GMC—main types of sanction
Produced in partnership with Andrew Hockton of Serjeants’ Inn Chambers

The following Corporate Crime practice note produced in partnership with Andrew Hockton of Serjeants’ Inn Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • GMC—main types of sanction
  • No action
  • Undertakings
  • Conditional registration
  • Suspension (up to 18 months, though indefinite in certain circumstances in health-only cases and/or knowledge of English)
  • Erasure
  • Health cases
  • Restoration following erasure

GMC—main types of sanction

No action

The power to take no action following a finding of impairment survives the introduction of the latest edition of the General Medical Council (GMC) and Medical Practitioners Tribunal (MPTS) Sanctions Guidance. It may be appropriate in ‘exceptional circumstances’. The tribunal must identify what the circumstances are, why they are exceptional and how they justify taking no action. An example where no action may be considered is an isolated act of misconduct, serious enough to amount to impairment on public interest grounds, but where there have been full admissions, remediation and insight. See Practice Note: GMC—sanctions.


Undertakings are restrictions on a doctor’s practice or behaviour agreed between the doctor and the GMC. They are likely to be appropriate where:

  1. the doctor has insight that he needs to restrict his practice

  2. a period of retraining and/or supervision is likely to be the most appropriate way of addressing any concerns

  3. the tribunal is satisfied that the doctor will comply with them and the doctor has the potential for remediation

The tribunal must be satisfied that the undertakings are sufficient to protect patients and the public interest and the doctor must agree to disclose them (except those relating to health) to, among others, employers and prospective employers. See Practice Note: GMC—sanctions for more information on sanctions which can be imposed by a Medical Practitioners Tribunal.


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