Fitness to Practise

Fitness to Practise

As a medical student and as a doctor, you will meet patients who may be distressed and vulnerable. At all times medical students and doctors must behave with utmost integrity and do nothing to diminish the trust placed in them by patients and their relatives.

By awarding the MBChB degree, the University is stating that the graduate is fit to practise as a doctor. The University, therefore, has a duty to ensure that medical graduates meet the high standards laid down by the General Medical Council (GMC) in its guidance to the medical profession - Achieving Good Medical Practice. The University also has a duty to ensure that no member of the public is harmed as a result of taking part in the teaching of medical students. If your conduct were to fall below the standard that is expected of you by the public, the University and the GMC, the University would have the right to terminate your studies.

You must declare in writing to the Lead for Admissions any matter that might reasonably be considered to have implications for your fitness to practise. This might include (but is not restricted to) previous or current civil or criminal legal proceedings; if you are or have been subject to disciplinary procedures connected to prior academic studies or employment; if you have previously been the subject of Fitness to Practise procedures in any context and any such disclosure may lead to appropriate investigation processes. If you are unsure about whether or not you should make a declaration then you should contact the medical admissions team.


If you do not disclose a matter that could reasonably be considered to be of relevance to your future fitness to practise at the time of admission, this may be detrimental and in itself impact on your Fitness to Practise.


We welcome applications from students with disabilities and health conditions (both physical and mental). A disability or a health condition need not be a bar to becoming a doctor if the student can meet the outcomes set out in the GMCs Outcomes for Graduates. However, it is important that disabilities and health conditions are declared so that any reasonable adjustments required during the application process and during course are put in place.

Note that dyslexia falls into the disability category as mistakes in prescribing can have serious results if dyslexia is not declared and if protective measures are not in place. Independent assessment of dyslexia is therefore important. 

The application for admission provides applicants with the opportunity to disclose a disability and the University of Aberdeen encourages early disclosure. Early disclosure enables the University to work with you to ensure that appropriate support systems are in place during the admissions process and during your studies.

The University’s Disability Advisers are the main point of contact for discussing any requirements you may have. They are based in the Students’ Union Building (Top Floor), Elphinstone Road, in the Student Advice and Support Office, Student Support Services. If you think it would be helpful, you are welcome to contact a Disability Adviser for a confidential discussion on your application. More information can be found on our web pages at or by email: 

Detailed consideration of individual cases is only possible by referral to Occupational Health for a full assessment. This is undertaken separately from the selection process and only once a provisional offer of admission has been made and accepted.

In exceptional circumstances, admission to medical school may be refused and a provisional offer withdrawn on grounds of fitness to practise. The General Medical Council has made recommendations (Gateways to the professions and Supporting medical students with mental health conditions) concerning Student Health and Conduct. Medical Schools should not admit students who would not be able to meet the outcomes set out in Outcomes for Graduates, even with reasonable adjustments in place.


All applicants must declare criminal offences on the application form. Any declaration will be further explored and further details will be required.

All entrants to the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutriton must join the Disclosure Scotland PVG (Protection of Vulnerable Groups) Scheme. Applicants who accept an offer of admission to Medicine in Aberdeen will be contacted prior to the start of term and guided through the process of application through Disclosure Scotland for this criminal record check. Non-UK domiciled entrants will be required to supply the university with equivalent certification from their home government. This documentation must be received as soon as possible to allow consideration of the individual circumstances by the University prior to the commencement of studies. 

Not all convictions will result in being barred from the profession. Should potential applicants have uncertainty about a declaration, the Admissions Office will be able to offer advice about a future application to Aberdeen

Applicants with serious criminal convictions may be refused entry on grounds of fitness to practise. Failure to declare information, which directly relates to your Fitness to Practise will result in the termination of your course.

Occupational Health

Occupational Health wish to know about any disabilities or health conditions that may affect students in their training so that, where appropriate, advice can be given to the School of any support needs students may have and how these can be provided for. Information is also required about conditions which could pose risk to patients so that these can be assessed. Consideration can then be given to how any risk can be avoided, whilst assistance is provided to help students successfully complete the course. This can be achieved with most health problems and disabilities, even if substantial.

As a potential future doctor, you have a duty to provide relevant information to the school's medical advisers, NHS Grampian Occupational Health Service. Failure to disclose information about a physical or mental health problem that could affect patient safety would be a breach of this duty and could result in disciplinary action. All medical and sensitive personal information you provide will be held in confidence by NHS Grampian Occupational Health Service. The school will only be informed of the effects of a health problem or disability, if relevant to your educational needs or patient safety, and of recommendations on support or adjustments that could be of assistance to you.

Applicants who are made an offer will be asked to complete a health questionnaire. Only the questionnaires of applicants who ultimately take up a place will be reviewed by Occupational Health. 

Health Policy

The University is mindful of its overriding duty of care for the public with whom medical students are in close contact.  We therefore follow national guidelines on blood borne virus infections and tuberculosis in undergraduate medical students, which are very similar to those that apply to healthcare workers.

 For more details please see the attached documents

All new students must undergo standard health clearance which requires evidence of immunisation against (or immunity to) diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps and rubella.

In addition the Occupational Health Service will arrange for blood samples to be taken to test for Varicella (chickenpox), Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV antibodies or antigens and Tuberculosis screening as appropriate. New medical students do not need to arrange to be tested for and/or immunised against these disease by their local General Practitioner before commencing their studies.

For your own protection and that of your future patients, you are advised to commence a schedule of Hepatitis B immunisation. Where indicated additional immunisations may also be offered including MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella), Varicella and BCG (Tuberculosis).

In the rare circumstance that a student is shown to carry the Hepatitis B or C virus or HIV, he or she will be referred to the Occupational Health Service for confidential advice, counselling and treatment if indicated. This does not mean that he or she cannot train to be a doctor but there may be restrictions on the student’s clinical training and on his or her medical practice following qualification. In particular there are likely to be restrictions on his or her ability to perform what are termed exposure prone procedures (EPP). EPP refers to procedures where there is a risk that injury to the worker may result in exposure of the patient's open tissues to the blood of the worker. Surgery is an example of an exposure prone procedure.

Regulatory Bodies

Admission will be subject to satisfactory review of those applicants registered with professional regulatory bodies. Applicants must declare any regulatory or professional issues that have been upheld or are ongoing.


If you are unsure about whether or not you should make a declaration then you should contact the medical admissions team.

If you do not disclose a matter that could reasonably be considered to be of relevance to your future fitness to practise at the time of admission, this may be detrimental and in itself impact on your Fitness to Practise.