This guide explains the role of the GMC and describes the different stages an investigation may progress through

MDDUS | tired and depressed
  • Date: 19 October 2022

As part of its investigations the GMC collects and reviews evidence and has the power to issue advice, a warning, restrict practice (which may involve retraining or monitoring of health conditions – known as undertakings), and in some serious situations the doctor can be referred to a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) hearing which has the power to place conditions on a doctor’s inclusion on, or suspend or erase a doctor from, the medical register.

Being the subject of a GMC regulatory investigation, fearing that your registration and licence to practice may be at risk, can be an extremely stressful time in a doctor’s professional career. This medical advisory guide explains the role of the GMC and provides a description of the different stages an investigation may progress through from triage of the original complaint, provisional enquiry, the Rule 4 and Rule 7 stages of an investigation and both Medical Practitioner Tribunal Service (MPTS) and Interim Order Tribunal (IOT) Hearings.

The guide provides an explanation of the legal tests the GMC applies to the evidence it gathers, including the ‘balance of probabilities’ standard of proof and the ‘realistic prospect test’. The guide also gives details about the sanctions that can be applied at each stage of the investigation process. Importantly it signposts the help and support MDDUS provides to our members from our expert medical and legal teams.

This guide is a useful tool for anyone wanting to learn more about the GMC and its investigation process as well as offering general advice and support for those registrants personally involved. As a benefit of membership with MDDUS, the guide is free for you to download and refer back to whenever needed.

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.


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