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Review of student professional values and fitness to practise guidance

We worked with the Medical Schools Council to revise our guidance for medical students and medical schools on professional values and fitness to practise.

What did we do?

Medical students: professional values and fitness to practise, published in 2009, was guidance for medical students and medical schools, which we produced jointly with the Medical Schools Council.

The 2009 guidance included both the professional values we expected students to show and advice for medical schools on what to do if they had concerns about a student’s fitness to practise.

Following feedback from colleagues in medical education, we decided to split the guidance into two:

We also intend to produce additional online materials to support the implementation of the guidance.

Asking schools and students for their views

The first part of our review was the engagement phase, when we began to gather views about the existing guidance and how we could improve it.

Medical schools sharing their expertise

In September 2014 we sent a survey to all the medical schools in the UK, asking them about their existing fitness to practise processes. We presented a summary of our survey findings at the Medical Schools Council fitness to practise conference in May 2015. The responses helped us to understand where there is consistency and where there is variation between different schools.

We held workshops in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast in November 2014. We invited fitness to practise specialists from all the medical schools in the country to attend and share their views.

We asked people who came to the workshops to let us know if they wanted to be involved in reviewing the very early drafts of our guidance documents before we consult on them. We had an overwhelming response to this, and we were able to choose a panel of ‘critical friends’ making sure we had representatives from all four countries of the UK as well as a mix of schools with different sizes and structures.

Medical students' views on professionalism

In December 2014 and January 2015, we asked medical students what they think about the professional values we expect of them in a short survey. Over 2,500 students took part - see the report Student professionalism: our survey of medical students (pdf).

Consultation on the new guidance

Using information and feedback from medical schools and students, including our panel of critical friends, we produced draft versions of the two guidance documents. Our public consultation on the draft guidance ran from 19 August to 13 November 2015.

We asked for your views on our overall approach, as well as the scope, detail and style. Links to the draft guidance documents can be found in our consultation document (pdf) - for information only. We analysed the responses to the consultation and considered changes to the guidance in light of these comments.

We published the final versions of the guidance documents in May 2016. The guidance comes into effect in September 2016.

Contact us

Please email us at quality@gmc-uk.org if you would like any further information about this review or the new guidance.