The General Medical Council and their role in medical practice in the UK


The General Medical Council (GMC) are an independent organisation who provide the key role in protecting patients and improving medical education and practice in the United Kingdom by setting the standards for students and doctors. They provide the necessary support to help them to achieve and exceed the standards set and they take action when they are not met.

Practising medicine in the UK

If a doctor wishes to practice medicine in the UK they must hold a registration with a licence to practice.

If a person is not practising medicine, but would like to be able to continue to show that they are in good standing with the GMC, they can choose to hold registration only.

Holding a licence to practise allows a medical professional, for example, to prescribe prescription only medicines and hold a post as a GP, physician or surgeon.

It is a criminal offence in the UK to give the impression that you hold registration or a licence if you don’t.

The Role of the GMC

  • They decide which doctors are qualified to work here and we oversee UK medical education and training.
  • They set the standards that doctors need to follow, and make sure that they continue to meet these standards throughout their careers.
  • They take action to prevent a doctor from putting the safety of patients, or the public’s confidence in doctors, at risk.

The GMC Medical Register

There are 270,000 doctors on the UK medical register. The GMC check every doctor’s identity and qualifications before they are able to join the register.

They also check with others, such as the doctor’s medical school or previous employers, to find out if they have any concerns about the doctor’s ability to practise safely, for example inappropriate behaviour, serious health problems, or performance.

The GMC will also keep track of changes to doctors’ records to make sure that the medical register is accurate and up to date.

The standards defined by the General Medical Council define what makes a good doctor by setting out the professional values, knowledge, skills and behaviours required of all doctors working in the UK.

The above information is sourced from


Medigest – Advertise with us