GMC consultation on the regulation of physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AAs)

Written 27th March 2024 by Gareth Martin

In 1956, the General Dental Council (GDC) took on full responsibility for the regulation of dentists, leaving the General Medical Council (GMC) to focus on setting the standards for and conducting investigations into complaints made against doctors to ensure patient safety and public confidence in the profession.  

In July 2019, however, the government tasked the GMC with taking on the role of regulator for two further professions, namely physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AAs). After some considerable delay, legislation was finally laid at the end of 2023 and passed earlier this year which will see the GMC take on its new responsibilities by the end of 2024. 

GMC Consultation on regulation of PAs and AAs 

In anticipation of the same, the GMC has today (26 March 2024) launched an eight-week consultation on the rules, standards and guidance in respect of how its regulation of PAs and AAs will be undertaken. 

Whilst there has been some discontent and disagreement over whether the GMC is the correct body to regulate PAs and AAs, the GMC has been keen to stress that that decision has been taken and their role now is to get on with things.  

The GMC is keen to hear from not only PAs and AAs but also patient representatives, doctors, employers, other key stakeholders and individuals to ensure that the approach to implementing the powers and duties they now have is informed and appropriate. 

The consultation addresses the following key areas: 

  1. Education and training  
  2. Registration 
  3. Fees  
  4. Dealing with concerns  
  5. Changing and Challenging GMC decisions 

The consultation also welcomes feedback on draft principles that will inform the content of fitness to practise decision making guidance due to come into force from December 2024 which will apply to doctors, as well as, AAs and PAs. 

Olliers Solicitors – specialist professional discipline lawyers 

At Olliers we have extensive experience in advising and assisting professionals from all walks of life with fitness to practise investigations and hearings before their regulator including doctors dealing with the GMC and MPTS. We recognise the potentially far-reaching consequences such matters can have on a professional, their work life and even their family life so we would encourage all those with a vested interest in ensuring that the GMC get things right, to have their say and respond to the consultation. 

The consultation will close at midnight on Monday 20 May 2024 and respondents are encouraged to provide their feedback as soon as possible. 

Gareth Martin

Gareth Martin



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