This blog will guide you through the process of obtaining your GMC registration whilst also informing you on what it's like to work as a Doctor in the United Kingdom and the standards you must meet.
To practice medicine in the UK, you must be registered and have a license to practice. A license allows you to do things like prescribe medicine and treat patients. If you have a license, you must also demonstrate that your knowledge and skills are up to date by undergoing regular checks on your practice, a process known as revalidation - you can find out more about this process here.
The UK warmly welcomes doctors at varying stages of their careers; however, GMC registration is required of you. For this you will need to have passed all the relevant examinations that include a recognised overseas medical qualification. Your primary medical degree will need to be found on the ‘World Directory of Primary Medical Qualifications’ an exhausted list can be found here.
As part of your Primary Medical Qualification, you will be required to have completed at least 12 months of medical practice in an acceptable training post in a public hospital. Included in this is at least three months in surgery and three months in medicine. Further details on acceptable internships and what to do in the event that you have not completed such a placement, please visit: https://www.gmc-uk
GMC registration requires you to provide evidence that you can speak, read, write and listen in English. Evidence of your language capability can be provided by one of two ways.
We recommend having the OET as although it is more expensive it does have a higher pass rate as it is designed for medical professionals specifically. Whichever route you opt for they both need to be completed within the last two years prior to your application. It is also important to note that either qualification is needed to sit your PLAB test. However, if you have already obtained a Postgraduate qualification, MRCP for example, or you are working towards one, you are able to sit your English language test at any time.
Next, one of two routes can be taken in order to evidence your knowledge and skills in order to demonstrate that you can practice in the UK safety.
ROUTE ONE: PLAB exam – PLAB is a Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board. Its purpose is to test an IMG’s ability, as a Doctor, to work safely in a UK NHS hospital and to ensure they possess the relevant skills and knowledge to practise. For more information on PLAB please click here.
ROUTE TWO: GMC approved post graduate qualifications – Primarily for more experienced and specialised Doctors. A complete list of approved UK and international qualifications can be found here. The royal college examinations such as MRCP and MRCEM are most commonly recognised however routes for overseas Anaesthesiologists and Intensive Care Doctors also include The European Diploma in Intensive Care (EDIC) and The European Diploma in Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care (EDAIC) as well as The Fellowship in Anaesthesiology at the Pakistan College of Physicians (FCPS). Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (MRCPI) are now also recognised for GMC registration.
In addition, some doctors have utilised the MTI Scheme which is a learn and return scheme that grants temporary visas to the UK by gaining sponsorship through an NHS hospital. International recruitment agency’s such as BDI Resourcing are unable to help with MTI applications.
Before applying for your GMC registration, it is important you collate all of the required documents. These documents include:
Once all elements discussed above have been completed and obtained you will need to register for GMC online by going to ‘my registration and ‘start application’ which will ask you to provide evidence of all of the above. If you obtained your Primary Medical Qualification within the last 5 years your registration fee will be £156. However, if you are not a newly qualified doctor and therefore obtained your primary medical qualification prior to the last 5 years the fee is £406. Further information can be found here.
After sending off all your relevant documentation, you would then normally be invited via the GMC online portal to an ID check at one of the GMC offices in either London or Manchester; due to the current pandemic this has been stopped but we expect it to resume in the future.
Changes will come into force in 2024. The GMC are working towards creating one assessment all doctors are assessed by. The Medical licensing Assessment (MLA) draws on current assurance efforts to establish a single safe practise threshold. If international medical graduates who have taken their Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test are applying for registration with a licence to practise in the UK, they will begin to take the MLA in 2024. Before they can join the medical register in the UK, medical students graduating in the academic year 2024-25 will have to pass the MLA as part of their medical school degree.
Before 2024 UK Medical graduates will apply with their medical degree. Medical graduates trained outside the EEA will apply through:
After 2024 UK students will take the MLA as part of their medical degree. Medical graduates trained outside the EEA will take the MLA in replacement of the PLAB tests. A decision is still to be made on whether the MLA will be required for those applying through:
Registration for medical graduates from within the EEA will depend on the outcomes of the UK leaving the European Union.
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.