Registration and transition arrangements

What will the registration process look like?

If you’re a PA or an AA who wants to practise in the UK, you’ll need to register with us when we start to regulate your professions. When you need to do this will depend on your UK practice and qualification status. Here you can find out:

  • when you will need to register by
  • the criteria you’ll need to meet to demonstrate you have the necessary skills and experience to practise as a PA or AA
  • how we’ll confirm you’re fit to practise
  • what you can do now to prepare for the introduction of regulation

I currently work as a PA or AA in the UK, or I hold a recognised UK PA or AA qualification

When regulation starts, if you’re already practising in the UK or you hold a PA or AA qualification from a UK university, you’ll be able to continue to practise for a maximum of two years, without GMC registration.

This transition period will give you time to meet our registration requirements. By the end of this period, you must either be registered with us, or stop practising in the UK.

If haven’t already joined your voluntary register - run by either the Faculty of Physician Associates or the Royal College of Anaesthetists – sign up now. This will help to streamline your application once we have regulatory powers, which we expect towards the end of 2021. 

I’ve never practised or qualified as a PA or AA in the UK

When regulation starts, if you’ve not previously practised in the UK or you don’t hold a PA or AA qualification from a UK university, you must register with us before you can legally work in the UK or use the title PA or AA.

How do I apply for registration?

To join our register, you’ll need to satisfy us that:

  • you have the knowledge and skills to work safely as a PA or AA in the UK
  • there are no outstanding concerns about your fitness to practise

The evidence of knowledge and skills we’ll accept may vary depending on whether you’re already practising in the UK and the place you obtained your initial qualification. 

When you apply to join our register, you’ll be asked to confirm that you’re fit to practise and/ or declare any issues that have been raised about your practise. You’ll also need to provide an employer reference from your most recent PA/ AA role confirming there aren’t any outstanding concerns about your practice. If you’ve registered with another healthcare regulator in the UK or overseas within the last five years, we’ll also ask for evidence of your good standing with that regulator. 

What evidence do I need to provide to apply for registration?


Preparing for regulation

Before regulation can start, the UK government needs to introduce legislation, which we understand is likely to happen towards the end of 2021. In the meantime, we’re continuing to work with our key partners across the four countries of the UK to develop our approach to regulation, our policies and procedures. We’ll publish further details as soon as they’re available.

If you’re working in the UK as a PA or AA, and: 

  • you haven’t already signed up to either of the voluntary registers run by the Faculty of Physician Associates (FPA) or Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) – please do this as soon as you can. This will help to streamline your application for GMC registration when the time comes, as voluntary registrants will be the first to be invited to apply. For advice on the voluntary registers, please contact the or the FPA or RCoA. For AAs, advice is also available from the Association of Anaesthesia Associates.
  • you’re not eligible to join the voluntary registers – please contact us so we can provide specific advice based on your circumstances. When regulation is introduced, we want you to be able to join our register if you have the necessary skills and experience.