What to tell us when you apply guide

FtP question 4: Employer concerns

This page will help you answer fitness to practise question 4 on your application.

Has an employer raised concerns about your professional performance, professionalism or behaviour, that led to a formal process?

The formal process could be to support you, or to investigate the concerns. Usually a senior or HR manager, committee, hearing or similar decides what action to take after the process has finished. This includes non-medical employers.

If you received a verbal warning that didn’t lead to any action or an investigation against you, answer 'no'.

What you need to tell us

We only need to know about concerns that led to a formal process. If someone raised a concern about your professional performance, professionalism or behaviour, and this led to a formal process it usually means you needed to take action to stay fit to continue your work. 

What do we mean by ‘an employer’?

An employer or contracting organisation is an organisation that employs or contracts you to work for or with them. This could be a medical or non-medical employer or organisation. It also includes any organisation that you provide medical services to. For example, if you are self-employed or a locum doctor.

What do we mean by ‘concerns about your professional performance, professionalism or behaviour’?

An employer could raise concerns if anything happens during your employment or in your private life that falls below their expectations. Some examples of concerns include:

  • abuse of your professional position, for example an improper sexual relationship with a patient
  • bullying or harassing others
  • discrimination against patients, colleagues and others
  • failure to respond reasonably to patient needs (including referring for further investigations where necessary)
  • fraud or dishonesty
  • inappropriate use of social media
  • serious breaches of patient confidentiality
  • serious concerns about knowledge of English
  • serious or repeated mistakes in patient care.

If the concern raised led to a formal process you need to tell us when you apply. You also need to tell us if concerns were raised by an employer even if you were not working in a medical capacity. For example, if you were working as a pharmacist, nurse or healthcare assistant or in a role not related to medicine.

What do we mean by a ‘formal process’?

An employer or contracting organisation could start a formal process to provide support, investigate concerns or refer a concern to a panel, tribunal or hearing. Examples can include being:

  • sent written notification (by letter or email) about concerns that have been raised of and giving you the opportunity to comment
  • excluded from work while under investigation
  • invited to attend a formal panel meeting, tribunal or hearing
  • notified in writing of the outcome of a panel meeting, tribunal  or committee hearing.

Outcomes of a formal process can include:

  • being given a formal written warning
  • agreeing to undertake retraining or being supervised
  • agreeing to a plan to address the concerns about your professionalism or behaviour
  • having local restrictions or conditions put on your practice
  • being dismissed from your employment.

If someone raised a concern that led to any of the bullet points above, you need to tell us about it when you apply. 

What you don't need to tell us

Processes that finished where no action was taken against you

You don’t need to tell us if the process finished and no action was taken against you because the concerns were not substantiated.

Verbal warnings by employers

You don’t need to tell us about verbal warnings, even if confirmation of the verbal warning was given to you in writing or by email.

What to do if you need to tell us

If an employer raised concerns about your professionalism or behaviour, answer yes to fitness to practise question 4 on your application and give the following details:

  • information about the concerns and the circumstances and reasons that led to them being raised
  • the name of the employer or contracting organisation that investigated the concerns
  • contact names and contact details (address, email and telephone number) of person(s) involved at the organisation. We may contact them to gather further information or to verify the information you have provided
  • details of the formal process including who was involved and what the outcome was
  • if the investigation is on-going, details of any action taken so far, for example any interim conditions, undertakings or suspension that has been put in place
  • details of the outcome, including any sanction
  • any further information you want us to consider about the situation and circumstances, that led to the concerns being raised.

I’m still not sure whether I need to tell you about employer concerns. What should I do?

Use our 'What to tell us when you apply' tool to help you decide whether to tell us about concerns raised about your professional performance, professionalism or behaviour by an employer. If you’ve used the tool and you’re still not sure get in touch with one of our advisers.