Information for doctors

Our ethical guidance

Our professional standards for doctors provide a framework for ethical decision making in a wide range of situations. Doctors should continue to follow our guidance as far as is practical in the circumstances. But as the situation develops, it’s likely that some doctors will need to depart from established procedures to care for patients.

Our ethical hub has advice on the most common questions we’ve been asked about practising at this challenging time. This includes information about working safely, your health and wellbeing and remote prescribing.

Supporting the profession

We’ve worked with the UK’s chief medical officers and NHS England’s National Medical Director to set out how we’ll support the profession during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Our statement recognises the challenges that doctors are facing as the situation develops. This includes working in unfamiliar circumstances or surroundings, or in clinical areas outside their usual practice. It highlights our expectations of employers, professional bodies, and the UK’s health services. And reiterates our determination to make sure the long-term prospects of trainees aren’t compromised.

Our Chair, Dame Clare Marx has also shared her advice to doctors caring for patients across the UK.  


If you were due to revalidate before the end of September 2020, we’ve moved your revalidation date by one year. We're doing this to give responsible officers and doctors more time to reschedule and complete appraisals. We hope this will help the health service to prioritise clinical care for patients. 

While appraisals should normally take place every year, you won’t have to catch up on a missed appraisal in order to revalidate. Your responsible officer should approve any missed appraisals.

If you’re due to revalidate before your next appraisal, and you’ve already collected the required supporting information, you won’t have to complete another appraisal or collect additional information.

If you don’t have a responsible officer and were planning to submit an annual return before the end of September 2020, we’ve already moved your annual return date by one year.

International medical graduates

Following advice from the UK government, all PLAB 2 tests from 18 March until at least 1 July 2020 are cancelled. We appreciate the considerable inconvenience this may cause, but your health and safety are our priority.

Currently, PLAB 1 tests are still running as normal. 

Visit Coronavirus – information for PLAB candidates for the latest information.