• Summary: This article explores the differences in status between General Practitioners (GPs) and social workers in England and explores the ways in which each profession is regulated. • Findings: A brief historical overview of the professionalization of the role of GPs and social workers is used to contextualize and compare the development of the philosophy of regulatory practice that underpins the two professions. In particular, the level of involvement of people who use services is used to examine the similarities and differences in the regulation of the two professions. The perception of the public towards the two professions and interprofessional perceptions are explored. Some of the limitations of the comparative regulatory paradigms are also identified. • Applications : This article concludes with a discussion about the balance of power (or lack of it) within the regulatory framework for GPs and social workers. There has been an increase in more stringent independent regulation of social workers; however, there appears to be less impetus towards an equivalent system of monitoring GPs. Professional bodies and those involved in the registration processes should be mindful of the findings in this article.