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A Snapshot into.. Blackpool

By Alice Howe
October 19, 2020

Blackpool is a lively seaside town located in the North West of England in the county of Lancashire. It’s known primarily for its beautiful beach, famous Blackpool Tower, and its Illuminations lightshow that takes place on the promenade between August and September every year. A popular location, it has a population of around 139,300. Blackpool also has the benefit of being close to both Liverpool and Manchester whilst having a considerably lower cost of living than either of the cities making it a desirable place to live.   The Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust provides a range of acute services supporting a population of around 1.6 million. The Trust comprises Blackpool Victoria Hospital which is a large busy acute hospital, two smaller community hospitals, three elderly rehabilitation hospitals and the National Artificial Eye Service Unit. The Trust employ approximately 4,000 staff and have around 830 beds across all sites. They are also one of four tertiary cardiac centres in the North West, providing specialist cardiac services to heart patients from Lancashire and South Cumbria.   Facts about Blackpool Blackpool Illuminations first took place in 1879. Thousands of people gathered to watch as eight large electric bulbs were switched on to light the promenade. This annual show now features more than a million bulbs and is an impressive six miles long! Blackpool Illuminations have been switched on by a number of celebrities over the years, the most unusual of them being a famous race horse named Red Rum. The iconic Blackpool Tower is modelled on another familiar landmark…France’s famous Eiffel Tower. Blackpool Tower is an incredible 315 foot tall! It is the most popular seaside resort in the UK, making it both a desirable location to live, and a popular tourist destination. One of the first electric steam railways was built in Blackpool in 1885 and is still running to this day! The world’s biggest stick of rock candy was made by Blackpool confectioners Coronation Rock in 1991. It was 19 feet long and weighed 413.6kg. After London, Blackpool is the second most visited place in Britain.   Cost of living in Blackpool One-Bedroom apartment in the City Centre £467 One-Bedroom apartment outside of City Centre £462 Three-Bedroom apartment in the City Centre £683 Three-Bedroom apartment outside of the City Centre £620   Transportation 1ltr Petrol £1.25 One-Way Public Transport Ticket £2.10 Monthly Public Transport Ticket £54 1km Taxi Journey £1.55   Entertainment Basic dinner out for two in a neighbourhood pub £24 Two tickets to the cinema £16 One month of Gym Membership £29.95 0.5ltr Beer £3.10 0.33ltr Coke/Pepsi £1.12 Cappuccino £2.51   Time it takes to travel to other UK Cities from Blackpool   City Time it Takes to Travel London 4 Hours 43 Minutes Bristol 3 Hours 58 Minutes Cardiff 4 Hours 19 Minutes Manchester 1 Hour 7 minutes Newcastle 5 Hours 55 Minutes Birmingham 2 Hours 18 minutes Liverpool 1 Hour 17 minutes Edinburgh 3 Hours 42 Minutes Leeds 1 Hour 42 Minutes   Education in Blackpool There are 33 primary schools, 8 secondary schools, 3 sixth forms and colleges and a university in Blackpool. Many of the schools have achieved an Ofsted rating of ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.   Things to do in Blackpool Blackpool Tower  One of the most iconic landmarks in Blackpool, it hosts several activities for the whole family to enjoy. If you trek to the top of the tower (don’t worry, they have lifts to the top!) you’ll reach Blackpool Tower Eye, where you can get a breathtaking view of the sea, and of course, Blackpool itself. Blackpool Tower also hosts Blackpool Tower Dungeons, an event exploring the spooky history of Blackpool so that you can learn a little about the old seaside town, a ballroom where regular dances and themed nights take place throughout the year and even a circus, a perfect activity for families!   Blackpool Pleasure Beach A thrilling amusement park with activities for family members of all ages. They have a variety of rides if you’re feeling adventurous, but also host meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters for children, dazzling ice-skating performances in their arena, adventure golf, and a Ripley’s Believe it or Not exhibition featuring strange an unusual collections.   Blackpool Zoo An excellent location for a day out, Blackpool Zoo has over 1000 animals, access for less able visitors, and boasts the best sea lion displays in the UK. They’ve also won and been nominated for multiple tourist awards over the years.   Blackpool Beach One of the main attractions in Blackpool, and a reason tourists flock to the town every summer. As well as enjoying the san, sea and ice cream, they often host shows on the promenade, including the Blackpool Illuminations and have three piers to explore, each with their own host of attractions, rides and eateries to explore. Stanley Park 390 acres, Stanley Park is the perfect location for nature lovers. It is said to be a sophisticated park, featuring some art deco flair, an even an Art Deco café. As well as its beautiful foliage, there is also a boating lake, shuttle train and model village to occupy your time. It’s an excellent location for a relaxing walk or a family day out.   Relocation to Blackpool If you’re an international doctor looking to relocate to Blackpool, or another location in the UK, please email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to relocate to the UK. Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries. Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 40 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS!   References Grand UK Holidays. (2020). 10 things you never knew about Blackpool!. [online] Available at: https://www.grandukholidays.com/travel-blog/post/1-blackpool Visit Blackpool. (2020). Attractions. [online] Available at: https://www.visitblackpool.com/things-to-do/attractions/?page=1&filter=1#search Living, C. and Kingdom, U. (2020). Cost of Living in Blackpool. [online] Numbeo.com. Available at: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Blackpool Travelodge. 2020. 14 Things You Didn't Know About Blackpool. [online] Available at: <https://www.travelodge.co.uk/blog/family-adventures/14-things-you-didnt-know-about-blackpool/> [Accessed 19 October 2020].

