Doctors can be reassured that the GMC will be flexible and pragmatic in applying rules about when professional examinations can be taken.
The GMC has worked with the BMA Junior Doctors’ Committee, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges including the Academy Trainee Doctors Group, COPMeD and Remedy UK, all of whom have signed up to the statement.
Today's statement which builds on progress made last month (see statement of 18 June 2010) is designed to reassure doctors who may have made plans or have sat exams already.
It states that doctors who are already in specialty training or who enter by 31 October 2011 will be able to have any valid passes in previously approved national professional examinations counted towards a CCT, even if they were obtained outside approved training. By the end of October 2010, the GMC will issue guidance on recognition of examinations for doctors who may enter a CCT programme after 31 October 2011.
Following the recent discussions with trainees’ representatives, colleges and deaneries, the GMC has also announced that it will review its standards for curricula and assessment systems to address issues around consistency, role, currency, frequency and quality assurance of the national examinations.
Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of the GMC, said:
“I am so pleased we have found a way forward and we are extremely grateful for the constructive approach that has been taken by everyone involved in this process. The new legal opinion that the GMC has obtained has given us the flexibility we need.”
“I believe all the organisations share a determination to understand and respond to the needs of trainees while ensuring that the coherence and integrity of training programmes are maintained. That is what patients and the service expect from us and I am confident we can all continue to work together over the next few months to develop a long term solution."
Notes to Editors:
For further information please contact the Media Relations Office on 020 7189 5454, out of hours 020 7189 5444, email firstname.lastname@example.org, website http://www.gmc-uk.org/.
The General Medical Council registers and licenses doctors to practise medicine in the UK. Our purpose is summed up in the phrase: Regulating doctors, Ensuring Good Medical Practice.
The law gives us four main functions:
- keeping up-to-date registers of qualified doctors
- fostering good medical practice
- promoting high standards of medical education and training
- dealing firmly and fairly with doctors whose fitness to practise is in doubt
Merger of PMETB with GMC
The functions of the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board (PMETB) transferred to the GMC on 1 April 2010, creating a simpler and clearer framework for the regulation of medical education and training. All stages of medical education and training now fall under the GMC’s remit. For more information please visit http://www.gmc-uk.org/.
Office of the Health Professions Adjudicator (OHPA)
From April 2011, the adjudication of fitness to practise cases involving doctors will transfer from the GMC to a new body called the Office of the Health Professions Adjudicator (OHPA). OHPA is being established under the Health and Social Care Act 2008. It is being created to ensure clear separation between the investigation of fitness to practise cases and the process of determining whether a professional’s fitness to practise is impaired.
To begin with, the new body will be responsible for making decisions on fitness to practise cases brought forward by the GMC and, in time, the General Optical Council. Over time, other regulators of healthcare professionals may transfer their adjudication functions to OHPA. For more information about OHPA, please visit http://www.ohpa.org.uk/
The GMC will remain the regulator for doctors, continuing to set the standards for professional practice and receiving and investigating allegations about their fitness to practise.