Reporting criminal and regulatory proceedings within and outside the UK
In Good medical practice1 we say:
75. You must tell us without delay if, anywhere in the world:
a. you have accepted a caution from the police or been criticised by an official inquiry
b. you have been charged with or found guilty of a criminal offence
c. another professional body has made a finding against your registration as a result of fitness to practise procedures.
In this guidance, which forms part of the professional standards, we explain how doctors can put these principles into practice, and what you should inform us about. The professional standards describe good practice, and not every departure from them will be considered serious. You must use your professional judgement to apply the standards to your day-to-day practice. If you do this, act in good faith and in the interests of patients, you will be able to explain and justify your decisions and actions. We say more about professional judgement, and how the professional standards relate to our fitness to practise processes, appraisal and revalidation, at the beginning of Good medical practice.
The duty to report criminal and regulatory proceedings does not change the circumstances in which the GMC will investigate a doctor’s conduct, or the threshold for taking action on registration.
What you must report
You must tell us without delay if, anywhere in the world, you:
- are found guilty of a criminal offence
- are charged with a criminal offence
- formally admit to committing a criminal offence (for example, by accepting a caution,2 a community resolution order, in Northern Ireland a discretionary disposal, or in Scotland a fiscal fine, or by entering into a contractual disclosure facility agreement with HM Revenue and Customs, which involves admitting you have committed fraud)
- accept the option of paying a penalty notice for disorder at the upper tier penalty level3 (in England and Wales), a penalty notice under the Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2011
- receive a cannabis warning (in England and Wales)
- are given an anti-social behaviour order4 whether as the result of civil or criminal proceedings
- have had your registration restricted, or have been found guilty of an offence, by another medical or other professional regulatory body
- your conduct (including as part of a management team) has directly contributed to an organisation that has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement.
This includes a conditional caution under the Criminal Justice Act 2003.
Applies across the UK.
If you have been criticised by an official inquiry anywhere in the world, you must tell us without delay.
By this we mean that you must tell us if you have received criticism that relates to serious matters that could call your fitness to practise into question by the person leading either:
- a public/formal inquiry, 'or'
- a tribunal in the public domain.
Public/formal inquiries and tribunals in the public domain; are publicly funded, investigate matters in the public interest and publish their findings.
Examples of public/formal inquiries include but are not limited to:
- an inquiry conducted under the Inquiries Act 2005
- a Parliamentary Commission or Select Committee
- any other non-statutory inquiries investigating matters in the public interest (sometimes known as departmental inquiries) for example, the Hutton inquiry (circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly) and the Bichard inquiry (issues arising from the Soham murders)
- a Royal Commission
- a Coroner’s Inquest.
In relation to tribunals in the public domain, you must tell us if you know or ought to know that you have been the subject of judicial criticism (for example in civil or criminal proceedings) relating to serious matters that could call your fitness to practise into question.
You must also follow any reporting requirements in place at your employing or contracting organisation. If you are not sure about whether, or whom, you need to tell, you should ask for advice from a defence body or medical association.
What you don't have to tell us about
You do not need to tell us about:
- a penalty notice for disorder unless it is specified in paragraph 4
- payment of a fixed penalty notice for a road traffic offence
- payment of a fixed penalty notice issued by local authorities (for example, for offences such as dog fouling or noise).
If in doubt, seek advice
If you are not sure whether or not to tell us about any of the matters set out in paragraph 4 or 5, you should ask for advice from a defence body or medical association or from us.