NHS Pay Scales explained

By Alice Howe
October 15, 2020

NHS Pay Circulars can be incredibly confusing, especially if you're a Doctor who hasn't worked in the NHS before. This Blog aims to describe the possible pay scales that will most commonly be encountered. First and foremost, the salary scale in use will be pre-determined and set out in the job description. If you don’t have this, then request it and find out which scale the trust intend to use.   The New Junior Doctor Pay Scale (Basic Salary + Rota Uplifts) This pay circular covers the following Grades and there are seperate basic salaries for each:  FY1 FY2 CT1/2 or ST1/2 ST3+ The basic salary covers 40 hours per week however you will then receive ‘uplifts’ according to any evening, night and weekend hours or on-calls that you are asked to do. Each role will carry it’s own rota and the exact breakdown of hours will determine the uplifts. Total Salary = Basic Pay + Additional Hours + Night Rate + Weekend Allowance As you can see, this scale is fair as you are paid according to the hours that you work.   Banding Pay Scale (Basic Salary + Banding) Within this pay scale, basic salary is calculated based on your years of experience at the grade on offer. The Trust are likely to only consider experience relevant to the grade of post on offer (e.g. they won’t recognize internship or junior experience for a registrar level post) and will want to see references or experience certificates to back this up. Banding is usually 1A (50%) or 1B (40%) according to how busy the rota will be. The basic salary is based on 40 hours per week and an uplift of 50% on top of that basic salary will be assigned if the role contains between 40 and 48 hours per week on average, mostly at antisocial hours. Equally, a 40% uplift will be added to the basic if the role contains between 40-48 hours per week but only moderately at antisocial hours. Total Salary = Basic Pay + (% supplement x Basic Bay)   Speciality Doctor Pay Scale This pay scale is relatively simple to calculate as it is based on years of experience. The scale does not acknowledge internship or SHO level work so, whilst some Trusts may consider it, you should expect that thee is normally a discount of four years (FY1, FY2, ST1, ST2). Additional PAs are used to calculate any uplifts on basic salary. A programmed activity (PA) is a 4 hour amount of work so a normal week (40 hours) contains 10 PAs and each additional PA carries a 10% uplift on basic salary (e.g. 48 hours would be denoted as 12 PAs therefore 20% on top of your basic salary) Total Salary = Basic Pay + Additional PA’s   Consultant Pay Scale In exactly the same way as the Speciality Doctor scale, Consultant scales are calculated based on your years of experience. That said, the scale only acknowledges years of experience held as a Consultant.  Again, additional PAs (each PA being worth 4 hours) are used to calculate any additional hours and therefore any uplift on basic salary. A 10 PA contract is basic salary alone and each additional PA carries a 10% uplift on this (e.g. 48 hours would be denoted at 12 PAs therefore 20% on top of basic salary Total Salary – Basic Pay + Additional PA’s    Calculating your Salary To calculate your exact salary, or estimate what your salary may be if working within the NHS, take a look at the latest NHS Pay Circular which outlines the exact salaries corresponding to each year of experience. To do so, click here.  

Overview of FRCEM Intermediate: SJP

By Alice Howe
October 14, 2020

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine offers a series of examinations which can lead to either a Fellowship or a Membership of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (FRCEM).  In today’s post, we are going to explore FRCEM Intermediate Situational Judgment Paper (SJP). This post will provide you with the requirements to sit the exam, its format and the curriculum. How to achieve MRCEM: FRCEM Primary FRCEM Intermediate: SAQ MRCEM Final: OSCE How to achieve FRCEM: FRCEM Primary FRCEM Intermediate: SAQ and Situational Judgement FRCEM Final: Critical Appraisal, Quality Improvement Project, Clinical Short Answer Cost of FRCEM Intermediate SJP:  £200.00 (UK Centres) or £280 (Malaysia) FRCEM Intermediate SJP Format FRCEM Intermediate Situational Judgement Paper (SJP) comprising of a 2 hour paper of 120 single best answer questions (SBAQ). Requirements to sit FRCEM Intermediate SJP You will be eligible to sit FRCEM Intermediate SAQ provided you have met the below requirements: Hold a medical qualification approved by the GMC for the purposes of registration Completed the UK Foundation Programme or equivalent (electronic evidence will be needed at the point of application) Have passed the MRCEM Part A examination OR the FRCEM Primary FRCEM Intermediate SJP Curriculum Patient Focus - 25 Questions  History Taking, The patient as a central focus of care, Prioritisation of patient safety in clinical practice, Team working and patient safety, Infection control, Managing long term conditions and promoting patient self-care, Relationships with patients and communication within a consultation, Breaking bad news Problem Solving - 15 Questions  History Taking,  Decision making and clinical reasoning, Team working and patient safety Decision Making - 15 Questions History Taking, Decision making and clinical reasoning, Team working and patient safety, Managing long term conditions and promoting patient self-care Team Work - 25 Questions  Time and workload management, Prioritisation of patient safety in clinical practice, Team working and patient safety, Managing long term conditions and promoting patient self-care, Relationships with patients and communication within a consultation, Complaints and medical error, Communication with colleagues and cooperation. Time Management - 10 Questions  Time and workload management Self Awareness - 10 Questions  Relationships with patients and communication within a consultation, Personal behaviour Professional Intergrity - 10 Questions  Complaints and medical error, Principles of medical ethics and confidentiality, Legal framework for practice Professional Development - 10 Questions  Teaching and Training, Personal Behaviours  References Rcem.ac.uk. 2020. Regulations & Info Packs. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 October 2020].  

