Regulating doctors, ensuring good medical practice

Privacy and Cookies policy

This privacy and cookies policy only applies to this General Medical Council website at http://www.gmc-uk.org and directly associated microsites. Links within our site to non-GMC websites are not covered by the policy.

This statement outlines how we will use and protect information that you provide us about yourself.

  1. 1. How we use your personal data
  1. 2. Your rights under the Data Protection Act 1998
  2. 3. Social media 
  3. 4. Website security: how we protect your information
  4. 5. Use of cookies

1. How we use your personal data

We may collect personal information about you if you take part in a consultation, if you request to join one of our mailing lists or if you register with us as a doctor.

Registration of doctors

 

If you provide your details when enquiring about registration or sitting the Professional Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test we will use that information for the following purposes:

 

  • To process your enquiry or application
  • To compile statistics
  • We will supply information to the Department of Health, professional, education and training bodies so they can compile statistics
  • We may retain details of your application on our files and may disclose that information to overseas regulators in the EEA and elsewhere.

Revalidation of doctors

If you provide your details when enquiring about revalidation, confirming whether you have a prescribed connection, or submitting an annual return, we will use that information for the following purposes:

  • To process your enquiry or annual return
  • To determine how to revalidate you
  • We may contact, and disclose information to your appraiser(s), bodies and/or organisations to which you have provided medical services, any Responsible Officer or Suitable Person who you have had a connection to since your last revalidation and overseas regulators in the EEA and elsewhere where you have been registered
  • We may retain information provided by you for revalidation on our files and may disclose that information to overseas regulators in the EEA and elsewhere.

If you subsequently obtain registration from the GMC, or if you provide information for the purposes of revalidation, we may additionally use this information to:

  • update the registers
  • administer and maintain your registration
  • process complaints
  • compile statistics and undertake research. We may work in partnership with external researchers to do this.
  • keep you updated with information about the GMC including guidance and news*

*We work hard to avoid cluttering up your inbox. We use technology to tailor the material we send you. We use 'open tracking' in our email campaigns. If you open one of our emails and download the images contained in the email, or click on a link contained within the email, we will record this information. This helps us to understand your professional interests and develop our communications based on your preferences. If you do not wish to participate in 'open tracking', you can configure your email application (Outlook, Hotmail, Gmail etc) to prevent the downloading of email images and you should not click through the links contained in the email.

How we categorise doctors' information and who we'll share it with:

Level 1 information – is published in the List of Registered Medical Practitioners (LRMP) on our website and made available to any enquirer. It consists of registered doctors’ reference number, gender, name, any former name, year and place of primary medical qualification, registration status, date of registration and any publicly available fitness to practise history.

Level 2 information – is a registered doctor’s Level 1 information plus the date on which their annual retention fee is due. We give it out in response to telephone or written enquiries.

Level 3 information - is registered doctors’ Level 1 and 2 information plus date of birth, photograph, passport details, registered email address, registered address and whether a doctor is subject to investigation under the fitness to practise procedures. We will only give Level 3 Information to UK health departments, employers, designated bodies, Responsible Officers, Suitable Persons and other bodies where appropriate.

Some organisations may ask us for your registered address so they can contact you about the services they provide. These may include the British Medical Association, medical defence organisations and medical Royal Colleges and faculties so they can keep their records up to date. We will only give your Level 3 information to them where we are satisfied you are already a member and haven’t asked us not to share with them. If you would like to update your preference for us to share your registered address with these organisations please let us know either by writing to Registration Update Team, General Medical Council, 3 Hardman Street, Manchester M3 3AW or by sending an email to registrationhelp@gmc-uk.org.

 

Third Party Service Providers

We have contracts with other organisations (or Third Parties) to carry out certain activities or services on our behalf. If we need to pass any of your personal data to them we will make sure that:

  • They are only provided with the information they need to carry out the service
  • They agree not to use the information received from us for any other purpose than those specified by us
  • They have the proper systems in place to protect personal data

Equality and Diversity Information

The GMC is committed to treating everyone fairly and meeting our legal responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 and related legislation (such as the Human Rights Act 1998). One of the ways we do this is by asking people to provide information about their ethnicity, disability, gender, sexual orientation, religion and beliefs.

Giving us this information is optional. If you choose to give it to us, we will keep it confidential and hold it securely in line with data protection and other relevant legislation. We will use the information you give us to analyse and report on statistical trends in medical education and practice in the UK. We will anonymise any data we publish so you can’t be identified.

The information may be used by different teams at the GMC. We may also share your personal data with other parties if required by law, where ordered by a court, or where it is otherwise in the public interest (for example for research purposes). Where possible, data will be anonymised or aggregated before we share it with any other party

Consultation

We invite feedback from you about the site and, from time to time, we use the site to carry out electronic consultation exercises. If you send comments to us via the site we will collect your comments and your contact details for the purposes of the consultation concerned.

The information you supply will be stored and processed by the GMC in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. Any reports published using this information will not contain any personally identifiable information, We may provide anonymised responses to the consultation to third parties for quality assurance, or approved research projects on request.

2. Your rights under the Data Protection Act 1998

You may obtain confirmation of the basic information that we hold about you at any time. If it is incorrect we will promptly correct it when we have received the appropriate notice or evidence from you in writing.

You are also able to make a request for all information that we hold about you under section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998. This request must be made in writing and we make a charge of £10 for each request.

3. Social media

We use several social media sites to raise awareness of our work and promote good medical practice. Please note that your use of these sites will be subject to each one’s terms and conditions. Please read their Privacy and Cookie notices carefully and check your personal settings where appropriate to ensure you are happy with how your information will be used by the social media site. We don’t actively collect data you submit to any third party websites, but may collect aggregated information (that doesn’t identify you) in order to help us monitor access to our content. We use the following social media sites:

Read more about our social media sites.

