Research guidance

About the guidance

The explanatory guidance Good practice in research and Consent to research set out the good practice principles that doctors are expected to understand and follow if they are involved in research.

This document brings together all of our advice to doctors involved in research. This includes the full text of Good practice in research and Consent to research and extracts from Confidentiality on research and other secondary uses of data, and 0-18 years: guidance for all doctors on involving children or young people in research.

Use the tabs below to

  • read the guidance;
  • see how the principles in this guidance apply in situations doctors often encounter or find hard to deal with;
  • read about how we developed the guidance.

Research guidance

You can use Good practice in research online and Consent to research online or you can download a pdf (347kb, pdf) which includes both pieces of guidance.

In both the online and pdf versions of the guidance, we have included the relevant extracts from Confidentiality and 0-18 years: guidance for all doctors so you can see all of the GMC’s advice to doctors involved in research in one place.

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Supporting materials

The guidance is supported by two legal annexes which are relevant to both Good practice in research and Consent to research. Annex A gives more detail and links to further information about the legal and governance framework relevant to research in the UK and annex B sets out the key elements of the UK legislation on clinical trials of medicines.

We have also produced a list of other sources of information and guidance.

You can also download pdf versions of these supporting documents:

How we developed the guidance

You can read about the development of Good practice in research and Consent to research (144kb, pdf) which explains the process we undertook during the review. This included an initial consultation on issues for the guidance to cover and a formal public consultation held in 2009 to test the draft guidance.

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Supporting medical research

Research involving people directly or indirectly is vital in improving care and reducing uncertainty for patients now and in the future, and improving the health of the population as a whole.

Our page about supporting medical research provides a range of links to help doctors and patients learn more about clinical trials, studies and other work in this area.

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Download the guidance

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