Guidance on working abroad Guidance on working abroad

If you are planning to spend time practising outside the UK you will need to consider your inclusion on the national performers list as well as your annual appraisal and GMC revalidation. We have set out some general guidance below; as always, our advice is dependent on the length of time you will be abroad and the type of work you undertake during your absence. It’s important that you contact us well before you leave so that we can advise you of the current guidance. You will also need to contact the Primary Care support team about leaving or re-joining the performers list -  

To remain on your local performers list you need to:

1. Demonstrate you undertake work in the local area each year
2. Carry out adequate clinical session to retain your skills*
3. Participate in a satisfactory appraisal each year

*The RO feels that around 40 sessions per year is reasonable to ensure you remain up-to-date, fit to practise and able to provide the necessary supporting information for appraisal. This is, however, a guide and we will always take your individual circumstances into account.

Should I resign from the performers list if I go abroad to work?

If you are planning to work outside the UK for more than a year we generally advise that you resign from the performers list voluntarily. Resignation is a very simple process and does not need to be declared on any future applications to re-join the performers list. Readmission to the list upon your return is generally a simple process.

If you haven’t worked in the area covered by your performers list for 12+ months then the local NHS England office may initiate your removal from the list. This is a formal process that we are keen to avoid.

What about GMC revalidation?

If you continue to hold a licence to practise then you will need to revalidate. If you are going to be practising entirely outside of the UK for more than a year then you may decide it is better to give up your licence to practise for the period you will be abroad. Usually regaining your licence takes just a few days when you return. For further information please see the current guidance from the GMC.

Returning to the UK after a period of working abroad

As a general rule, absences under a year don’t call for any special arrangements; however your appraisal month or revalidation date may need to be moved to accommodate your absence so please let your local appraisal team know of your plans as soon as possible.

For absences over a year, arrangements will vary according to your individual circumstances and clinical practice undertaken during your time abroad will generally be taken into account. It’s best to get in touch with us as early as possible so that we can advise you of the best course of action. Readmission to the performers list is usually subject to conditional inclusion for an agreed period of time.

Absences of two years or more require assessment by the induction and refresher scheme, usually via the portfolio route. The scheme has recently been updated (May 2018) to introduce increased flexibility and abolish the application fee. Further information is available here.

If you have further questions or would like to discuss your plans with one of our clinical leads, then please get in touch with us on