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Overview of Postgraduate Qualifications

postgraduate qualifications

Overview of Postgraduate Qualifications 

As part of the GMC registration process the Council requires all Doctors to have sufficient knowledge and skills to receive a licence to practise in the UK. There are various routes to evidence this. The first route and the route taken by most junior Doctors, who are yet to specialise in a field, is the PLAB exam. Alternatively, the second route is to hold a GMC approved postgraduate qualification. This route is typically aimed at senior Doctors who have been practicing within a specialism for numerous years.

The GMC website provides a comprehensive list of all approved international and national postgraduate qualifications which will be sufficient to support the knowledge and skills criteria.

The GMC only offers an approved list of postgraduate qualifications and does not accept all qualifications from across the globe because they must ensure that the training is closely aligned with UK medical training. Another requirement set by the Council is that your approved postgraduate qualification must have been attained within the last three years or you may need to provide additional evidence of your recent  practise via a GEN2 form which can be found here.

Although the PLAB exam is aimed towards junior Doctors yet to specialise – if you are a senior Doctor, waiting to take your Royal College exam (e.g. FRCR) due to over-subscription and you are looking to move to the UK quickly then it may be appropriate for you to use the PLAB route. To use FRCR as an example, the Royal College of Radiologists currently advises that waiting times for the FRCR Part 2b exam via the international ballot can be up to 24 months. It is useful to note that entry to the GMC registration via PLAB for senior Doctors, who have years of specialising, does not mean you cannot practice your specialism in the UK or that you would have to start your training again as a junior Doctor.

Below is a duplicate of the GMC approved overseas postgraduate qualification table. If your postgraduate qualification is not stated on the list below then unfortunately it will not satisfy the knowledge and skills criteria and therefore your only other alternative is to take the PLAB exam (if you are not joining via an MTI post or direct sponsorship from an approved hospital).

Country

Awarding Body

Postgraduate Qualification

America

American Board of Pediatrics (ABP)

Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics – General Pediatrics
American Board of Anaesthesiology Certificate of the American Board of Anaesthesiology
The American Board of Radiology The American Board of Radiology diagnostic radiology examination
Australia / New Zealand Royal Australasian College of Physicians FRACP Adult medicine or evidence of three years of basic training (PREP) + achievement of RACP written and clinical examinations

 

OR

 

FRACP Paediatrics or evidence of 3 years of basic training (PREP) + achievement of RACP written and clinical examinations.

 

Australia / New Zealand The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists Fellowship of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (FRANZCR) (Clinical Radiology)
Bangladesh Bangladesh College of Physicians Fellowship in Anaesthesia or Anaesthesiology awarded since July 1999
Canada The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada – diagnostic radiology examination
Europe European Academy of Anaesthesiology or European Society of Anaesthesiology European Diploma in Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care
Hong Kong Hong Kong College of Physicians Membership of the Hong Kong College of Physicians
Ireland Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland MRCS (collegiate) examination

MRCSI (intercollegiate) examination

Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland

Fellowship of the Faculty or the College of Anaesthetists of the Royal

College of Surgeons in Ireland

College of Anaesthetists of Ireland Fellowship of the Faculty or the College of Anaesthetists [of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Royal College of Physicians in Ireland MRCP Medicine (Medicine of Childhood)
Malaysia Ministry of Health Master of Medicine (MMED) Malaysia with MRCP(UK) awarded since 1/7/2010

This must include 4 years clinical experience (required to complete MMED) plus 2 years of training

Pakistan College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan FCPS Paediatrics Pakistan
College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan Fellowship in Anaesthesiology awarded since 1998
Singapore National University of Singapore Master of Medicine (Paediatrics)
National University of Singapore Master of Medicine (Internal Medicine) including MRCP (UK)
Joint Committee on Specialist Training Singapore Master of Medicine (MMED) Singapore plus MRCP (UK) awarded since 1st July 2010
South Africa College of Anaesthetists of South Africa Fellowship of the College of Anaesthetists of South Africa – FCA (SA)
Colleges of Medicine of South Africa Fellowship of the College of Radiologists of SA FC Rad Diag (SA) – Diag Rad awarded after 1st October 2013
Sri Lanka University of Colombo, Sri Lanka Doctor of Medicine or MD, (Anaesthesiology)
Doctor of Medicine or MD, (Obstetrics and Gynaecology)
Doctor of Medicine or MD, (Paediatrics)
Doctor of Medicine or MD, (medicine) awarded after January 2017
West Africa West African College of Physicians Fellowship of the West African College of Physicians (Paediatrics)

West Indies

University of West Indies

Doctor of Medicine (Anaesthesia) awarded since September 2003

(Course title changed to Doctor of Medicine (Anaesthesia and Intensive Care)).

Table Sourced from: General Medical Council (2018). Acceptable Postgraduate Qualifications. Available at: https://goo.gl/LJ4fQs [Accessed 13th March 2018].

