Reference numbers for AAs and PAs

The GMC has announced how it will provide a clear distinction between the professions it regulates by issuing a new prefix for AAs and PAs.

7 March 2024

The capital letter A will be the prefix the General Medical Council (GMC) will use before an associate's reference number for both physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AAs), once regulation comes into effect later this year.

In December, the GMC announced the reference numbers for AAs and PAs would have a prefix to differentiate it from the reference number for doctors. Reference numbers will have an  A-prefix which will be the same for both PAs and AAs. 

There will be no change to doctors’ GMC reference numbers which will remain a seven-digit number without a prefix.

Una Lane, director of registration and revalidation, GMC said:

‘Using the A-prefix provides a clear distinction between the different professions we will regulate. In addition to the prefix, we’ll also make sure we prominently label each profession type on our public-facing registers, and in search functions. This means that in future when patients search our registers it will be very clear whether an individual is a doctor, a PA or an AA.

We’ve listened and have responded to feedback about our approach to regulation, and we will continue to do so. Before arriving at this decision, we explored what other multi-professional regulators do to differentiate professions and we considered the implications for other organisations who use GMC reference numbers in their work too, such as employers.'

Further information on the reference numbers for AAs and PAs following regulation can be found here.