The GMC has started a recruitment campaign in a bid to find a successor to chair Professor Sir Terence Stephenson.
Professor Stephenson is serving a fixed four-year term in the post which is due to finish later this year.
Interested applicants, both lay and medical candidates, can apply for the role until 9 May, the GMC said.
The successful candidate will be recommended by a panel made up of two GMC council members and three independent members, and ultimately selected by the GMC’s privy council.
The chair’s role is to lead the GMC’s council and head up council meetings. They should also ‘act as an ambassador’ for the GMC, and engage with ministers, medical profession leads and patient groups across the UK.
Professor Stephenson made headlines within the first month of taking on the role as GMC chair in 2015, when he suggested that doctors should expect GMC investigations and build up resilience to them similar to soldiers serving ‘in Afghanistan’.
More recently, Professor Stephenson said he is ‘extremely sorry’ for the distress caused to the medical profession after the regulator went to High Court to strike off junior doctor Hadiza Bawa-Garba.
Professor Stephenson said the new chair will ‘play a vital role in driving forward our new strategy, which shifts the emphasis of our work from acting when things have gone wrong to continued support for all doctors in the delivery of the highest standards of care’.
He added: ‘Serving as the GMC’s chair has been an enormous privilege and a great challenge for me. I am extremely proud of what we have achieved during my time as chair. But there is plenty more to do and the GMC is continually striving to improve.
‘There is no doubt that my successor will be joining the GMC at a critical point in time for the medical profession, in systems under pressure. We are looking for someone with high personal credibility, strong diplomatic skills and the ability to build and manage effective relationships.’
Professor Stephenson studied medicine at Oxford Medical School and still practices paediatric medicine and paediatric emergencies.