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Gateways guidance: 16 The GMC and the Medical Act

The Medical Act is the legislation that established the GMC and sets out the statutory basis for registration and the licence to practise. It also sets out the regulatory requirements for medical education and training all the way from entry to medical school to award of a Certificate for Completion of Training.

The law gives us four main functions under the Act.

  • Keeping up-to-date registers of qualified doctors.
  • Fostering good medical practice.
  • Promoting high standards of medical education.
  • Dealing firmly and fairly with doctors whose fitness to practise is in doubt.

Registration and the licence to practise exist to show the public that doctors are fit to practise, as part of a profession with nationally recognised standards set by law. The Act states that the main objective of the GMC is ‘to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public'. The advisory guidance set out here is in line with that objective.