Earlier this year, The Department of Health and Social Care asked the GMC to take on the regulation of medical associate professionals (MAPs).

Here, Una Lane, Director of Registration and Revalidation, provides an update on what this means for the GMC and how you can get involved.

It’s been four months since the GMC was asked to be the regulator for physician associates and anaesthesia associates and we’re well under way with our planning.

I’ve been getting out to meet practitioners and representative groups, including at the Faculty of Physician Associates’ conference in London. I’m really heartened by the feedback we’ve received about the benefits of regulation and we’re looking forward to welcoming PAs and AAs on board.

Already there are so many frontline champions for these growing professions, fostering a strong sense of community and supportive spirit. Both roles have huge potential to strengthen the NHS workforce and alleviate pressure on other healthcare workers. Most importantly, their work will have a real impact on the dozens of patients they meet and care for every day.

At the moment we’re running a scoping phase to give the Department for Health and Social Care a costed plan for getting the regulatory work properly started.

That will be based on a set of principles that will underpin a proportionate approach to regulating where associates will be treated with the same esteem accorded to our other registrants. We want to involve you in how we develop our approach, which we’re clear should mean no cross-subsidisation from doctors’ fees.

This is the first time in our 161-year history that we’ve taken on the regulation of new professions, so we’ll need to introduce some new processes. This isn’t going to be a cut and paste approach, but we won’t reinvent the wheel unnecessarily. Where processes and guidance work for both doctors and associates, we will apply that consistently.

When the time comes, registering with the GMC will be much easier for PAs and AAs who are already on the voluntary registers. So, I’d encourage all practising associates to join their voluntary register as soon as they can.

I really want us to work closely with physician associates and anaesthesia associates and those who train them, work with them or are cared for by them. We’re keen to hear your views and meet with you – so whatever your interest in this work, please do get in touch with us by completing our email signup form.