The role of genetic counsellors in genomic healthcare in the United Kingdom: a statement by the Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors

A position paper by the AGNC that appeared in the European Journal of Human Genetics
22nd March 2017


In the United Kingdom, genetic counsellors work together with clinical geneticists and clinical scientist colleagues within specialist genetics services, but they also often work in multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) outside of such services. There, they contribute genetic knowledge together with expert understanding of how to communicate genetic information effectively. They can offer education and support to the MDT, while providing management advice for both affected patients and the extended at-risk family members. As genomic technologies are implemented across many disciplines within healthcare, genetic counsellors are playing a key role in enabling non-genetic health professionals learn, understand and integrate genomic data into their practice. They are also involved in curriculum development, workforce planning, research, regulation and policy creation – all with the aim of ensuring a robust evidence base from which to practise, together with clear guidelines on what constitutes competence and good practice. The Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors (AGNC) in The United Kingdom (UK) and Republic of Ireland is committed to supporting genetic counsellors, across all sectors of healthcare and research, as they help deliver genomic medicine for the patient, family and world-class health services.


Middleton A, Marks P, Bruce A... Patch C, et al (2017) The Role of Genetic Counsellors in Genomic Healthcare in the United Kingdom: A Statement by the Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors. European Journal Human Genetics, vol. 25, pp 659–661, March