Similar to overseas postgraduate qualifications, the GMC also provide an approved list of national postgraduate qualifications which will satisfy the knowledge and skills criteria in order to complete your GMC registration.

These qualifications are listed below:

Awarding Body Qualification
Royal College of Emergency Medicine Membership of the College of Emergency Medicine (MCEM/MRCEM)
Royal College of Anaesthetists Primary FRCA Examination
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Membership of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (MRCOG)
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Membership of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Royal College of Pathologists Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath) by examination only
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (FRCS Glasgow Ophthalmology)
Royal College of Physicians of London

Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

Membership of the Royal College of Physicians MRCP (UK)

Royal College of Psychiatrists Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (MRCPsych)
Royal College of Psychiatrists Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (MRCPsych)
Royal College of Radiologists Fellowship of the Royal College of Radiologists (FRCR)
Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (MRCS Ed Ophthalmology)

Royal College of Surgeons of England

or

Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

or

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

Any of the following:

·         Intercollegiate Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS)

·         Intercollegiate Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons – MRCS (ENT)

·         Collegiate Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS)

·   Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (following examination) (FRCS)

Table Sourced from: General Medical Council (2018). Acceptable Postgraduate Qualifications. Available at: https://goo.gl/LJ4fQs [Accessed 13th March 2018].

If you would like further details on GMC registration and what relocation routes are available for IMG’s then take a look at our GMC registration article found here.

And if you think the move is for you then head over to our jobs board to see what opportunities are available and then email your CV to apply@bdiresourcing.com.

18 thoughts on “Overview of Postgraduate Qualifications

  • thank you for the valuable information.
    But I have two questions, first: is MSc in diabetes management from the University of South Wales is accepted postgraduate qualification?
    Second: how as international physician can join the MTI?

    Regards,

    • Hi there,

      Yes, The GMC does recognise the European Diploma in Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care as an approved postgraduate qualification.
      Our Anaesthetist Specialist Elliott is going to directly contact you.

      Thanks for your question!

  • Hi, Is SCE in Gastroenterology is recognised as post graduate qualification for possible GMC registration? thanks.

    • Hi Doctor,

      Thank you for your message.
      Yes, the Membership of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom states that their globally recognised Specialty Certificate Examinations (SCEs) offer physicians a postgraduate qualification which demonstrates to prospective employers achievement of a standard required of UK specialist trainees.

  • Hi I have done European Board in otolaryngology Head and Neck surgery Fellowship. Is it recognized by the GMC

    • Hi Doctor,

      Yes this qualification is recognised by the GMC as it was attained in a European institution.
      Please email our Surgery Specialist Nimrit at nimrit@bdiresourcing.com if you would like guidance on relocating to the UK.

      Thanks

    • Hi Doctor,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Did you complete your primary medical qualification in Ireland? If so there may be an accepted route to GMC registration with your postgraduate qualification.

      However, if you are an IMG then unfortunately your postgraduate qualification MRCPI Obstetrics & Gynaecology is not accepted by the GMC at this given time.

      Thanks,

      BDI Resourcing

  • Good day, it’s not clear if MRCPI (medicine) is accepted as it also states medicine of childhood. I graduated outside the Ireland but completed MRCPI (medicine and not peds), would I be able to register.
    Thank you

  • I have Royal college of surgeon of Ireland MRCS (collegiate examination).which is postgraduate recognized in UK.but my primary medical diploma from sudan is verified through Epic.is that ok to start registration process or still I need English language test as Ilets or Ote,to start process of registration.

    • Hi Dr Musabali,

      Thank you for your comment.

      The GMC have a criteria for overseas qualifications so please visit their website to ensure your qualification meets it: https://goo.gl/p4Qtvu

      And then from the 11th June the GMC require you to have your primary medical qualification independently verified before registration can be granted.

      Please see our article on this GMG change for more information: https://goo.gl/xzdEjv

      To be granted GMC Registration you will need to have the following:
      1. Recognised primary medical qualifications
      2. English language capability – IELTS/OET
      3. Registration and licensing history
      4. Certificates of Good Standing
      5. Knowledge and Skills – PLAB/Accepted Postgraduate Qualification
      6. ID Check

      So yes, you will have to have IELTS or OET before being granted registration.

      Let us know if we can advise you in any other way!

      Thanks,

      BDI Resourcing

  • I have a question.
    Can someone with FCPS internal medicine (Pakistan) along with IELTS have a chance of getting into a postgraduate fellowship program.
    Any route?

    • Hello Arslan,

      Thank you for your comment.

      You should note that after you have finished postgraduate training does not guarantee a fellowship position.

      The best fellowships are in high demand and attract trainees from all over the world.
      Although your references and contacts can help, having a robust CV in terms of publications and presentations is perhaps the most important factor that can tip the balance in your favour.

      Good luck! And let us know if you have any further questions.

      Thanks,

      BDI Resourcing

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