Post Offer Acceptance Checklist

By Isobel Barry
October 14, 2020

Congratulations on receiving your job offer! This blog will explain the six steps required post-offer acceptance about all the documents you need, security clearance and assessments.   1. Identity Checks Verification of your identity is the first check we complete to validate identity. We require candidates to provide one of these two combinations of documents to verify identity and they must be original copies: Two forms of photographic ID from and one document confirming their address One form of photographic ID and two documents confirming their address Each document will be cross referenced with other data supplied as part of the recruitment process and if it doesn’t match, further evidence will be requested until we are fully satisfied.    2. Professional Registration and Qualification Checks All health professionals will have their registration and fitness to practice / licence to practice checked with the relevant regulatory body in line with the role for which they have applied. In this you will provide your GMC certificate and certificate number to be checked. You may also be required to provide your qualification documents such as your MBBS certificate and / or Royal College certificates.   3. Employment History and Reference Checks During this stage we check your CV to ensure there are no employment gaps. If there are any gaps, please account for what you were doing this time, e.g. maternity leave. We obtain detailed information for individual professional reference requests from hospitals you have been registered with in the last three years.   4. Right to Work Checks Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) In this stage you will be required to obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). Once all this information has been sent received and the certificate is issued, you will be able to apply for a Tier 2 Visa. The documents you will need to send are: Passport 2 x Proof of current residential address Police Clearance Certificate Referee details Evidence of your GMC Registration   Tier 2 Visa Application A Tier 2 Visa is now the main immigration route into the UK for skilled workers being employed in the UK. The documents you will need are: Certificate of Sponsorship Tuberculosis Test Clearance Certificate (if applicable) Police Clearing Certificate Proof of English knowledge Original copy of photographic ID Proof of changes of names   Vignette After completing your Tier 2 Visa Application you will be invited to a Biometrics appointment. This will be offered to you after payment for your visa. During your appointment you will have your fingerprints taken and your passport will be sent away to be stamped. Once sent back to you, you will be able to enter the UK.   Biometrics Resident Permit (BRP) As an international doctor on a Tier 2 visa, you will receive a BRP once your application has been approved and your passport is returned with a vignette stamp. Your permit will state your name, date/place of birth, your fingerprints and photographic identification. It will also provide details on your immigration status and whether you have access to public fund. Your BRP card will be able to collect 10 days (up to 60 under current COVID guidelines) after arriving in the UK from a Post Office local to your new trust.   5. Work Health Assessments Work health assessment refers to a variety of processes undertaken by employers to health screen staff to assess whether they are capable and fit to undertake a role. Its primary purpose is to help prevent work-related illnesses, injuries and the spread of disease or infection. After submitting all your documents and your flights are booked, we will ask for your first available date to book an Occupational Health appointment.  You will attend this appointment before starting your new role.   6. Criminal Record Checks A criminal record check relates to the data held about a criminal history. The information included in a criminal record may vary between countries, and even between jurisdictions within the same country. A Police Clearance check will be asked for again at this stage of the process. You must show a Police Clearance Certificate for any country you have lived in longer than 12 months in 10 years. Once this has all been completed, we will organize with the HR department all the information you will need for your induction and first day of work.

