Good medical practice: interim standards for physician associates and anaesthesia associates

Professionalism in action


Patients need good healthcare professionals. Good physician associates and anaesthesia associates make the care of their patients their first concern: they are competent, keep their knowledge and skills up to date, establish and maintain good relationships with patients and colleagues,1  are honest and trustworthy, and act with integrity and within the law.


Colleagues include anyone a physician associate and anaesthesia associate works with, whether or not they are also physician associates and anaesthesia associates.


Good physician associates and anaesthesia associates work in partnership with patients and respect their rights to privacy and dignity. They treat each patient as an individual. They do their best to make sure all patients receive good care and treatment that will support them to live as well as possible, whatever their illness or disability.


This guidance describes what is expected of all the physician associates and anaesthesia associates who are registered with us. It is your responsibility to be familiar with Good medical practice and the explanatory guidance2  which supports it, and to follow the guidance they contain. 


You can find all the explanatory guidance on our website.


You must demonstrate through your regular appraisal and revalidation process that you work in line with the principles and values set out in this guidance.


In Good medical practice, we use the terms ‘you must’ and ‘you should’ in the following ways.

  • ‘You must’ is used for an overriding duty or principle.
  • 'You should’ is used when we are providing an explanation of how you will meet the overriding duty.
  • 'You should’ is also used where the duty or principle will not apply in all situations or circumstances, or where there are factors outside your control that affect whether or how you can follow the guidance.

You must use your professional judgement to apply this guidance to your practice. If you do this, act in good faith and in the interests of patients, you’ll be in a good position to explain and justify your decisions and actions. Only serious or persistent failure to follow our guidance that poses a risk to patient safety or public trust in physician associates and anaesthesia associates will put your registration at risk.