Quality assurance and research ethics

We’re committed to having a strong evidence base for our activities. This includes the way we conduct or commission high quality research.

We design and conduct all our research in line with the GMC Research Ethics Code of conduct, which is based on  external ethics guides and frameworks. A research ethics checklist is completed for each new research project. This identifies any potential ethical issues. We make sure mechanisms will be in place to get the necessary ethical review and approval. 

External research associates

Our research also undergoes a thorough review by members of a panel of External Research Associates (ERAs). They work independently and review our research before the project begins. 

The review considers:

  • the suitability of the suggested research methods for the objectives and research questions,
  • the scope, time and budget available for the project,
  • any possible ethical risks or issues which the research may present.

ERAs may also help us to review  shortlisted bids in more complex cases, where the research requires more novel or complex methods.

The current panel

Our ERAs are experienced researchers with a range of methodological expertise. Together they have many years of experience of conducting and publishing research. Many have worked on ethics panels in universities or the NHS. Our current panel includes 12 members who have worked with the GMC since 2016.

The panel members, appointed through an open recruitment process, are:

  • Andrew Atkin - University of East Anglia
  • Tina Byrom - The University of Nottingham
  • Sarah Gibson - CooperGibson Research
  • James Hodgkinson - University of Birmingham
  • Rachel Locke - University of Winchester
  • Sally McManus - National Centre for Social Research
  • Jane O'Brien - The Youth Endowment Fund 
  • Rosemary O'Neil - Kingston University
  • Jennifer Saxton - Freelance Research Consultant
  • Jessica Smith - Greater Manchester Combined Authority
  • Paul Strong - University of Nottingham (Royal Derby Hospital Centre)