Fitness to Practise

Declaring Concerns

If you have been named in a complaint, significant event (including SIRIs) or other investigation you must declare your involvement, however great or small, on the Form R. You will need to indicate the nature of the event, whether it has been resolved and where we can find your reflection e.g. the specific location in your e-portfolio. If you are uncertain of whether you need to declare something, don’t be afraid to include this on the Form R. It is much better to ‘over-share’ as failure to declare something significant may indicate a probity issue.

Please get in touch if you are unsure, we are here to help

Types of GMC investigations and referrals

Patient complaints – patients or their relatives will sometimes complain about a doctor directly to the GMC and a letter from the GMC may arrive unexpectedly. In this situation we advise trainees to speak to their ES and the Trust for further guidance as well as informing us.

Self Referral – there are a number of circumstances when doctors may need to refer themselves to the GMC (health concerns, criminal investigations for example). Please read our guide for more detailed information.

RO or Employer Referral – if there have been serious concerns raised about your fitness to practise it may be necessary to make a referral to the GMC. This is quite rare and in nearly all cases you will be made aware of the referral before it is made.

What to tell us about immediately

If the GMC has placed restrictions on your licence to practise (for whatever reason).

If your employer has restricted your practise or removed you from clinical duties as a result of a fitness to practise concern or referred you to the GMC.

If you have been involved in an incident outside of work/training that has or may result in a criminal investigation or charge (please see our Self Referral Guide for more details).

In many cases we will be notified of high level concerns through other routes (e.g. by the GMC or the Director of Medical Education at your Trust) however we also expect trainees to contact us themselves at the earliest opportunity.


If you have been involved in any kind of incident it is really important to get support. Your first port of call should be your Educational Supervisor; they can discuss what has happened and provide guidance on what you need to do next including advising you on reflection.

If you have been called to a Coroner’s hearing or asked to provide a witness statement then the employing organisation should offer you support and guidance on this process. NHSE Education has also produced general guidance for trainees on preparing for a coroner’s hearing.

If you are being investigated by the GMC please also speak to your trade union representative and/or your medical defence organisation.

When appropriate we will liaise with your Educators to ensure that you have been offered and can access the right support for you.

Medic Support – dedicated service for trainees

Within the Thames Valley region trainees have access to Medic Support. This is a free and confidential service offering Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy to help trainees with work-related or personal difficulties.

Email with a phone number you are happy to be contacted on.