Introducing regulated credentials: consultation on proposed framework

Our consultation on the broad principles and processes for our credentialing model ran from 1 July to 7 October 2015. We reported the outcomes of the consultation to our Council in April 2016. The outcomes of the consultation and information on what happens next are on our framework consultation page.


We are proposing to introduce a process of credentialing to enhance medical regulation and patient protection. This page provides brief information about the concept of credentialing. We are considering a new process called credentialing to recognise doctors’ capabilities in particular practice areas. The main purpose of this new framework will be to protect patients and make sure that future healthcare developments are safe and effective.


Credentialing is defined as:

  • ‘a process which provides formal accreditation of competences (which include knowledge, skills and performance) in a defined area of practice, at a level that provides confidence that the individual is fit to practise in that area…’

Credentialing will be particularly relevant for doctors who work in areas of medical practice that aren’t covered by our existing standards for training and in new and emerging areas of medical practice.

Our goals

We are proposing to introduce a process of credentialing to enhance medical regulation and patient protection by:

  • providing a framework of standards and accreditation in areas where regulation is limited or absent
  • providing patients with information about doctors’ particular capabilities and current areas of competence
  • providing better recognition of doctors’ capabilities to support:
    • improvements in workforce flexibility and professional mobility
    • the new architecture for postgraduate medical education
  • providing recognition of the capabilities of doctors to assure the public, service providers and employers that they have met and are maintaining UK standards in their field.

Contact us

For further information relating to credentialing, please email us at