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Privileges and duties of doctors

When you register with a licence to practise in the UK, you are permitted to carry out certain activities, often referred to as privileges. 

These include but are not restricted to:

  • work as a physician, surgeon or other medical officer
  • prescribe medicines
  • sign death certificates.

You can’t work as a doctor with these privileges if you don’t have a licence.  You also have a duty to comply with Good Medical Practice, even if you don’t have a licence.

Employers may require you to be registered with a licence to practise, even where activities fall outside of the privileges mentioned above.

If you’re unclear whether you need a licence, you should always seek advice from:

It is important to remember it is a criminal offence in the UK for a doctor to give the impression they hold registration or a licence if they don’t. Always be clear about your status on the register.

Read more about the licence to practise.

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