4. Website security: how we protect your information

We are committed to keeping your information secure, including any financial transactions you make with us online.

We are accredited to the international information security standard ISO27001 and protect our IT infrastructure in line with industry standards and good practice. We also arrange for our systems and processes to be audited by independent experts.

For further advice on how you can keep your information secure online, you may find it useful to visit Get Safe Online, which is jointly funded by government and private sector businesses.

5. Use of Cookies

When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally. In some cases we may record your computer’s IP address in a cookie so that we are able to remember your preferences when visiting our website.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • enabling a service to recognise your device so you don’t have to give the same information several times during one task
  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don’t need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there’s enough capacity to ensure they are fast
  • analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with the GMC’s services so we can make them better

We use two types of cookies, session cookies and persistent cookies.

Session Cookies are stored only for the duration of your visit to the website and these are deleted from your device when your browsing session ends. Persistent Cookies  are stored on your device for a fixed period.

Persistent cookies are used where we need to know who you are for more than one usage session. For example, if you have asked us to remember preferences like your location or your username.

How to control and delete cookies

If you don’t want to receive cookies, you can modify your browser so that it notifies you when cookies are sent to it or you can refuse cookies altogether. You can also delete cookies that have already been set.

If you wish to restrict or block web browser cookies which are set on your device then you can do this through your browser settings; the Help function within your browser should tell you how. Alternatively, you may wish to visit www.aboutcookies.org, which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of desktop browsers.

Please be aware that restricting cookies may impact on the functionality of our website.

The GMC is subject to the EC Privacy and Electronic Communications directive, otherwise known as the “E-privacy directive”. As part of our approach to being compliant with this directive we are keen to show the cookies currently in use on the GMC websites. This is our current position and we will continue to review this over the coming weeks.  

The information below details the cookies used on the GMC websites.

First party cookies

The following cookies are set by the GMC.  

The GMC website: [http://www.gmc-uk.org]

N.B. Certain pages on the GMC website have ‘Share’ functionality with Facebook and Twitter that result in an advertising cookie ‘AddThis.com’ being added to your device. Personal information is not collected by this cookie, but you can easily stop AddThis from collecting any information about you for online behavioural advertising by opting out

 Name    Purpose  Cookie type 
WT_FPC This is our analytics provider Webtrends’ cookie used to collect information about which pages are popular and number of visitors to our site. We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site. Persistent
ASP.NET_SessionId This cookie is necessary for site functionality. Session
MobileNoDetect This cookie is set to allow a mobile device to use a link to visit the main website. Session
_atuvc This cookie is an Addthis.com cookie set when using the Share functionality for Facebook and Twitter. Persistent
GMCAcceptCookie This is set when you click on 'Accept cookies'   Persistent

 The GMC Mobile website: [http://www.gmc-uk.org/mobile]

 Name Purpose Cookie type
WT_FPC This is our analytics provider Webtrends’ cookie used to collect information about which pages are popular and number of visitors to our site. We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site. Persistent

The GMC Learning Disabilities website: [http://www.gmc-uk.org/learningdisabilities]

N.B. The pages on the GMC Learning Disabilities website have ‘Share’ functionality with Facebook and Twitter that result in an advertising cookie ‘AddThis.com’ being added to your device. Personal information is not collected by this cookie, but you can easily stop AddThis from collecting any information about you for online behavioural advertising by opting out.

Name Purpose Cookie type
WT_FPC This is our analytics provider Webtrends’ cookie used to collect information about which pages are popular and number of visitors to our site. We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site. Persistent
ASP.NET_SessionId This cookie is necessary for site functionality. Session
_atuvc This cookie is an Addthis.com cookie set when using the Share functionality for Facebook and Twitter. Persistent
GMCAcceptCookie  This is set when you click on 'Accept cookies'    Persistent 

The GMC Consultation website: [https://gmc.e-consultation.net/econsult/]

Name Purpose Cookie type
ASP.NET_SessionId This cookie is necessary for site functionality. Session
_utma, _utmb, utmc, _utmz These are Google Analytics cookies used to collect information about which pages are popular and number of visitors to our site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form. We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site. Persistent

user_name

This is used for the “Remember Me” function upon a successful login.

Persistent

The GMC Recruitment website: [https://jobs.gmc-uk.org]

Name Purpose Cookie type
sessionid2965 Allows user to select job alerts by email. Session
lastaccesstime2965 Captures date and time of visit. Session
Ccp_user2965                      Captures candidate userid - only set if user registers to use the site and allows user to apply for jobs. Session
Ccp_name2965   Captures candidate name - only set if user registers to use the site and allows user to apply for jobs. Session
Wedeputy_reg_username_3552 Captures candidate username - only set if user registers to use the site and allows user to apply for jobs. Session
Wedeputy_reg_email_3552 Captures candidate email address - only set if user registers to use the site and allows user to apply for jobs. Session

GMC Connect: [https://webcache.gmc-uk.org/filescanner/upload]

Name Purpose Cookie type
jsessionid This cookie is necessary to upload a file to GMC Connect. Session

Third Party Cookies

The following cookies are set by third parties who provide a service to the GMC:

  • The GMC website: [http://www.gmc-uk.org]
  • The GMC Mobile website: [http://www.gmc-uk.org/mobile]
  • The GMC Learning Disabilities website: [http://www.gmc-uk.org/learningdisabilities]
Name Purpose Cookie type
WEBTRENDS_ID This is our analytics provider Webtrends’ cookie used to collect information about which pages are popular and number of visitors to our site. We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site. Persistent
ACOOKIE This is our analytics provider Webtrends’ cookie used to collect information about which pages are popular and number of visitors to our site. We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site. Persistent