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Declaration of fitness to practise

This page explains our fitness to practise declaration and what we expect from doctors who complete the declaration.

Contents

Declaring your fitness to practise

You must complete a declaration of fitness to practise and final declaration if you:

  • apply for registration with a licence to practise
  • restore your licence to practise
  • restore your name to the register
  • take voluntary erasure.

These declarations must not be more than three months old when we approve and grant your application. If the declarations were completed more than three months ago we will ask you to complete new declarations.

Honesty and integrity

Honesty and integrity are at the heart of medical professionalism and our expectations of you in this area are covered in paragraphs 65-80 of Good medical practice.

You must be honest. If you are not we may refuse, suspend or withdraw your registration and licence to practise.

If we later discover that you did not tell us about a relevant issue when making your application, we will investigate. We may open a fitness to practise case or we may erase your name from the register.

If you are unsure about whether a matter is important please tell us about it and provide full details so that we can decide.

Timescales

Because each application is different, we cannot say how long it will take to reach a decision on your application. We do all we can to minimise delay but our investigations may take some time to complete.

Our procedures expressly allow us to ask for more information. We cannot issue a decision until we have all of the necessary information; and, in every case, we must strike an appropriate balance between the interests of the applicant and our over-riding responsibility to protect the health and safety of the public. This means that we can never offer guarantees as to how long it will take to issue a decision. We will keep you informed on progress during the course of our investigations.

There are some matters in particular which may result in it taking us longer than we would wish to reach a decision. This might be for one of the reasons below but there will be others.

  • If you raise a concern and cannot supply the required documentary evidence, we may ask you to obtain a recent Enhanced Disclosure report from the Criminal Records Bureau (this may take at least eight weeks to receive)
  • Where we are asking for information from overseas
  • Where we are asking for information from a number of different bodies and/or parties

Practice when you are waiting for the decision

You cannot take up an F1 post until we grant you provisional registration with a licence to practise. Similarly, you cannot progress to F2, or undertake any duties that require full registration, until we grant you full registration with a licence to practise. If you practise outside the scope of your registration, or without a licence to practise, this may call into question any registration that you hold or any current application for registration.

The fitness to practise character declaration

The table below contains the questions asked in the declarations for:

  • registration with a licence to practise
  • restoring your licence to practise

and the additional information we may request. You should complete the declaration by choosing YES or NO for each question.

Fitness to practise and health matters

Please read our separate guidance on fitness to practise and health matters to help you decide if there is anything you need to tell us, about your physical or mental health.

Restoration and voluntary erasure

If you:

  • restore your name to the register, or
  • take voluntary erasure

we will ask:

"Are you aware of any proceedings, act or omission on your part which might render you liable to be referred to the General Council for investigation or consideration of your fitness to practise?"

If you would answer yes to any of the questions in the table below, you should answer yes to the declaration.

Declaring convictions and cautions

Please note: The General Medical Council is a UK-wide regulator whose overarching objective is to protect the public across all four countries of the UK. We have powers to require all applicants to disclose their criminal past. These powers apply equally to applicants from any part of the UK or overseas. The powers are set out in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 ('the Exceptions Order') as amended by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2013.

Please read our guidance on declaring convictions and cautions carefully and ensure you declare all offences in line with above noted Acts. Please note: we do not consider any cautions or convictions to be "spent", other than those which are protected under the amendment to the Exceptions Order 1975. Protected cautions and convictions should not be declared. All other cautions and convictions - no matter how old - should be declared.

Question on Declaration of Fitness to Practise Additional Information that we may ask for

Do you have any cautions or convictions which are not deemed 'protected' under the amendment to the Exceptions Order 1975, issued by a court of law in the UK or in any other country?

