Introduction to this document

Letter of consent to medical examination pre-appointment

Use this letter when you need to obtain the consent of a successful job applicant to a medical examination.  Note that the wording set out after the letter should be printed on the reverse of this letter if the medical report will be prepared by the applicant's own GP, or another medical practitioner who is, or has been, responsible for the applicant's clinical care.


When can a medical be a pre-condition to employment?

A medical should only be required where it is necessary for the prospective job. You must ensure that the testing is a necessary and justified measure to:

  • determine whether the applicant is fit or likely to remain fit to carry out the job in question
  • meet any legal requirements for testing; or
  • ascertain eligibility for a pension or insurance scheme.

It is advisable that you make it clear in your recruitment process if any job offer is subject to passing a medical.


Who should perform the medical?

If an occupational health service is not retained, in straightforward cases (for example where the applicant has not disclosed any disability) a GP's medical report may be sufficient. If the applicant has complex problems, is being treated by a consultant, or there is uncertainty about the diagnosis, a specialist's report will be appropriate.

Withdrawing an offer

As a pre-condition to employment, if the medical is not satisfactory you may need to withdraw the offer of employment. However, if an applicant is disabled, make sure that you first consider whether there are any "reasonable adjustments" that can be made to enable the applicant to carry out the job before making this decision. This is a requirement under the Equality Act 2010.

Data protection

We’ve made clear that the consent request here doesn’t constitute a request for the applicant’s consent to your processing personal data concerning their health under the UK GDPR. Make sure that you have an additional lawful condition for processing such special category personal data, e.g. the processing is necessary for the purposes of carrying out your obligations or exercising your rights under employment law. It must also be in accordance with an appropriate policy document you have in place, which explains both your procedures for securing compliance with the UK GDPR data protection principles in connection with the processing of such special category personal data and your policies as regards the retention and erasure of such personal data. Make sure your processing is also in accordance with your privacy notice for job applicants. Although your privacy notice will set out how and why personal data will be processed, it’s still advisable to provide privacy information on particular occasions, at the point the personal data is collected, so we’ve covered the purposes of the medical report and the lawful bases for processing it in our letter.