Your privacy and confidentiality

Our use of survey data

We use survey responses to identify areas of concern where we need to take action, and examples of good practice that could be shared.

In terms of confidentiality, your survey responses fall into two categories:  

  • Answers to multiple choice questions
  • Free text comments raising concerns about patient safety and/or bullying and undermining.

Answers to multiple choice questions

The reports we produce from your answers to multiple choice questions are aggregated and anonymised. This means that individual responses cannot be identified and your answers remain confidential.

Your individual answers to multiple choice questions will be accessed by, and visible only to, our staff who are responsible for delivering surveys and research into medical education and training, and their appointed agents or research partners, under strict confidentiality agreements.

We will not share individual answers to multiple choice questions with other teams in the GMC, or outside of the GMC. No one outside of the GMC survey team can identify you by your completion code.

We also don’t publish data where there are fewer than three trainees in your specialty or site, so responses can’t be attributed to individuals. But your answers will still contribute to the overall findings for your specialty, region or country.

Free text comments raising concerns about patient safety and/or bullying and undermining

Concerns about patient safety and/or bullying and undermining that you raise within the survey will also be treated as confidential, and we will not make them public. We only use answers to support our statutory functions related to medical education and training. However, because of the importance of ensuring a safe training environment, this is subject to three exceptions.

First, your comments will be shared verbatim within other parts of the GMC, and with deans, HEE local teams, training placement providers and other regulators, where this is necessary so the concerns you raise are properly investigated and can be addressed.

We won’t share your identity as standard procedure, but we will provide your training location, post and programme specialty and training level. However, if it becomes necessary to the investigation we will share your identity with your deanery/HEE local team. We will let you that we're doing this.

Secondly, if any concerns that you raise about patient safety or bullying and undermining become relevant to a fitness to practise investigation (in relation to another doctor, or to yourself) then we will share your comments with our fitness to practise team and you may be asked to help the investigation.

Thirdly, we will share comments with appropriate regulatory bodies where there is a legitimate need to do so.