Professional behaviour and fitness to practise

Considering equality and diversity issues

  1. Medical schools' procedures for managing concerns about professionalism and fitness to practise should clearly explain how they make sure their processes are fair. Procedures should outline schools' responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 * and should make sure they don't unfairly discriminate on the basis of lifestyle, culture, or social or economic status. This includes characteristics protected by legislation, that apply to further and higher education establishments:
    • age
    • disability
    • gender reassignment
    • marriage and civil partnership
    • pregnancy and maternity
    • race
    • religion or belief
    • sex
    • sexual orientation.
  2. In addition, medical schools should be mindful of their responsibility to provide reasonable adjustments and support for students who need them to access learning. You can find more information in the GMC guidance about preventing unnecessary barriers for disabled students studying medicine, Welcomed and valued.
  3. Staff members who have significant roles in the student fitness to practise process, such as investigators, panellists or committee members and other relevant decision makers, must understand and receive training in the legal requirements and good practice of equality and diversity specific to their role.

* The Equality Act 2010 does not apply to Northern Ireland. You can find more information about the equality legislation in Northern Ireland on the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland’s website at