Restoring license to practise after a gap year for UK doctors

Written by Lisa. Published on Friday, 26th June 2015
An update to the post about taking a gap year after the foundation years as a doctor and how I went about restoring my license to practice.

You may have read the post that I wrote at the beginning of our year of travels about the options available to doctors after the foundation programme if they want to take a gap year. I myself decided to travel for the year and so relinquished my licence to practice with the GMC to stop any appraisal or revalidation issues in the future (read more here).

As promised, I have written a follow up post about restoring my license to practice and how easy or complicated the process was.

Firstly let me start by saying that I DID get my license restored which is the most important thing and the thing I was most worried about when I gave it up.

The application to restore your license to practise

You can only apply to restore your license 3 months before you want it to happen. You need to have an offline/paper form completed and signed by anyone you worked for in the last 3 months or in the last 3 months before you stopped work as well as a certificate of good standing from your last regulatory body (which is easy if you are from the UK because the GMC will have you on file and you actually don't need to get this). You then fill out a form on the GMC online area for doctors which includes giving your employment history for the last 5 years (which is the worst part of the form!) and at the end you will receive an email from the GMC which will tell you exactly what evidence they would like posted to them.

I also received an email that asked me to send an electronic copy of my passport to them whilst they were waiting for my paper documents in the post.

What happens next

After posting everything, I waited about a week and then received a lovely email telling me that my license would be restored from the end of July. I didn't even have to go to their offices for an identity check, which some people need to do.

It was a much more simple process than I imagined - the actual application was very smooth, easy and surprisingly prompt (though I was applying in May which is a bit of a quiet time for the GMC). I was most worried about getting the form completed and signed by my previous employers but the staff were amazing and did it all really quickly for me once they received it in the post.

I did have very lovely parents and parents-in-law posting forms and receiving forms for me which also made everything a lot easier to sort from the USA!

So there you have it, what to expect when you apply to restore your license to practice and how simple the process can be. I don't yet know how it has affected my future development and career but at least the first hurdle is over and I can tell other people that it is a feasible option to do when you take a gap year.

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