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Professional behaviour and fitness to practise

Fitness to practise is a part of how medical schools help their students become excellent professionals. Medical schools and universities must have a process to identify and deal with students whose fitness to practise may be impaired.

This document gives guidance to medical schools and educators on managing processes for professionalism concerns and fitness to practise. It aims to give a consistent framework that can be adapted to local processes. Although this guidance is mainly aimed at medical schools and universities, medical students may also find it useful, to understand how their institution deals with these issues

Please note: This guidance only applies to medical students. Once a doctor is registered, we monitor their fitness to practise.


Inside Professional behaviour and fitness to practise

Supplementary information

Case studies and thought pieces to demonstrate how professional behaviour and fitness to practise can apply in real life.


We have run student competitions with the Medical Schools Council exploring why professionalism is important to medical students. Below, the shortlisted students share their sessions as teaching resources.


We asked medical schools to tell us what steps they have taken towards implementing the guidance, any difficulties, and how they had communicated it to their students. We have also put together a myth buster and FAQs to help students and medical schools understand the guidance. 

Who is this guidance for?
This guidance is aimed at medical school and university staff, and at placement provider organisations who identify, manage and support students whose professionalism or fitness to practise is a cause for concern.
Why do you need this document?
When a student’s conduct or health becomes a cause for concern, it is essential that they get the appropriate support to continue their studies. Processes must also be in place to identify and deal with students whose fitness to practise may be impaired.