New professional standards for doctors now in place

The General Medical Council (GMC) has published the latest version of its Good Medical Practice guide.

30 January 2024

New professional standards for doctors, developed to meet the modern demands of medicine and drive culture change, come into effect from today, 30 January 2024.

The updated version of the GMC's Good Medical Practice, details the principles, values and standards expected of doctors. 

It takes effect after a five-month familiarisation period, following its publication last August.

The GMC carried out its biggest ever consultation process, gathering feedback from thousands of medical professionals, patients, and others supporting the UK’s health services to make sure the changes were a shared agreement on what good practice looks like.

Respondents supported a renewed emphasis on promoting positive workplace cultures, where doctors are supported to address bullying, discrimination and harassment.

Updates have been made in five key areas: 

  • creating respectful, fair and compassionate workplaces
  • promoting patient centred care
  • helping to tackle discrimination
  • championing fair and inclusive leadership
  • supporting continuity of care and safe delegation.

Charlie Massey, Chief Executive, GMC, said:

"Good Medical Practice is the most important document we publish, and the feedback we’ve received is clear: positive culture is a golden thread running throughout. By focusing on compassionate, fair workplaces where people feel empowered to speak up, we lay a solid foundation for teamwork and ultimately, safer care for patients."

The updated standards are available to read on the GMC's website.

The GMC has also refreshed and updated its more detailed guidance, which provides further support for doctors on particular topics, such as using social media, maintaining professional and personal boundaries, and delegation and referral.