Modern slavery and human trafficking statement


Building on measures taken in previous years this statement sets out our actions to identify the potential modern slavery risks related to our business and the steps we have taken to ensure, as far as possible, that there is no slavery or human trafficking in our business and our supply chains. This statement relates to the period 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020.

As a public sector body, we recognise that we have a responsibility to take a robust approach to slavery and human trafficking. We are absolutely committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking in our corporate activities, and to ensuring that our supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking.

Organisational structure and purpose

The purpose of the General Medical Council (GMC) is to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine.

The law gives us four main functions under the Medical Act 1983:

  • 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.

The GMC is a registered charity in England and Wales (1089278) and Scotland (SC037750).

Our governing body, the Council, has 12 members of which six are doctors and six are lay members, all appointed through an independent appointments process.

The GMC has two major centres, one in London and two in Manchester. We also have smaller offices in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, and a significant number of staff who work remotely and in the health service. These sites accommodate approximately 1,475 full- and part-time staff across eight directorates, which are:

  • Registration and Revalidation
  • Fitness to Practise
  • Resources
  • Education and Standards
  • Strategy and Policy
  • Strategic Communication and Engagement
  • Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service
  • Corporate.

Modern slavery and human trafficking policy

We have a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery. We are committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships, and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure modern slavery is not taking place anywhere in our own businesses or those of our suppliers.

The nature of our business means that the risk of modern slavery in our directly managed business activities and the first line of our supply chain is low. We require all our suppliers to have robust anti-slavery and human trafficking arrangements in place.

If a supplier is found to be accepting of slavery in their business or supply chain we will terminate the contract and notify the relevant authorities.

Actions taken in 2020

In 2020 we implemented a series of steps to mitigate the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking occurring within our organisation and supply chains.

  • All staff received guidance explaining what modern slavery is, how to identify it, and how to log concerns.
  • All recruited permanent and temporary staff are subject to identification and background checking.
  • We have living wage accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation.
  • We continued to discuss our Modern slavery policy with our suppliers throughout contract management processes.
  • All contracts on standard GMC terms and conditions included clauses that place obligations on suppliers to apply the principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 in their business and supply chains, enabling the GMC to assure ourselves of their compliance with the legislation.
  • All suppliers were advised of how to log concerns with the GMC that modern slavery or human trafficking activity was occurring in our organisation or supply chain by our Whistleblowing policy.
  • An audit group consisting of representatives from key teams across the organisation reviewed whether there were any specific suppliers that required further intervention activity to reasonably satisfy us that steps were being taken to prevent modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains. This included checking that suppliers considered at moderate risk of modern slavery and that were within scope had suitable modern slavery statements. It was determined that given the nature of our supply the current steps were considered appropriate in all cases, but this would be regularly reviewed.
  • A review was conducted into whether our Modern slavery policy should extend validation activity down our supply chain beyond the first-tier suppliers currently within scope. It was determined that current measures were appropriate for the GMC.