GMC reference numbers for PAs and AAs

The GMC has announced the alphabetical prefix they will use for physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AAs) reference numbers will be a capital letter A, for associate.
In December, the regulator announced the reference numbers for AAs and PAs would have a prefix to differentiate it from the reference number for doctors. The A-prefix will be the same for both PAs and AAs.

There will be no change to doctors’ GMC reference numbers which will remain a seven-digit number without a prefix.

Una Lane, Director of Registration and Revalidation at the GMC, said:

‘Using the A-prefix provides a clear distinction between the different professions we will regulate. In addition to the prefix, we’ll also make sure we prominently label each profession type on our public-facing registers, and in search functions. This means that in future when patients search our registers it will be very clear whether an individual is a doctor, a PA or an AA.

‘We’ve listened and have responded to feedback about our approach to regulation, and we will continue to do so. Before arriving at this decision, we explored what other multiprofessional regulators do to differentiate professions and we considered the implications for other organisations who use GMC reference numbers in their work too, such as employers.

‘Bringing these professionals into regulation will help assure the public that PAs and AAs have the required knowledge, skills and experience to work safely. We will soon start our consultation on the rules, standards and guidance that will implement the legislation required for regulation to begin.’


How our public facing registers will look once regulation of PAs and AAs begins

We’ll enable searching specifically within one or more  profession(s) or across all registrants 

In our search form, we’ll offer the capability for users to filter for a single profession – for example, just doctors, just PAs or AAs; or across multiple professions; or across all. We’ll also retain our GP register and Specialist register filters within the doctor group.

Example of the profession types on the medical register

Registrants’ professions will be clearly visible within a list of search results

We’ll introduce a new ‘Profession type’ column into our search results. When search results are presented, we’ll make the profession of each registrant very clear by including a new column for profession type immediately next to each registrant’s name.

Example of the profession types on the medical register

Making a registrant’s profession clearly visible within their own record

On the screens for each individual registrant, we’ll add a new profession ‘badge’ right next to the person’s name, saying ‘Doctor’, ‘Physician associate’ or ‘Anaesthesia associate’, to make sure it’s as prominent and clear as it can be.

Example of a doctor record on the medical register
Example of a physician associate record on the medical register