Overview of FRCEM Intermediate: SAQ

By Alice Howe
October 14, 2020

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine offers a series of examinations which can lead to either a Fellowship or a Membership of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (FRCEM).  In today’s post, we are going to explore FRCEM Intermediate SAQ. This post will provide you with the requirements to sit the exam, its format, curriculum tested, tips on how to successfully pass and links to some excellent revision resources. How to achieve MRCEM: FRCEM Primary FRCEM Intermediate: SAQ MRCEM Final: OSCE How to achieve FRCEM: FRCEM Primary FRCEM Intermediate: SAQ and Situational Judgement FRCEM Final: Critical Appraisal, Quality Improvement Project, Clinical Short Answer Cost of FRCEM Intermediate SAQ: £305 (UK test centres) or £385 for overseas test centres (Iceland, Malaysia or Oman) FRCEM Intermediate SAQ Format FRCEM Intermediate Short Answer Question (SAQ) Paper comprising of a 3 hour paper of 60, 3 mark questions Requirements to sit FRCEM Intermediate SAQ You will be eligible to sit FRCEM Intermediate SAQ provided you have met the below requirements: Hold a medical qualification approved by the GMC for the purposes of registration Completed the UK Foundation Programme or equivalent (electronic evidence will be needed at the point of application) Have passed the MRCEM Part A examination OR the FRCEM Primary FRCEM Intermediate SAQ Curriculum Common Competences             Clinical examination, therapeutics and safe prescribing, decision making and clinical reasoning, prioritization of patient safety in clinical practice, infection control, managing long-term conditions and promoting patient self-care, health promotion and public health, principles of medical ethics and confidentiality, the legal framework for practice, evidence and guidelines Clinical Presentations             Anaphylaxis, cardio-respiratory arrest, major trauma, septic patient, shocked patient, unconscious patient, abdominal pain, acute back pain, aggressive/disturbed behaviour, blackout/collapse, breathlessness, chest pain, confusion, cough, cyanosis, , dizziness/vertigo, falls, fever, fits, haematemesis, headache, head injury, jaundice, limb pain, neck pain, patient, pain management, painful ear, poisoning, rash, red eye, mental health, wound assessment. Anaesthetic Competences (CT1&2)               Premedical, induction of general , postoperative and recovery room care, management of respiratory and cardiac arrest, control of infection, introduction for emergency surgery, airway management, procedural sedation, transfer medicine, critical incidence Acute Presentations             Major trauma – chest injuries, abdominal trauma, spine, maxillofacial, burns, traumatic limb and joint injuries, testicular pain, urinary retention Practical Procedures             Arterial , peripheral venous cannulation, central venous cannulation, arterial blood gas sampling, lumbar puncture, tap, airway protection, basic and advanced life support, knee aspiration, temporary pacing, reduction of dislocation/fracture, large joint examination, wound management, trauma primary survey, initial assessment of the acutely unwell. Please note, this list is not exhaustive and other areas of Emergency medicine will be tested including Paediatric Emergency Medicine. Please click here for a full list. BDI Resourcing’s Top Tips approaching MRCEM 1. Use a wide range of media to support your learning. This can include books, YouTube videos, podcasts, journals, news articles. 2. Do as many practice papers as possible. This will give you a true indication of gaps in your knowledge. 3. Attend courses! By doing so you will gain invaluable knowledge and skills that will fully equip you to successfully pass your exam. Useful Revision Resources Books FRCEM Intermediate SAQ Revision Notes – Ashis Banerjee FRCEM Intermediate: Short Answer Question – Moussa Issa Online Clinical Cases – RCEM Learning Online Webinars – Bromley Emergency Courses Revision Course – FRCEM Success Courses Bromley, UK FRCEM Intermediate – Bromley Emergency Courses Practice Questions FRCEM Success Royal College of Emergency Medicine Practice Questions References Rcem.ac.uk. (2019). Regulations & Info Packs. ] Available at: https://www.rcem.ac.uk/RCEM/Exams_Training/Exams/Regulations_Info_Packs/RCEM/Exams_Training/Exams/Regulations_Info_Packs.aspx?hkey=bf869f0e-de0b-4464-b82b-77bdece214aa  . (2019). FRCEM Tips - RCEMLearning. ] Available at: https://www.rcemlearning.co.uk/foamed/frcem-tips/  Support Securing an NHS Post If you are an international doctor who needs support securing your first NHS post, including English Language exemption, please email your CV to [email protected] and we can help you. Are you a member of IMG Advisor? By joining our Facebook Group, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional support and the chance to meet other IMGs. Originally Posted: 04/04/2019 Updated: 14/10/2020  

Tier 2 Visa Maintenance Requirement

By Alice Howe
October 13, 2020

What is maintenance? When applying for your Tier 2 Visa, you will use your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) as proof of your right to work in the UK. On every CoS, there is a box to 'certify' maintenance. Your Trust will in most cases tick this box, which means you can apply for your Visa with no additional documentation required. However, if you are outside of the UK applying for a Tier 2 visa, and for some reason your Trust has not ticked maintenance on your CoS, you will be required to prove that you have had personal savings or equivalent to £945 in your bank account for three months at the time your application is made. What about my dependents? Some doctors who apply for a Tier 2 visa wish to bring their dependent family along with them. A dependent family member is: A wife or civil partner Unmarried partner Children under eighteen years of age at the time of your application If your Tier 2 application is successful, your dependents will be entitled to stay in the UK with you for as long as they do not claim any benefits in the UK. To satisfy the maintenance requirement you must show you have £630 in savings for each dependent or that each of your dependents has £630 in savings. Again, the savings must have been in your account for a minimum of three months at the time the application is made. To summarise, you must show that you have £945 for your own maintenance funds and then a further £630 for each dependent you intend to bring. Please note that if your hospital agrees to provide you with maintenance then this will also include your dependents and so there will be no need to evidence their funds. What information do I need to evidence on my bank or building society number? They should clearly show: Your name The account number The date of your statement The financial institution’s name and logo Transactions covering the 90-day period That there are enough funds present in the account You must evidence your most recent statement and it must be dated within 31 days. Please note the Border Agency will not accept a document that shows the funds on 1 day only. Why has my hospital not ticked the maintenance box on my CoS? If your hospital has agreed to provide you with maintenance and they have not checked the box on your CoS application – do not worry. This is usually an error and can be fixed by adding an additional sponsor note, meaning your Tier 2 visa application will not be affected. If you are an IMG who is interested in relocating to the UK and working within the NHS send your CV to [email protected] – and one of our Specialist Advisers will be in touch with you. Come and join our Facebook group IMG Advisor: where you will receive access to frequent blog posts, the opportunity to ask relocation questions and receive professional advice and to meet other IMGs! Originally Posted: 22/08/2018 Updated: 13/10/2020

What does the online GMC Registration application entail?

