What are undertakings?

Undertakings are an agreement between us and a doctor about the doctor's future practice.

Undertakings might:

  • stop a doctor doing certain things
  • commit a doctor to only working while supervised
  • commit a doctor to retrain.

See our undertakings bank – the standard wording we use when agreeing undertakings with a doctor.

See our undertakings glossary – which explains what our undertakings might mean in practice.

When are undertakings appropriate?

We will only offer undertakings to a doctor when we decide they are enough to protect patients and the public, and address the concerns about the doctor.

We will not agree undertakings where we think there is a realistic chance that a medical practitioners tribunal hearing might erase the doctor from the register.

How do undertakings work?

If we offer undertakings to a doctor and they refuse, we will refer the doctor to a medical practitioners tribunal hearing.

If they accept, we will put the undertakings on the doctor’s entry on the medical register and inform the doctor’s employer.

We monitor and regularly review undertakings to make sure they are sufficient to address the concerns about the doctor, and that they are still needed. We can vary or revoke the undertakings wherever necessary.

If a doctor doesn’t comply with agreed undertakings, we will refer the doctor to a medical practitioners tribunal hearing, which can impose sanctions on the doctor.

Undertakings on the medical register

Undertakings are published in full on the medical register. They will be visible for ten years after the undertakings have expired. Once they expire we won’t normally disclose information about them except to a doctor’s current employer.