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Scotland Deanery

Home of medical and dental excellence

Trainee information

New to working in Scotland?

If you are new to working in healthcare in Scotland, welcome.

While much is similar to the other UK nations, you should be aware that Scotland has a separate judiciary and hence some of the legal terminology and processes will be different.

Education and information sources

The Scotland Deanery have developed a list of resources to help. While you may not need to be aware of all of them at the outset of your training, they will provide you with an accessible reference list to make use of.

NHS Education for Scotland has produced a suite of useful resources to help doctors in managing “Death, Dying and Bereavement”. This can be found within the “Your Development” section of the Scotland Deanery website.  In Scotland the medical certification of death is different and information to help you is included in this training module. There are no cremation forms in Scotland as the death certificate covers this.  You should consider discussion of the cause of death with senior clinicians prior to completion. Important links are:

Medical certification of cause of death

In Scotland the Procurator Fiscal has a similar but not identical role to Coroner (the Procurator Fiscal has a different focus and scope). The principle aim of the Procurator Fiscal is to exclude a criminal act.  Fatal Accident Inquiries (FAI), also have similarities with coroner’s inquests, however there are differences.  Information about Fatal Accident Inquiry.

If you are required to attend an FAI, you will be provided with support through your Health Board and Deanery. 


Some aspects of medical care are dealt with through Scottish Law rather than UK law. This can lead to a difference in terminology:

  1. Information about Procurator Fiscal
  2. Information from MDDUS for Attending Court
  3. Short video by MDU highlighting Coroners Inquests and Fatal Accident Inquiries
  4. Consent: GMC provide information about Consent within which there is reference to the Consent of those with Incapacity. In Scotland this is addressed by the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000.
  5. Duty of Candour applies in Scotland [please note this learning resource will work on most personal computers however some health board firewalls may block it - we are working on solutions for this.]


All doctors are required to comply with GMC Revalidation. Doctors in training are required to complete a self-assessment annually at the time of ARCP.  Scotland has developed and uses an online system for revalidation.  This is called SOAR (Scottish Online Appraisal Resource).  See also Revalidation During Training.

Scottish Government Health Policy

In Scotland, healthcare is devolved and Scottish Government is responsible for Health and Social Care policy.   Current information is published on the public website.

The Chief Medical Officer for Scotland has promoted a vision for healthcare entitled “Realistic Medicine” and this sets the tone for the profession working collaboratively with our patients.

Patient care systems

Your health board will have their own electronic systems for managing patient care. You will be provided with details of these at your health board induction which it is essential that you attend.


Finally we hope you enjoy your training in Scotland and suggest you look at these short films that we have prepared.  If you have any questions about your training or questions about the differences in systems in Scotland, please ask your clinical or educational supervisors or staff in your department.


This page was last updated on: 14.05.2024 at 14.23