Abstract Objective. To identify GPs' attitudes towards sickness certification. Design. Systematic search and narrative review identifying themes around attitudes towards sickness certification. Results. Eighteen papers were identified for inclusion in the review; these included qualitative, quantitative, and systematic reviews. The papers were predominantly from Scandinavia and the UK. Three themes were identified from the literature: conflict, role responsibility, and barriers to good practice. Conflict was predominantly centred on conflict between GP and patients regarding the need for a certificate, but there was also conflict between all stakeholders. Role responsibility focused on the multiple roles GPs had to fulfil, and barriers to good practice were identified both within and outside the healthcare system. Conclusion. Any potential for changing the certification system needs to focus on reducing the potential for conflict, clarification of the roles of all stakeholders, and improving access to specialist occupational health and rehabilitation services.