By Alice Howe
October 13, 2020

What does the online GMC Registration application entail? The GMC requires all Doctors who practise medicine in the UK to be registered with them. Each Doctor has different circumstances and all international Doctors will begin their registration at different stages, however, usually it is towards the end of the relocation process. Registration with the GMC can be time-consuming and worrying, but in this article, we aim to explore each registration step, clearly state the required documentation and what you should expect at the ID check. And hopefully with our guidance the registration process should be a lot simpler to understand! Guide through the online application Sign up to ‘GMC Online’ – A personalised portal for all Doctors who want to be GMC registered Once you have created an account click on ‘My Registration’ Then click on ‘My Applications’ and follow the instructions regarding your nationality You will then be asked to fill out the ‘GMC Registration Form’ which has eight sections to it: Name – Provide details of your given name, including all middle names Details of your internship – Separate each rotation by date and specialty Professional Experience – Here you should provide details on your work experience in the last five years and any employment gaps in this time. Please note that you must explain all days off including annual leave and if applicable provide evidence. i.e. Details of a training course Licencing – Here you will provide details of your Certificate of Good Standing, which are the facts of your registration with the local medical authority from the country of which you have practised medicine Fitness to Practise – The GMC support that for Doctor’s to practise safely they must be competent in what they do. They will therefore ask you a series of questions regarding your competencies. This includes your knowledge, safety and quality, communication and teamwork, and the ability to maintain trust. Declaration – You will then be asked to declare your right to work in the UK, if you have had any problems with law enforcement authorities, and whether you agree to the GMC’s rules and regulations Payment – The final step of the registration process is to provide a payment. If you obtained your primary medical degree in the last five years, it will cost you £156 to register. If you obtained your primary medical degree over five years ago, it will cost you £406 to register. Supporting Documentation - After you have filled the above form and made the registration payment, you will receive an email from the GMC asking you to provide the following documents in one collated PDF document. What documentation do I need to provide to the GMC? Passport / Right to Work in the UK documents Primary Medical Degree Qualification Certificate – A full list of GMC approved PMQ can be found here. Certificate of Good Standing Evidence of your English language proficiency (Typically IELTS or OET) Internship Certificate Employer References EPIC Verification  Please note that the above list of documents are just a guideline and each documentation requirement is subjective to each application. However, after you have paid for your registration you will receive a personalised email from the GMC providing a list of required documentation. Furthermore, the GMC will only give you 28 days to upload these documents. If you do not submit the documents within this time your application will be closed and you will be refunded your application fee, meaning you will have to re-start the entire process again. What is a Certificate of Good Standing? The GMC requires you to provide details on each medical regulatory body that you have been registered with in the last five years, even if you have not practised in that jurisdiction. These details will be presented as a Certificate of Good Standing (CGS) from each medical body. Click here to find out who the medical regulatory body is for each country and their contact details detailed in the GMC CGS Contact Database. The GMC require that the CGS must confirm the following details: You are/were entitled to practise medicine in that country You were not disqualified, suspended or prohibited from practising medicine The authority is not aware of any matters that question your good standing You should note: If the country you are/were registered in does not have a medical regulatory authority, you will need to request an employer reference form. Certificate of Good Standings are only valid for three months from issue date and they must be valid on the date that your GMC registration application is approved. What happens after I have submitted the documents? After you have uploaded the required documentation to the GMC they will begin to process your application. If you have missing evidence they will contact you asking you to provide it so they can continue to process it. Once they have all the correct information they will then decide on your application. If it is accepted you will then be asked to attend an identification check in the UK. What happens if my application is not accepted? This is a very rare occasion. If the GMC cannot process your application it is typically due to administrative reasons, and they will always give you an opportunity to provide this evidence. Examples include but are not limited to: Clarification on your SELR form – in this case you will have to wait for the hospital to respond to the GMC Royal College Certificate is out of date by a couple of weeks – you will have to wait for your Royal College to verify your certificate On the seldom occasion the GMC cannot register your application they will refund your registration fee and you will have to apply again. Identification Check Your GMC ID check will have to be done in person at one of their offices in either London or Manchester. You can book your ID check through the same portal used to make your application via ‘My Appointments’. Although ID checks are often booked after an IMG’s registration has been accepted, we advise you to book your ID check as early as possible. This is because the ID checks are booked up a long way in advance and in fact the GMC do not require you to have all your relevant documentation approved first. In addition, the GMC only offer you three months from the moment your application is successful to complete the ID check and then you will need to apply again. When you arrive at the ID check you will be expected to have your passport and other forms of ID. The GMC may request other documents; however, this information will be provided once you are invited. Once you have arrived they will take an ID photo and a copy of your signature to keep on record. The ID check usually takes around twenty minutes and once it is completed you will be added to the list of registered medical practitioners and officially GMC registered. Do I need a Visa to come to the UK for my ID check? Yes, you will need to apply for a UK Visit Visa. You can apply for your Visa here. What information do I need to provide on my Visa application? The application will ask you to provide: Personal Details Travel information (itinerary) Family information Do I need to provide any supporting documents? Yes, the application will ask you to provide the following documentation for your application: Cover Letter: Details on what to include in your cover letter are provided in the section below Passport: Must be valid Letter of employment: This letter should be provided by the hospital that you are currently working for confirming your employment. Bank statements: If you will be supporting yourself financially for this trip then you will need to provide your bank statements, typically six months’ worth. However, if another person is supporting you then you will need to provide your own bank statements as well as the bank statements of your financial supporter. Proof of accommodation in Manchester: As your exam is held in Manchester we advise you took book accommodation in this city and if you book in advance the price will be a lot lower. PLAB 1 results: It would be useful to provide the application with a copy of the email which confirms your passing of the PLAB 1 exam. PLAB 2 booking: Another useful document that could be provided is a copy of the booking confirmation that the GMC will send you IELTS or OET results: This will confirm that you are eligible to take PLAB Primary medical qualification: The last document which will greatly support your application is evidence of your primary medical qualification. If you have decided that relocating to the UK is the next career move for you then email your CV to [email protected] – where we will support you through the entire process. From deciding on the perfect UK location, to securing the perfect job to sourcing perfect school for your children – we will be there to help you decide. Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries. Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 35 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS! Originally Posted: 23/03/2018 Updated: 13/10/2020

