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Things I wish I knew before making my GMC application!

  • July 13, 2022

All doctors who want to work within the NHS will need to hold GMC registration with a full license to practice. In this article we will provide you with the 5 essential steps on how to obtain GMC registration. Make sure you know what is expected from you at each step to ensure your registration process isn't delayed!

1. Recognised Medical Qualifications (Primary Med and Internship)

To be an eligible applicant for the GMC registration you will need to have passed all of the relevant examinations that constitute one of the ‘acceptable overseas medical qualifications’. Your primary medical degree must be listed on the World Directory of Primary Medical Qualifications, which can be found here

Within your Primary Medical Qualification you must have completed an acceptable internship, which constitutes of at least 12 months of continuous medical practice in an approved training post in a public hospital. You must also have obtained three months in surgery and three months in medicine. To find out more information about acceptable internships or what to do if you haven’t completed an internship, please visit:

2. English Language Qualifications

In order to obtain your GMC you will be asked to evidence that you have the relevant knowledge of the English Language to ensure you can practice safely in the UK. When doing this there are two routes available, both of which are required to have been completed within the last two years prior to your application. Please note, if you took the IELTS or OET more than two years ago you will be required to take them again.

The first route is the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). In order to be successful, you need a score of at least 7.0 in each testing area and an overall score of 7.5. You can then enter these on the ‘My Tests’ section of your GMC online account.

The second route is the Occupational English Test (OET). Here you’ll need a B grade in each of the four testing areas (speaking, listening, reading and writing).  

Please note, you will need to obtain either IELTS or OET in order to move onto the next step of the process (sitting your PLAB test). However, if you have already obtained a Postgraduate qualification (I.e MRCP) or you are working towards one, you can sit your English Language test at any time.

3. Evidencing your Knowledge and Skills

The GMC requires you to evidence your knowledge and skills to them to demonstrate that you can practice safely in the UK. This can be done via three routes.

The first route in evidencing your knowledge and skills, aimed primarily at Junior Doctors that are newly qualified, is taking the PLAB exam. PLAB is an English Language test that focuses on you practising and evidencing your English in a medical setting. To find out more about the breakdown of PLAB and how to enter, please visit our Blog Post.

The second route, which is primarily for more experienced Doctors, is completing one of the approved GMC post graduate qualifications. A list of both UK and International qualifications that are accepted for GMC can be found here

The third route in evidencing your knowledge and skills is don through the MTI Scheme, which is gaining sponsorship through an NHS hospital. Further information can be found here

4. Collating your documentation

Before applying for your GMC registration, it is important you collate all of the required documents. These documents include:

  • Proof of your primary medical qualification (See Step 1)
  • Certificate of Experience (Internship/Clerkship/FY1)
  • Certificate of Good Standing – which is the registration or licensing for all of the medical authorities that you have practiced for within the last five years For further information on obtaining your COGS, please read our blog post here.
  • Proof of Identity (Passport or identity card if it states your nationality)
  • Employer references (and translations of them)
  • EPIC Verification Certificate

5. Application, Fee and ID Check

Once you’ve completed steps 1-4 and have all of your evidence ready to send off, you will need to register for GMC Online, choosing ‘my registration’ and ‘start application’. Once you have started your application, you will then be required to upload all of your documentation (discussed in step 4).

After this has been done, you will be asked to pay a registration fee which is dependent on your previous experience. If you obtained your Primary Medical Qualification within the last 5 years your registration fee is currently £161. However, if you are not a newly qualified doctor and therefore obtained your primary medical qualification prior to the last 5 years, the fee for registration is £420.

Finally, once having paid your fee and sending off all your relevant documentation, you will be invited via the GMC online portal to an ID check at one of the GMC offices in either London or Manchester. You have three months after your application has been approved to attend the check. Please note, most doctors coincide their relocation to the UK for their NHS job with their ID check, so timings are everything!

At the identity check, your proof of identity will be checked over and your photograph will be taken. This concludes the GMC Registration process.

Relocation to the UK

If you are an international doctor who has decided that you would like our support in securing an NHS service post, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS job and on your journey to the UK today.

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 100 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS!


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