General Medical Council

We work to protect patients safety and support medical education and practice across the UK. We do this by working with doctors, employers, educators, patients and other key stakeholders in the UK’s healthcare systems.

The work we do is set out by the Medical Act 1983 and it covers five areas.

  1. We manage the UK medical register – we check every doctor’s identity and qualifications before they are able to join the register. We also contact a doctor’s previous employers to find out if they have any concerns about the doctors ability to practise safely.
  2. We set the standards for doctors – our standards define what makes a good doctor by setting out the professional values, knowledge, skills and behaviours required of all doctors working in the UK.
  3. We oversee medical education and training – we make sure doctors get the education and training they need to deliver high-quality care throughout their careers. We do this by setting standards for undergraduate and postgraduate medical education and by monitoring training environments.
  4. We help maintain and improve standards through revalidation – it’s important that every licensed doctor in the UK is keeping their knowledge and skills up to date. We check this by working with experienced senior doctors to make sure every doctor has an annual appraisal. And every five years the senior doctor tells us whether the doctor is keeping up to date with our standards and giving good care.
  5. We investigate and act on concerns about doctors – when a serious concern is raised about a doctor’s behaviour or the way they do their job, we assess whether we need to investigate it. We usually investigate cases where the doctor is putting the safety of patients, or the public’s confidence in doctors, at risk.