Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

In a significant step forward for the physician associate  profession, the legislation needed to bring PAs into statutory regulation has now received Royal Assent.

The Anaesthesia Associates and Physician Associates Order 2024,  known as the AAPAO 2024, received Royal Assent on Wednesday, March 13th. This formal legislative act paves the way for statutory regulation of PAs and AAs by the General Medical Council in the United Kingdom.

While the Order has become law, there will be further stages to take note of. Key provisions will be implemented in stages in the coming months. In the coming months, the GMC will hold consultations to determine the regulations governing PA registration, professional conduct, and education. These consultations will include opportunities for public participation, allowing individuals to submit feedback on the proposed framework.

The GMC will gain the legal authority to establish a dedicated register for PAs on December 13th, 2024.

The most impactful change will occur in December 2026. This is when the title “physician associate” will become protected by law. This means that practicing as a PA will require mandatory registration with the GMC. Individuals who fail to register by the deadline will be unable to legally use the title of physician associate.

The Faculty of Physician Associates (FPA) will provide comprehensive guidance to support members in their responses to the GMC consultations. This guidance will be available in the weeks following the launch of the consultation process.

Royal Assent for the AAPAO 2024 legislation represents a major milestone for the PA profession, fostering increased public trust and recognition for PAs as vital members of the healthcare team.

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