Blogs > GMC Registration


  • July 22, 2020

Back in May 2018, we at BDI Resourcing published a Blog Article on UKMLA and how it would be replacing PLAB in 2023. At this stage, we did not have much information on what the MLA would entail and how it would differ from PLAB, hence the article being very basic in terms of information. Now, the GMC have more readily available information for IMG’s. This Blog aims to outline what we know so far about the UKMLA and how to best prepare for it’s implementation.

Who needs to take the UKMLA?

The UKMLA will be a replacement for the PLAB exams. With this in mind, any international medical graduates who planned on taking the PLAB route to their GMC Registration, will need to take the MLA examination.

If you are planning on taking a Royal College examination or any other GMC approved postgraduate qualification listed here, then you do not need to take the UKMLA and this change will not affect you.

What does the Assessment involve?

Similarly to PLAB, the UKMLA will be a two part assessment – an Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) and a Clinical and Professional Skills Assessment (CPSA).

  1. The Applied Knowledge Test

In the same way that the PLAB exams work, the AKT must be taken before moving on to the CPSA. The AKT will be an on-screen exam, consisting of multiple choice questions only. It will test your ability to apply medical knowledge to different clinical scenarios.

  1. The Clinical and Professional Skills Assessment

The CPSA will run in exactly the same way as PLAB 2. The Assessment will be taken a the GMC’s clinical assessment centre in Manchester.

How do I prepare? What topics should I revise?

The GMC have released a ‘Content Map’ which outlines all of the topics and areas that may arise within either of the UKMLA examinations. The Content Map has six sections, which we have summarised in the following table. To be best prepared for the UKMLA, we advise making sure you revise all the listed topics in detail.


Topics within Section

Areas of Clinical Practice

  • Context of delivery of care, reflecting the complexity of medical practice and the range of care settings/scenarios that a Doctor is likely to encounter
  • (i.e Mental Health, Surgery, Geriatrics)

Areas of Professional Knowledge

  • Generic areas of professional clinical and scientific knowledge as applied to the care of patients, at the level expected for a Doctor entering the UK Foundation Programme
  • (i.e Biomedical Sciences, Medical Ethics and Law)

Clinical and Professional Capabilities

  • Obtaining relevant information about the patient, formulating a prioritised list of problems and diagnoses
  • (i.e Assessing and Managing Risk and Safeguarding of Vulnerable Patients)

Practical Skills and Procedures

Patient Representations

  • Signs, Symptoms, Investigation Results and other relevant patient-related issues typically seen by doctors in a first appointment within the UK Foundation Programme.
  • (i.e Chronic Rash, Breast Lump, Memory Loss, Multiple Trauma)


  • Pathophysiological diseases or clinical diagnoses typically seen by doctors in a first appointment within the UK Foundation Programme
  • (i.e Asthma, Lymphoma, Migraine and Eating Disorders)

How much will it cost?

Whilst the exact costs have yet to be announced, we expect these to be similar if not the same as the current PLAB fees. The current cost for both PLAB examinations lies at £1114.

What if I fail?

If you fail the UKMLA, you will be required to retake the assessment again before you can apply for your GMC Registration and license to practice medicine in the UK.

The GMC have stated that they will set a maximum number of times that you may attempt the MLA assessments, but this number has not yet been released.

Will the UKMLA affect the English Language Requirements needed for GMC?

In short, No. The UKMLA won’t change the English Language Testing requirements needed for GMC and you will still need to prove that you have the necessary knowledge of English to practice safely in the UK. As an IMG looking to relocate into the NHS, you will need to pass either OET or IELTS.

References 2020. Taking The MLA. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 15 July 2020]. 2020. Our PLAB Fees. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 15 July 2020]. 2020. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 15 July 2020].


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