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What level of English will our doctors have?

  • November 07, 2019

BDI Resourcing’s English language checking procedure is fully compliant with the NHS Employment Check Standards and the Government’s Code of Practice on the English Language Requirement for Public Sector Workers.

The procedures mean that any doctor working within the NHS has the required level of English language competence to enable them to take on their role effectively, assure the delivery of safe care and successfully communicate with colleagues and patients.

The English language assessment is always completed prior to interview stage.

There are five ways for a doctor to evidence their English language skills:

  1. IELTS certificate
  2. OET certificate
  3. Structured English language reference form
  4. UK job offer
  5. Employment in an English-speaking country for over two years


For the GMC to accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) from a doctor, their certificate must show:

  • They took the academic version of the test
  • They obtained a minimum score of 7.0 in each testing area and an overall score of 7.5
  • Their scores were obtained in the most recent sitting of the test
  • The original stamp and test report form number
  • A validity of two years


For the GMC to accept the Occupational English Test (OET), the doctor must show:

  • They took the medicine version of the test
  • They got a minimum of Grade B in each testing area
  • The doctor’s candidate number
  • Their grades were obtained in the most recent sitting
  • A validity of two years

Structured English Language Reference Form

Most of our NHS doctors will hold IELTS and OET to evidence their English language skills. However, in certain circumstances possible exemption is available. Please contact us at [email protected] for further information on this.

UK Job Offer

If a doctor has previously been working within an NHS hospital of which they have been speaking English on a day-to-day basis, they can use a reference from their employer to evidence their language skills.

Employment within an English-speaking country for over two years

If a doctor has been working in: Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Irish Republic, Jamaica, New Zealand, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and the United States of America – they will be exempt from evidencing their English skills due to the native language being English.

Our Internal Auditing Systems

When an international doctor registers with us, we verify their English language certificates and then scan them onto our internal system with a date stamp. We then store it as an unalterable file. Our internal system will then notify us of any doctors whose English language certificates are due to expire two months prior to the expiry date. This notification will then allow us to contact the doctor in enough time to ensure the continuity of their relocation process.

International Recruitment

If you are an NHS hospital who would like support in securing doctors via an international recruitment campaign, email your CV to [email protected].


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