You must include:

  • Any convictions or cautions in the UK, or another country that have been spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 UNLESS they are a 'protected' conviction or caution (see guidance notes for details)
  • Any road traffic convictions or cautions UNLESS they are a 'protected' conviction or caution (see guidance notes for details)
  •  Any offences for which you have been convicted in a military court or tribunal

If you have any cautions or convictions issued by a court of law, and these are not protected under the amendment to the Exceptions Order 1975, you must tell us:

  • The date of the caution or conviction
  • the name and address of the court or police authority and
    the details of the penalty (if applicable) that was imposed.
  • You will need to supply evidence of the caution or conviction in the form of a caution note or conviction notice, or a recent Disclosure and Barring Service report.    

Have you ever been issued with a fixed penalty notice either in the UK or another country?

(you do not need to declare any road traffic offences where you have accepted the option of paying a fixed penalty notice)

You may be asked for:
  • Documentary evidence of the fixed penalties received.
Have you ever been issued with a penalty notice for disorder, or harassment notice, in the UK or another country?
You may be asked for:
  • Documentary evidence of the penalty or harassment notice received.
Have you ever been suspended from duty, or had a complaint upheld or your registration or licence to practise removed while working as a medical practitioner, or health or social care professional in the UK or another country?
You may be asked for:
  • The name of the organisation/employer involved in your suspension from duty.
  • A full statement of the matter, the nature and length of time the sanction was imposed.
  • The nature of the complaint and a named person to contact for further information.
Have you ever been refused registration or a licence to practise by any medical, health or social care regulator in the UK or another country? You may be asked for:
  • Details of the regulator who refused registration.
  • Documentary evidence of the grounds for refusal.
  • A full statement from you as to the background and grounds of the refusal and information of any appeal on the refusal of registration (successful or not) must be submitted.
Have you ever been fined, given a warning or reprimanded by any medical, health, social care or any other regulator in the UK or another country? You may be asked for:
  • Details of the regulator that imposed the sanction, including your reference/registration number.
  • Documentary evidence of the sanction/warning imposed.
  • A full statement from you of the background and grounds of sanction/warning and information if any appeal successful or not to be submitted.
Are you aware of any aspect of your conduct and/or capability that might raise a question about your fitness to practise as a doctor in the UK? You may be asked for a full statement from you, of the issue that may be current or have arisen in the past and how it may impair your current fitness to practise or raise a question of your fitness to practise.
Have you ever entered into a settlement as a result of a medical malpractice or negligence claim? You may be asked for documentary evidence of the nature of the settlement including the nature of the medical malpractice/negligence. Please disclose if the claim was proven or disputed.
Has a medical school or university ever taken any form of disciplinary action and/or fitness to practise procedures against you? You may be asked for:
  • Documentary evidence of the nature of the disciplinary action undertaken by your medical school.
  • Contact names and contact details (address, email and telephone number) of person(s) involved at the medical school that we can approach to secure further information and details.
  • A full statement from you on the nature of the allegation and disciplinary action taken and any other information you would wish us to consider.
Has an employer ever taken disciplinary action against you? You may be asked for:
  • Documentary evidence of the nature of the disciplinary action undertaken by the employer.
  • Contact names and contact details (address, email and telephone number) of person(s) involved at the employing organisation that we can approach to secure further information and details.
  • A full statement on the nature of the allegation and any other information you would wish us to consider.
Do you know of any reason why the medical regulatory authority in any of the countries where you have worked since qualifying as a doctor would refuse to grant you a certificate of good standing? You may be asked for:
  • The name of the medical regulatory authority that will not issue the certificate of good standing in the country where you have worked since you qualified as a doctor.
  • Your registration details with that authority.
  • A full statement from you on the reason you have not been able to secure the certificate(s) of good standing.
  • Contact names and contact details (address, email and telephone number) of other person(s) we can approach to secure further information, details or evidence of your good character/standing.
Are there, or do you know of, any current or future proceedings or other matters that might lead to your registration or a licence to practise in any country being removed, suspended or restricted in any way? You may be asked for a full statement and any documentary information:
  • On the nature of the proceedings.
  • The names of the regulating or employing bodies and/or persons involved in the matter(s)
  • Contact names and contact details (address, email and telephone number) of person(s) involved the proceedings/action whom we can approach to secure further information and details.
  • Any other information that you would wish us to consider with regards to the proceedings pending.