Physician Associate

Physician associates (PAs) are healthcare professionals who work as part of a multidisciplinary team under the supervision of a named senior doctor (a General Medical Council (GMC)-registered consultant or GP). While they are not medical doctors, PAs can assess, diagnose, and treat patients in primary, secondary and community care environments within their scope of practice.

PAs add to the breadth of skills within multidisciplinary teams, to help meet the needs of patients and enable more care to be delivered in clinical settings and have been part of the healthcare workforce for 20 years in the UK.

In July 2019, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), together with the four UK governments, announced that the General Medical Council (GMC) was the chosen regulator of physician associates. Following a DSHC public consultation earlier this year, regulation for PAs from the GMC is now underway, we expect the PA profession to be regulated by the end of 2024.

For more information on the PA role from NHSE click here

What's happening



Universities are currently developing PA Level 7 apprenticeship programmes. For more info, visit our Apprenticeships page

Guidance for continuing professional development (CPD) for physician associates

From 1 April 2024, all PAs will be required to start logging their CPD through the FPA ePortfolio. See more here.


Please see below information with regard to the PA preceptorship programme and funding. 

L&SC PCTH offers a 2-year preceptorship programme for PA’s with allocated mentors/coaches.
Please see PA Preceptorship-Handbook here

Please contact [email protected] for further information.

Please find below the updated application form and guidance to access NHSE (formerly HEE)  funding of a preceptorship year for Physician Associates. There have been some changes to the criteria and guidance including the offer being open to more PAs than in previous years.

If practices would like to engage with the L&SC PCTH 2-year Preceptorship offer there will be a cost, to the practice, of £1077.62 for this package. 

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with [email protected].

GP and PA Guide

 If you cannot view the below PDF, you can open or download it here: GP and Physician Associate Guide

FPA Newly Qualified Guide

View the guide below. Or access and download here.

Find out more

About Physician Associates


To qualify as a PA in the UK, students must complete either:

A postgraduate (level 7, ie a masters level) degree in Physician Associate studies OR Integrated undergraduate masters degree, this is currently offered at UCLan and is the first of its kind in the UK

Both programmes consist of theoretical learning in medical sciences, pharmacology, clinical reasoning, as well as clinical placement experience. To enter post graduate PA training, individuals must be either an existing registered healthcare professional or a graduate with a biomedical science or biological/life science degree.

All programmes in the UK are run in accordance with the Competency and Curriculum Framework developed by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the Royal College of General Practitioners. Once they have completed a PA degree programme, all candidates must pass the PA National Examination, which is delivered by the RCP Assessment Unit, to be able to register as a PA in the UK.

Is there any recruitment funding available to Primary Care Networks?

This is a role that is included in the Additional Roles Recruitment Scheme from April 2021. Primary Care Networks may therefore be able to access funding via the CCG to cover salary and on-costs. Find out more about the scheme and workforce planning by contacting the GP  Forward View Leads who work with the CCG’s Primary Care Team and viewing information in the ‘Opportunities’ section, more information/funding above.

What's happening

Resources & Videos

There’s more information about the PA role on the Health Careers website.

James Catton is a qualified and experienced PA with his own channel called ‘The Physician Associate podcast.’  You can hear a variety of news and contributor views covering topics such as GMC regulation, supervision of PAs in primary care and preceptorship years.


Meet Our Team

Amy Howarth

Primary Care Clinical Advisor
Physician Associate

[email protected]