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 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.

What's happening



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].

FPA Newly Qualified Guide

View the guide below. Or access and download here.


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

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About Physician Associates


In order to qualify as a PA in the UK, students must complete a postgraduate (level 7, ie a masters level) degree in Physician Associate studies, consisting of theoretical learning in medical sciences, pharmacology, clinical reasoning, as well as clinical placement experience. To enter 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 by referring to the information in the links below:

Health Education England offers a £5,000 preceptorship allowance paid to employers to support the supervision and educational needs for newly qualified physician associates working in primary care (see below).

What's happening

Resources & Videos

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.

The HEE Northwest MAPs team have recently completed a training needs analysis region to explore post-qualification education, training and continuing professional development needs and opportunities for PAs across the north west. All reports are available here:  PA TNA final reports. This also includes an employer resource pack as one the actions from the report.
Contact [email protected] if you have any questions

If you’re a GP or practice manager, you’ll find a dedicated general practice employers page with access to local contacts and FAQs and free resources on the Faculty of Physician Associates

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


Meet Our Team

Amy Howarth

Primary Care Clinical Advisor
Physician Associate

[email protected]