In May this year, the General Medical Council GMC) announced plans to bring Physician Associates & Anaesthesia Associates in to its regulatory scope.  In September, the GMC announced its transitionary arrangements for Physician Associates & Anaesthesia Associates to join the GMC register. 

As part of the GMC’s transitionary arrangements, it also confirmed the fitness to practise arrangements for bring Physician Associates & Anaesthesia Associates joining the register once the Government has published the necessary statutory regulations.

In short:

  • if you’re already practising in the UK or you hold a PA or AA qualification from a UK university, you’ll be able to continue to practise for a maximum of two years, without GMC registration.  This transition period will give you time to meet our registration requirements. By the end of this period, you must either be registered with us, or stop practising in the UK.
  • When regulation starts, if you’ve not previously practised in the UK or you don’t hold a PA or AA qualification from a UK university, you must register with us before you can legally work in the UK or use the title PA or AA.

Fitness to Practise

For anyone to be registered by the GMC, they have to be fit to practise.  Clearly Physician Associates (PA) & Anaesthesia Associates (AA) joining the register will not bring with them a regulatory history.  The GMC therefore will require PAs or AAs to undertake a fitness to practise self-declaration on registration.

Fitness to practise self-declarations, as the name suggests, is a statement confirming to the GMC that a PA or AA are fit to practise.  A fitness to practise self-declaration covers:

  • health conditions
  • cautions and convictions
  • fixed penalty notices and penalty notices for disorder
  • action taken against you by a medical school or employer
  • clinical negligence and medical negligence claims

The GMC has a tool that can be used to determine what should be declared to the GMC when completing the fitness to practise self-declaration.

We are fitness to practise experts and can assist with GMC fitness to practise referrals, fitness to practise hearings and issues relating to GMC registration.

Contact us for a free, no-obligation case assessment.

Stephen McCaffrey

I am a GMC Defence Barrister who has represented large number of medical professionals before their regulatory bodies in either first instance proceedings or appeals.  I can help with all matters relating to GMC Fitness to Practise Referrals issues including:

  • GMC fitness to practise referrals
  • GMC fitness to practise hearings
  • Appeals against a MPTS Tribunal determination
  • MPTS Interim Order hearings
  • Appeals against a MPTS Interim Orders Tribunal determination
  • Preparing your case before the Case Examiners
  • Help with the decision of the Case Examiners
  • Help with voluntary removal
  • Registration advice
  • Appeal against refusal of registration
  • Restoration to the Register
  • Investigation and disciplinary hearings at work
  • Criminal investigation and proceedings
  • Police cautions
  • DBS [Disclosure and Barring Service] issues


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