Privileges and duties of doctors
When you register with a licence to practise in the UK, you are permitted to carry out certain activities, often referred to as privileges.
These include but are not restricted to:
- work as a physician, surgeon or other medical officer
- prescribe medicines
- sign death certificates.
You can’t work as a doctor with these privileges if you don’t have a licence. You also have a duty to comply with Good Medical Practice, even if you don’t have a licence.
Employers may require you to be registered with a licence to practise, even where activities fall outside of the privileges mentioned above.
If you’re unclear whether you need a licence, you should always seek advice from:
- your employer or those contracting your services
- your medical defence organisation
- your insurance and indemnity provider
- an independent legal adviser.
It is important to remember it is a criminal offence in the UK for a doctor to give the impression they hold registration or a licence if they don’t. Always be clear about your status on the register.