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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

The Regulation of Learning


The overarching body that governs medical education is the GMC which has the statutory function of regulating all stages of doctors' training and professional development in the UK, promoting high standards in medicine and ensuring that medical education and training reflects the needs of patients, the service, students and trainees.


The GMC expects that all qualified doctors will maintain their CPD so that they are fit to practise throughout their professional lives. These values are enshrined in the GMC’s Good Medical Practice guidance (2006), which is soon to be revised.


So while the GMC is intimately involved with undergraduate education and postgraduate training, once psychiatrists are out of these stages the professional standards for their practice are governed by criteria set by the Royal College of Psychiatrists although the GMC does retain ultimate responsibility for their regulation. These standards are laid out in the College’s Good Psychiatric Practice (CR 154), which is closely aligned to the GMC guidance. In establishing these gold standard guidances, the GMC and the College have set out a clear path on what it takes to be a good doctor and a good psychiatrist, whatever the grade of the medical practitioner.

The regulatory standards are firmly embedded in the legislation on revalidation of all doctors, with a focus ion affirming and reaffirming clinical practice, yearly appraisals to establish this, and a firm emphasis on CPD.


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