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About the General Medical Council

The role of the GMC

The General Medical Council (GMC) is an independent organisation that helps to protect patients and improve medical education and practice across the UK. Every patient should receive a high standard of care. Our role is to help achieve that by working closely with doctors, their employers and patients, to make sure that the trust patients have in their doctors is fully justified.

The GMC was established by the UK Parliament in 1858. Its purpose is to protect, promote and maintain the health, safety and well-being of the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine. The law gives the GMC four main functions under the Medical Act 1983:

  1. Keeping up to date registers of qualified doctors.
  2. Fostering good medical practice.
  3. Promoting high standards of medical education and training.
  4. Dealing firmly and fairly with doctors whose fitness to practise may be impaired.

The GMC is also a charity registered in England and Wales (1089278) and Scotland (SC037750). This means that the Chair and Council members are also trustees.

There are nearly 273,000 doctors on the UK medical register, of whom around 233,000 have a licence to practise. The GMC employs about 1200 staff in offices in London, Manchester, Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh. In 2016 the GMC’s approved revenue expenditure budget is just over £102 million. The GMC’s strategic priorities are set out in the 2018-2020 Corporate Strategy; and its immediate objectives in the 2018 Business Plan.  

The organisation has adopted five core values which underpin everything it does:

Integrity- we’re honest and share what we see. We listen to our partners, but remain independent.

Excellence - we are a learning organisation, committed to achieving high standards.

Collaboration - we work with others to support safe, high-quality care.

Fairness - we respect people and treat them without prejudice.

Transparency - we are open and account for our actions.

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