• Before any sanction is considered the GMC or MPTS must first be satisfied that a doctor’s fitness to practise is currently impaired. This is the threshold for a GMC investigation. The GMC will not entertain minor concerns such as those a doctor can reflect upon with their responsible officer or as part of their revalidation.

  • If there is no impairment then a tribunal cannot impose a sanction, though they can and should consider whether a Warning should be issued where a doctor significantly departs from Good Medical Practice.
  • If is found that fitness to practise has been impaired and action needs to be taken with a sanction imposed, a doctor may receive a Warning, accept Undertakings, have Conditions imposed on their licence to practice, be suspended from practice or face Erasure from Register in the most serious of cases.

  • It is important to note that the GMC cannot itself erase a doctor from the register. They do have the power to give warnings or agree undertakings but if the seriousness of the allegations are such that erasure is in prospect then the GMC should refer the case to the MPTS for a MPT hearing.
  • It is not the primary purpose of sanctions to punish doctors. Though they may be punitive, the ostensible purposes of sanctions are to protect the public, maintain confidence in the profession and maintain standards in the profession.
  • When assessing sanction, the Tribunal should start by considering the least restrictive and act proportionately. The aggravating and mitigating factors must also be considered.