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UK Health and Social Care Regulators

There are 12 organisations in the UK known as health and social care regulators. Each organisation oversees one or more of the health and social care professions by regulating individual professionals across the UK.

These organisations, also known as regulators, were set up to protect the public so that whenever you see a health or social care professional, whether private or in the NHS, you can be sure they meet the standards set by the relevant regulator.

What is registration, and who should be registered?

To practise one of the professions listed below people must be registered with the relevant regulator. If they are not registered and still practise, then they are breaking the law and they may be prosecuted. These registers are made up of only those professionals who have demonstrated that they have met the standards set.

These registers are open to the public. So if you want to check your professional is registered, you can do this either online or by calling the relevant organisation.

How can you find out more?

If you would like to know more about the work of these organisations you can contact them directly, details are listed below.

Alternatively, you can download the leaflet, 'Who regulates health and social care professionals?' which outlines which regulatory body is responsible for monitoring each profession and what regulation means. Contact details are also provided for all of the organisations.

To download 'Who regulates health and social care professionals?', visit our GMC - corporate publications page. A Welsh version of the leaflet is available and a large print version is available on request. If you require the leaflet in an alternative format, please contact us on

  • 0161 923 6602 or
  • Textphone users: Please use the Text Relay Service; dial the prefix 18001 + 0161 923 6602.

Regulators and the professions they regulate

General Medical Council (GMC)

Doctors
Phone: 0161 923 6602 Website: www.gmc-uk.org

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

Nurses and midwives
Phone: 020 7333 9333 Website: www.nmc-uk.org

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

Arts therapists, biomedical scientists, chiropodists / podiatrists, clinical scientists, dietitians, hearing aid dispensers, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, orthoptists, paramedics, physiotherapists, practitioner psychologists, prosthetists / orthotists, radiographers, social workers in England and speech and language therapists
Phone: 0845 300 6184 Website: www.hcpc-uk.org

General Dental Council (GDC)

Dentists, clinical dental technicians, dental hygienists, dental nurses, dental technicians, dental therapists, and orthodontic therapists
Phone: 0845 222 4141 Website: www.gdc-uk.org

Care Council for Wales

Social care workers, qualified social workers, and social work students on approved degree courses in Wales
Phone: 0845 070 0248 Website: www.ccwales.org.uk

General Chiropractic Council (GCC)

Chiropractors
Phone: 0845 601 1796 Website: www.gcc-uk.org

General Optical Council (GOC)

Opticians (optometrists and dispensing opticians)
Phone: 020 7580 3898 Website: www.optical.org

General Osteopathic Council (GOsC)

Osteopaths
Phone: 020 7357 6655 Website: www.osteopathy.org.uk

General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

Pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy premises in England, Scotland and Wales
Phone: 020 3365 3400 Website: www.pharmacyregulation.org

Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC)

Social care workers, qualified social workers, and social work students on approved degree courses in Northern Ireland
Phone: 028 9536 2600 Website: www.niscc.info

Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI)

Pharmacists and pharmacy premises in Northern Ireland
Phone: 028 9032 6927 Website: www.psni.org.uk

Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC)

Social care workers, qualified social workers, and social work students on approved degree courses in Scotland
Phone: 0845 603 0891 Website: www.sssc.uk.com

Overseeing the regulators

The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (previously known as the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence, or CHRE) is responsible for overseeing the nine health and care professional regulatory bodies.

The Authority assesses their performance, conducts audits, scrutinises their decisions and reports to Parliament. It also sets standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredits those that meet them.

Contact The Authority

To contact The Authority phone 020 7389 8030 or go to www.professionalstandards.org.uk.

Complete The Authority’s annual survey

Each year the Professional Standards Authority carries out a performance review of the health and care professional regulators and report their findings to Parliament, to health ministers in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and to the public.

Take part in the survey.