how to retrieve your appraisal information. At the very least, you will need to download and save locally a copy of your most recent Appraisal Input and Output Forms.

I am getting a message that I have “unassigned items” within my portfolio; why is this, and how do I fix it?

This normally happens if you add items after your Appraisal Input form has been submitted, the appraisal cycle locks down to stop changes being made to the portfolio, after the appraiser has reviewed your evidence – for this same reason any new items are unable to be allocated to that appraisal cycle. Nor the appraiser or RO can see unassigned items.