Sailplane pilot licensing is straightforward in that there is only one licence, the SPL, which is issued for life. The SPL remains valid through pilot recency, ie flying experience within a defined period. If for some reason a pilot takes a break from flying, recency is recovered through a gliding instructor, eg some training, or supervised solo flight. There is no external regulatory input required.
There are currently four GA aeroplane licences which fall under several different regulations, which results in a somewhat complex situation. One of the licences, the LAPL(A) is issued for life and remains valid through pilot recency. The others, the FCL PPL(A), the UK PPL and the NPPL require some level of external regulatory input at revalidation or renewal of the licence privileges.
To support pilots who currently choose to or must use a pilots licence, we have published a guide to licence recency or revalidation. Please note that in all cases, the regulation is the definitive source of information. You can view the guidance here.