GMC Investigations


The GMC receive an enquiry and immediately assess whether it raises a fitness to practise issue, if it is not closed, the ‘Provisional Enquiry’ stage is the first stage of the process to decide whether or not to open an Investigation. Provisional enquiries may take around 6 weeks to close. This applies to cases where a complaint can be relatively simply dealt with by a single statement or single piece of evidence. If however it needs several pieces of evidence it will still be 6 months or longer.

If the GMC do decide to open an investigation they will inform you they have done so and they attempt to conclude the investigation at most within 12 months.


The nature of the complaint determines the evidence the GMC will obtain. It will often include relevant documents such as a copy of any Court judgement, medical records, statements from relevant parties connected to the complaint and expert evidence if necessary. We would generally suggest you should not expect a full investigation to be completed in less than 6 months, even where all the parties (for example the GMC, the hospital, you and any other witnesses) respond rapidly to the enquires. If the complaint involves a police investigation the GMC will pause until the police finish their investigation which substantially slows the process down.

Your involvement in the investigation is referred to under Rule 4 and Rule 7. The GMC will inform you that they have received an allegation and have commenced an investigation. Rule 4 refers to the initial consideration by the GMC and Rule 7 the investigation. It is your decision to decide how to respond, if at all, but note that you only have 28 days to respond to a Rule 7 letter.

A Rule 7 Letter sets out the allegation which raises the question of whether your fitness to practise is impaired, includes documents gathered during the investigation and they invite you to respond within 28 days. We can give you advice on how to respond to the Rule 7 letter. It really depends on the case and your knowledge of the matter that informs your response. It may be there are obvious errors in the allegation that are quickly corrected, in other cases waiting to see more evidence might be the safer course of action where your recollection is unclear and you may damage your case if your account is later contradicted. It may also at this stage be wise to consider showing insight into the issue and measures you have taken to address any concern.

Depending on the basis of the investigation the GMC may request you submit to a Health Assessment, English Language Assessment or Performance Assessment [See GMC Assessments].

The Investigation will take into account all the evidence gathered. Unless your case involves violence or sexual misconduct, is solely related to your health, or erasure is likely, the GMC may invite you to meet them at Manchester or London to discuss your case. We can give you advice on attending and attend with you. If the meeting successfully addresses the GMC concerns this can mean the end of the investigation and avoid MPTS referral and hearing. The GMC will not immediately provide a decision at the end of the meeting and it forms part of the Investigation, albeit they do not take notes it is still not an ‘off the record’ conversation. Attendance at the meeting is not compulsory and the GMC do not make an adverse inference if you choose not to attend.