Your ability to revalidate should not be affected if you take a short career break within a five year revalidation cycle. You will be expected to revalidate at the usual point in your five year cycle on the basis of the supporting information you have collected and appraisals that you have attended within this time period. If you have been unable to collect sufficient supporting information for your appraisal, your Responsible Officer (RO) may recommend a deferment of your revalidation to the GMC, in order to allow you to collect additional information.

It is expected that doctors will want to take career breaks within their revalidation cycle, and there is flexibility in the process to manage this. If you do plan a break you should manage your appraisals around that break as far as possible. A ‘return to work’ appraisal may also be required by your employer. Some of the supporting information is required over the five year cycle, not annually, so again this may be managed around the career break. You should speak to your appraiser and RO to develop an agreed approach. It is advisable to keep your CPD in your clinical areas up to date even if you are not actively practising.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Return to Practice Guidance gives more information on this.