Become a medical examiner

Medical examiners are a core part of the process of investigating patient deaths across the NHS in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar. To become a medical examiner, you first need to ensure you have the right knowledge and qualifications, before completing both online and face-to-face training.

College membership for medical examiners

The College would like to welcome new medical examiners as members of the College. As part of their membership they will be awarded the use of the new post nominals ‘RCPathME’ while they remain members. Find out more about medical examiner membership.

Who can be a medical examiner? 

You can apply to become a medical examiner if you: 

  • have at least 5 years’ experience as a fully registered medical practitioner
  • are currently practising in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar 
  • hold a licence to practise with the GMC. 

In addition, you’ll need to demonstrate: 

  • up-to-date knowledge of medical conditions, treatments and causes of death
  • knowledge of relevant legislation and processes
  • knowledge of local and national clinical governance systems
  • strong communication skills that enable them to deliver their role in a compassionate, professional and discreet manner
  • ability to work in a multidisciplinary team.

The majority of current medical examiners are hospital consultants and GPs. Experienced SAS doctors and senior trainees are also eligible to work as medical examiners, subject to the requirements of their employing organisation. Medical examiners should have at least 5 years post-qualification experience before taking on the role. While completion of training is mandatory for all medical examiners, there is no automatic entitlement to work as an medical examiner after completing the training. Most organisations will appoint following competitive interviews to identify the individuals best suited to providing the service locally. 

National and regional contacts


National Medical Examiner’s office contacts:

Regional medical examiner offices:

East of England



North East and Yorkshire

North West

South East

South West


Learn more about medical examiner training

Training as a medical examiner involves both online e-learning and face-to-face training.