EPIC Verification

By Alice Howe
October 13, 2020

Applicants for GMC registration with a licence to practise need to have their primary medical qualification independently verified before registration can be granted. This article will provide you with everything you need to know about this process: How will my primary medical qualification be verified? The verification is carried out by the ECFMG through their online system – which is known as the Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC) service. ECFMG verify the qualification is genuine by checking this directly with the doctor’s awarding institution. Remember: Before you start the verification process it is important to check whether your primary medical qualification is GMC recognised and/or your post-graduate qualification. If your qualifications are not recognised by the GMC they will be unable to grant your registration with a licence to practise, even if your qualifications have been verified by ECFMG. How do I verify my qualifications? After you can confirm that your qualifications are GMC approved, you will need to set up an online EPIC account and confirm your identity. Once your identity is confirmed you will be able to upload your qualifications for verification. ECFMG will assess your qualifications and communicate directly with your awarding institution to confirm their authenticity. When they have verified your qualifications, you will be informed by email and then be able to update your GMC application. Please note that the GMC recommend that you have your qualifications verified before applying for registration as it is a timely wait verifying your qualifications and the GMC can only keep applications open for ninety days. How long will verification take? This will depend on a number of factors which includes: The time it takes for your awarding institution to respond to ECFMG (most schools will respond within ninety days) Whether your awarding institution accepts these requests electronically, as sending requests by post or courier will take longer How much will it cost me? The fees are charged in USD and you will need to pay the ECFMG directly. Based on recent exchange rates, it can cost anywhere between £155-£260, depending on how many qualifications you need to submit for verification. You should contact your bank or check currency conversion sites for the most up to date foreign exchange rates. Click here to find out more information about fees. Please note that if you no longer want your qualification verified, you will not be entitled to a refund. Sources: General Medical Council. 2018. Changes to the application process for international medical graduates. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.gmc-uk.org/registration-and-licensing/join-the-register/before-you-apply/changes-to-the-application-process-for-international-medical-graduates  If you are an IMG who wants to relocate to the UK and work for the NHS then send your CV to [email protected] – and one of our Specialist Advisers will be happy to guide and support you through your journey to the UK. We look forward to hearing from you! Alternatively, head over to our Facebook Group: IMG Advisor for an online support network of IMG’s who want to relocate to the UK Originally Posted: 16/05/2018 Updated: 13/10/2020

