Our functions and the way we carry them are set out in law. These pages provide details of the main legislation that governs our work.

UK primary legislation

The most important piece of legislation is the Medical Act. This provides the legal basis for everything that we do. Please visit our UK Primary legislation page for further information.

European legislation

We also have to comply with relevant European law. Our European legislation page provides details of the main European legislation affecting our work.


The arrangements for the governance of the GMC are also set out in legislation. Visit our Governance page for further information.

Registration, licensing and revalidation

One of our four main functions described in the Medical Act concerns the registration of doctors. This includes arrangements for granting registration and licences to doctors, erasure from and restoration of names to the register, and revalidation. It also covers the day to day maintenance of the information the register contains.

Our Registration, licensing and revalidation legislation page includes the rules and regulations which describe in detail how these functions must be carried out.

Registration and certification fees

Details of the fees payable by doctors for registration and certification are set out in regulations.  Visit our fees page for further information.

Fitness to practise (concerns about doctors)

The Medical Act gives us powers and responsibilities for taking action when questions arise about doctors’ fitness to practise.

The detailed arrangements for how these matters are investigated and adjudicated upon are set out in rules which have the force of law.

You can find out more about these rules on our Fitness to practise legislation page.

Earlier rules and regulations

The statutory rules and regulations that govern the way we work have been updated on many occasions over the years. You can find a selection of previous rules and regulations on our Earlier rules and regulations page.