About revalidation: Responsible Officers

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Responsible Officers are senior doctors who make revalidation recommendations to the GMC about the doctors linked to their organisation

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Healthcare organisations as designated bodies appoint a senior doctor as a responsible officer (RO) to oversee systems for governance and appraisal for doctors.

Using information from the outputs of appraisals and from other clinical and corporate governance data systems, ROs make recommendations about doctors’ revalidation to the GMC in a five yearly cycle. ROs are therefore the key link between local systems and the GMC. ROs can recommend that a doctor revalidates, that the decision should be deferred, either because there is a local review process underway or because the RO requires more information about a doctor, or they can highlight a doctor who is not engaging. This last option usually results in a referral to fitness-to-practise procedures. More details can be found here here including the full protocol for ROs. More details about governance guidance can be found here.

Beyond making revalidation recommendations, ROs also have to deal with practice concerns about doctors and they advise the GMC about doctors’ fitness to practise.  ROs must assure themselves that the quality of organisational systems supports the evaluation of doctors’ fitness to practise in a fair and consistent way.

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