The GMC has said it will begin the process of appointing a successor ‘shortly’ following Mr Dickson’s announcement that he will step down after seven years in the post.
Former BBC journalist Mr Dickson was appointed GMC chief executive in January 2009. He was chief executive of the King’s Fund think tank between 2004 and 2009.
Mr Dickson said he was ‘incredibly proud’ of what the GMC had achieved in recent years, promising that there would be ‘no loss of momentum’ in his final year in the role, which will see him ‘taking forward’ revalidation, speeding up fitness to practise procedures and pressing for changes to ‘out of date’ legal frameworks.
Announcing the decision, he said: ‘By the end of 2016 I will have served seven years and I think this will be the right moment for me and the GMC to hand over the reins so that there is an orderly transition in senior responsibilities.
‘It will enable [GMC chairman] Terence Stephenson to appoint a new chief executive and registrar who will be well established when Terence himself finishes his term at the end of 2018.
‘For now though, I am concentrating on what is going to be an exceptionally busy and challenging year, working with a profession that is under even greater strain than usual, and with healthcare systems across the UK that are struggling with additional demand and limited resources.
‘We have a full and challenging programme ahead, and I will be working closely with the dedicated and committed team here, and with our external partners, to make sure it is delivered.’