Our involvement as a professional regulator 

This section discusses our considerations as a professional regulator for each stage of medical education.

Key messages from this chapter

  • We are bound by the public sector equality duty, to promote equality and eliminate discrimination.
  • We have a statutory remit to promote high standards of medical education and coordinate all stages of medical education. We do this through producing standards for medical education and training that organisations involved in medical education have to follow. Our standards say that these organisations must support disabled learners, including through making reasonable adjustments.
  • All medical students and doctors in training, regardless of whether they have a disability (including long-term health conditions), need to meet the competences set out for different stages of their education and training. These are the absolute requirements for medical students and doctors in training in order to progress in their studies and practice. This includes the Outcomes for provisionally registered doctors at the end of the first year of the Foundation Programme and the learning outcomes of their curricula through training.
  • We have a remit over organisations responsible for designing, managing, and delivering the training of doctors. These are medical schools, postgraduate training organisations and colleges / faculties, and local education providers.
  • We do not have a remit over organisations employing doctors (e.g. NHS trusts/boards). However, organisations involved in training doctors and organisations employing doctors work very closely as doctors train in their working environment. For that reason, we hope the guidance will be seen as aspirational beyond education and training, and that all organisations employing doctors will follow the principles outlined in this document.
  • We do not have a remit over admissions, but do set the level of knowledge and skill to be awarded a primary medical qualification via Outcomes for graduates.
  • Learners and organisations have a shared responsibility for looking after wellbeing (Good medical practice and Achieving good medical practice).
  • Any student can graduate as long as: they are well enough to complete the course; they have no student fitness to practise concerns; they have met all the Outcomes for graduates, with adjustments to the mode of assessment as needed.
  • We ask for health information to provisionally register doctors but that is not a barrier to registration. We rarely need or ask for health information after full registration.
  • Every licensed doctor who practises medicine must revalidate. Our requirements for revalidation are high level and not prescriptive. This allows flexibility for our requirements to be adapted to individual doctors’ circumstances.
  • Having a health condition or disability does not mean a doctor’s fitness to practise is impaired. Having a health or disability also does not mean there is an inherent risk to patient safety. A reasonable adjustment or support measure requested for a doctor with a health condition or disability is not inherently a risk to patients.