Everything you need to know about verifying your medical qualifications

By Alice Howe
October 13, 2020

All IMGs applying for their GMC Registration will need to have their primary medical qualification verified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). In this article, we want to share some top tips on verifying your medical qualifications and hopefully make the process that little bit easier for you. Check the criteria Before sending your qualification off to ECFMG it is important to check that your primary medical qualification is on the list of acceptable overseas medical qualifications. If your qualification is not listed, you will need to contact the GMC for further advice. Please note that verification is also required if you are applying for registration through the approved postgraduate qualification route (rather than the PLAB route). In this case, you will need to verify both your primary medical qualification and your postgraduate qualification. Start the verification process as early as possible When you request for your qualification to be verified, ECFMG will contact the organisation which gave you your medical qualification (e.g. a medical school or a Royal College) and ask them to confirm that your qualification is genuine. The GMC can only keep applications open for 90 days, so it is a good idea to make the verification of your qualifications one of the first steps you take to prepare to work in the UK as the verification process can be lengthy. You can start the verification process as far in advance as financially possible, for example before taking PLAB Part 1. For guidance on how to set up an EPIC account please click here. In most instances, you will only need to have your primary medical qualification and postgraduate qualification verified Most doctors worry that they will now need to have all their documents verified, for example, an internship certificate – however, this is not the case. It is only your primary medical qualification and postgraduate qualification that will need to be verified. Advantages to verification The first advantage is that once you have had your qualification verified by ECFMG, the check will last for your entire career. Therefore, if you decided to work in another country where this is required, you would not need to have this verified again. Other countries that require this are Australia, the USA, Canada and the Republic of Ireland. Second, your EPIC account allows you to build an online portfolio of your medical qualifications, which you can update as you progress throughout your career. The third advantage of verification is that if you are re-applying for GMC Registration, you will not need to have your qualifications verified again. You will simply need to enter your existing EPIC ID number in your GMC application and use EPIC to send a verification report to them. Other registration requirements remain unchanged The registration process for IMGs has not changed. You will still need to: Evidence your English language skills - via IELTS or OET Attend an ID check at the GMC Offices – either London or Manchester Provide the GMC with evidence of good standing, where required Overall, the introduction of the verification from ECFMG simply confirms to the GMC that your qualifications are genuine.   References Amison, R. (2018). 10 things you need to know about verifying your medical qualifications. [online] Medical professionalism and regulation in the UK. Available at: https://gmcuk.wordpress.com/2018/04/18/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-verifying-your-medical-qualifications/ If you have a query about the verification process or GMC Registration, then email your question to [email protected] and we will be happy to help you. And if you are an IMG who is ready to relocate to the UK and work within the NHS send your CV to [email protected] and one of our Specialist Advisers will be in touch. Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor – here you will have access to frequent blog posts on relocating to the UK and working within the NHS, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional guidance and the chance to meet other IMGs. Originally Published: 05/09/2020 Updated: 13/10/2020

How much will relocating to the UK cost me?

By Alice Howe
October 13, 2020

For many international doctors, it is their ultimate goal to relocate to the UK and work within the NHS. The reasons for this varies from doctor to doctor but the most popular reasons are to receive the opportunity to develop their skills and education, improve their quality of living or to join friends and family who already live here. Nevertheless, some IMG’s jump straight into the process without taking the time to think about how long the relocation process takes and most importantly how much it is going to cost. It is important to know the provisional costs of relocating to the UK, as often doctors who do not research into it before becoming de-motivated once they come across how much it will cost them. Therefore, in today’s article, we aim to guide you through each stage of the relocation stage via the PLAB route with an average fee – so you know what to expect before you embark on your journey. To practise medicine in the UK, all doctors need to be GMC Registered. Therefore, when you have made the decision to relocate it is important that your first goal is to become registered, not prioritising the job search which comes at a much later stage. To become GMC registered you must have the following: Recognised primary medical qualifications English language capability Registration and licensing history Certificates of Good Standing Knowledge and Skills ID Check For more detail on each GMC Registration requirement please visit our article. As you would have already obtained your primary medical qualification we will start with the next step, which is evidencing your English language capabilities. The GMC accept two ways to evidence this via IELTS or OET English language test Cost IELTS £195 OET £323 Please note that the price of IELTS varies test centre to test centre but it is typically £195. The price of OET is the same universally. Knowledge and Skills The GMC requires all UK doctors to possess the relevant knowledge and skills in order to practise safely. To evidence this to the GMC you will need to have either a GMC approved postgraduate qualification (a list can be found here) or pass the PLAB exams. PLAB test Cost Part 1 of the PLAB test £239 Part 2 of the PLAB test £875 Flights to the UK for your ID check/relocation Popular IMG one-way flight examples (three months in advance): Country Flight Price India £450 Pakistan £350 Iraq £300 Libya £380 Egypt £250 Saudi Arabia £300 UAE £200 Average flight cost £572.86 GMC Registration Cost Registration Price Application for a full registration with a licence to practise (if you obtained your primary medical degree in the last five years) £156 Tier 2 Visa Application The Cost of a Tier 2 Visa Application (Health and Care) for up to 3 years costs £232. A visa for more than 3 years costs £464. The fee is the same whether you apply from inside or outside the UK. Your dependants will also pay the same amount. In some cases, you may be able to claim back the cost of your Tier 2 visa application  but this is dependent on your relocation package. Total Cost Exam Total OET £323 PLAB 1 £239 PLAB 2 £875 Flight for PLAB 2 £572 Flight for ID check/relocation £572 GMC Registration Cost £156 Tier 2 visa application + IHS Surcharge £232 Total £2,969 Please note we have not included the cost of your undergraduate degree, postgraduate degree or EPIC verification so the overall cost will increase if you wanted to include these in your relocation cost. Although the above figures may feel overwhelming, it is important to remember that these costs are spread out over a couple of years. For most international doctors, the process is lengthy simply due to medical and family responsibilities. Therefore, the overall price will not feel as expensive. Don’t give up on your dream! There are a lot of steps to relocating to the UK, however, with determination it is achievable. If you would like support with your relocation get in contact with us at [email protected] and we will be happy to advise. Come and say hello! Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor to gain access to frequent blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and to meet other IMG’s. Originally Posted: 02/07/2018 Updated: 13/10/2020

