When is a warning appropriate?

We issue warnings to indicate when a doctor’s behaviour or performance is significantly below the standards expected of doctors and should not be repeated, but when restricting a doctor’s practice is not necessary.

We do not issue warnings when the concerns about a doctor relate solely to physical or mental health.

Please see our warnings factsheet for further information.

How are warnings issued?

Our senior decision makers can decide to give a warning to a doctor.

If a doctor refuses to accept a warning, we send the case to an Investigation Committee hearing to decide the outcome. It has the power to place a warning on the doctor’s record or conclude the case with no further action.

A medical practitioner’s tribunal may also issue a warning in cases where it found the doctor’s fitness to practise was not impaired, but fell significantly below the standards we expect of doctors.

Warnings on the medical register

Warnings are visible on the online register for two years, along with a summary of why we issued it. After this, the warning will no longer be visible. However, we keep a record of it and can disclose it to employers on request.