Tier 2 Dependent Visa

By Alice Howe
October 13, 2020

When you have been offered your first NHS post, you may want your family members (dependants) to come with you. If you are applying from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland then your family members who are coming with you must apply for a Tier 2 dependency visa.   Who is classified as my dependent? The UK Visa and Immigration department state that a ‘dependent’ is any of the following: Your husband, wife or partner Your child under the age of 18 Your child over the age of 18 if they are currently in the UK as a dependant Evidence of funds When applying for a Tier 2 Dependent Visa, your dependents must evidence that they can be financially supported whilst they are in the UK. Each dependant must evidence that they have £630 available to them (in addition to the £945 you must have to support yourself). When making the application, they must be able to evidence that these funds have been available for at least 90 days prior to the application being made. Please note, you will not have to evidence funds if your hospital offers you and your family “maintenance”, by ticking this box on your CoS.  What is the process of applying for a Tier 2 Dependent Visa? To apply for a dependent visa, you can do so online. After the application has been accepted by the Visa and Immigration office all dependents will need to book an appointment at the local visa application centre to get their fingerprints and photograph taken to receive their biometric residence permit. Their biometric residence permit must be collected within 30 days after they have arrived in the UK. Please click here to find your nearest visa application centre. Can my dependents work whilst they are on a Tier 2 Dependent Visa? Yes – dependent visa holders can work freely in the UK, but they are not allowed to work as a doctor in training (they must apply for their own Tier 2 visa in this case). Cost A Tier 2 (Health and Care) Dependent Visa up to 3 years costs £232 A Tier 2 (Health and Care) Dependant Visa for more than 3 years costs £464. The fee is the same whether you apply from inside or outside the UK. As long as you have applied yourself through the Tier 2 Health and Care Visa, then your Dependants will not need to pay Immigration Health Surcharge. References GOV.UK. (2019). General work visa (Tier 2). [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/tier-2-general/family-members  GOV.UK. 2020. Health And Care Visa (Tier 2). [online] Available at: <https://www.gov.uk/tier-2-health-care-visa> [Accessed 13 October 2020]. Relocation If you have any questions or you are an IMG looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS, please email your CV to [email protected] and one of our Specialist Advisers will be in touch. Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor! Here, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional advice and the chance to meet other IMGs. Originally posted: 07/01/2019 Updated: 13/10/2020

Overview of the English language requirements for the GMC

By Alice Howe
October 12, 2020

A fundamental part of GMC registration is proving that you have the ability to clearly and efficiently communicate with both patients and other medical professionals in English – this is paramount to ensuring patient safety. English language use is split into four sections: speaking, reading, writing and listening. The GMC recognises that there are various ways a Doctor can demonstrate their English language proficiency and for this reason, they accept various forms of evidence – including the Structured English Language Reference (SELR) form. In this article we will outline all of the in which you can evidence your English language skills to the GMC. Evidence 1 - OET  The Occupational English Test (OET) assesses the language communication skills of healthcare professionals who seek to register and practise in an English-speaking environment. It specifically tests your English language purely in a medical context. The examination covers all four language skills with an emphasis on communication in a healthcare environment. In order to meet the requirements of the GMC, candidates must achieve  a grade ‘B’ in each testing area (speaking, listening, reading and writing) - all in the same test sitting. OET grades are valid for two years. Evidence 2 – IELTS The second way to evidence your English language abilities is via the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). To pass IELTS you must achieve a score no less than 7 in each form of communication (speaking, reading, writing and listening) and have an overall score of 7.5 or more. You should note that the GMC will only accept an IELTS score that has been attained within the last two years. However, if you passed IELTS more than two years ago, but can evidence to the GMC that your English language skills have not depreciated in the time since passing, then they may still award you a license. Types of evidence that may be accepted include taking a postgraduate course which has been taught and examined in English or working in a country where English is the native first language. Evidence 3 – Primary Medical Qualification taught in English Another way to evidence your language skills is to provide the GMC with a recent Primary Medical Qualification which has been taught or examined in English. The GMC that 75% of all clinical interaction within a Primary Medical Qualification must have been conducted in English, so please ensure you hold your degree from an approved medical institution before applying via this route. As with other evidence requirements, the GMC requires the qualification to have been achieved recently – if your qualification was not achieved within the last two years, then the GMC will alternatively accept evidence that you have been working in an English speaking country for at least two years. In this instance, the GMC will ask your employing hospital to provide written references which include details of the your role and responsibilities relevant to English language use. Further details on what is considered an authorised Primary Medical Qualification can be found here. Evidence 4 – Language test taken a native English medical authority You can also provide evidence of a recent pass in a language test administered by a medical authority in a country where English is the first language – for example, Australia (MBA) and USA (USMLE). If you are an IMG who wants to relocate to the UK and join the NHS, email your CV to [email protected] and we will be happy to help you! Come and say hello! Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor - and you can have access to frequent blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and to meet other IMG's! Originally posted: 13/09/2018 Updated: 12/10/2020

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