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Overview of the English language requirements for the GMC

By Gabrielle Richardson
August 13, 2018

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 ways in which you can evidence your English language skills to the GMC. ------------------------------------------------ Evidence 1 - IELTS The first 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. If you would like more information on taking IELTS, what to expect and tips and tricks to passing – please see our Overview of IELTS blog. ------------------------------------------------ Evidence 2 – OET Similar to IELTS, the Occupational English Test (OET) is an objective professional English test. The main difference is that it tests your English language purely in a medical context. ------------------------------------------------ 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 declare 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 require 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 with 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). ------------------------------------------------ Evidence 5 – Structured English Language Reference (SELR) The final way to evidence your English language capability is to provide the GMC with a written offer of employment from a UK hospital which is accompanied by a completed SELR form. The hospital who has offered you a position (which must be a GMC designated body) will have to interview you clinically and send you a provisional offer letter, before completing, signing and sending an SELR form back to the GMC. This must include your GMC reference number and have a signature of the interviewing doctors and Responsible Offer (RO) for the Trust – often the Medical Director. The SELR form should provide comprehensive evidence of all aspects of your language skills and why the Trust feel you should be exempted from other English Language testing. Please note: There is a very specific procedure to follow which BDI Resourcing has perfected and documented through years of use, so if you are hoping to utilise this as a way of evidencing your English language then please get in touch for further advice. It is not possible for everyone to use an SELR form and it is assessed on a case by case basis. The SELR form can be found here. Useful blog articles if you decide against the SELR route: GMC Registration – what routes are available? Overview of IELTS Overview of postgraduate qualifications Overview of PLAB ------------------------------------------------ If you are an IMG who is considering moving to the UK then take a look at our jobs board to view current vacancies and if you think any vacancies are the perfect opportunity for you then please email your CV to apply@bdiresourcing.com 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!

IELTS UKVI / UK NARIC

By Gabrielle Richardson
June 07, 2018

IELTS UKVI / UK NARIC There is often a lot of confusion between IELTS Academic, IELTS UKVI and then UKNARIC. So, this article aims to explain the differences between the exams and what is necessary for international doctors to secure both GMC Registration and a UK visa. GMC Registration Requirements - IELTS Academic/IELTS UKVI with an average score of 7.5 and 7 in each section OR Grade B's in each section of OET Tier 2 Visa Requirements - IELTS UKVI - Average score of 4.0 or higher Our first piece of advice is to take IELTS Academic for UKVI when possible because of two advantages: It satisfies the GMC’s requirements It satisfies the UK Government Immigration and Visa requirements You should note that IELTS Academic for UKVI is more expensive than IELTS Academic alone, however, this is the best option in the long-run because it saves you from sitting an additional exam when applying for your visa. Furthermore, a limited number of test centres now offer the IELTS Academic for UKVI online. Please click here for more information. What is IELTS? IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. The test measures an individual’s English language capabilities and is the most popular language exam for IMG’s. The exam covers the four key language skills in general English: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Doctors must achieve an overall score of 7.5 (with a score no less than 7.0 in each section of the test). There are two types of IELTS tests: 1) IELTS Academic and 2) IELTS General Training IELTS Academic -£165 This test is for individuals applying for higher education or professional registration in an English-speaking environment. IELTS General Training -£165 This test is for individuals who are relocating to an English-speaking country for secondary education, work experience or training programs. The test focuses on basic survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts. What test should I take? As you are an international doctor who is aiming for GMC Registration with a licence to practise medicine in the UK, you should take the IELTS Academic UKVI. This will satisfy the requirements for both the GMC and the UK Government Immigration and Visa. Alternatively, you can take the Occupational English Test (OET - £349) as an alternative test to prove your English language skills. OET is designed to replicate the critical tasks of the healthcare workplace setting and the test measures a doctor’s abilities through the skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking. The score required is four B’s and the scores must be achieved at the same exam sitting. Although OET will satisfy your GMC registration it will not satisfy your UK visa application. IELTS UKVI - £200 So far, we have established that to satisfy the GMC’s English language requirement and the UK Visa application you must take IELTS Academic UKVI. However, we are aware that some doctors sit the IELTS Academic exam and thus their visa application will then require them to sit IELTS UKVI. What is it? The IELTS UKVI stands for UK Visas and Immigration and is a government-approved degree comparability service. An IELTS UKVI score can be used to prove your English language abilities in support of a UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) application. Click here to find a list of test centres for IELTS UKVI. As an IMG who wants to become GMC Registered you will have to apply for two visas. The first is a UK visit visa for when you come to the UK to take PLAB 2 (which does not require IELTS UKVI). Second, is the Tier 2 visa for work once you have received GMC registration and obtained a job (requires IELTS UKVI or UKNARIC). If I have already taken IELTS, can I still use my result to apply to UK Visas and Immigration? IELTS Academic will only satisfy the requirements for GMC Registration but IELTS UKVI and IELTS Academic UKVI will satisfy both GMC Registration and your visa application. UKVI requires you to submit results from an IELTS for UKVI test that was completed at an IELTS test centre authorised by UKVI. So, do I have to take IELTS again? Yes. If you have taken IELTS Academic, passed, obtained GMC Registration, secured a job offer and are now applying for your Tier 2 visa – you will be expected to show a pass mark of IELTS UKVI. But don’t worry – you will only need band scores of 4.0 and above. Is there a difference in exam content between IELTS Academic and IELTS UKVI? There are no differences in the test format or questions. The actual test taken is the same – same content, examiners, format, level of difficulty, scoring and so on. The purpose of the test is designed to meet certain administrative requirements that are specific to UK Visas and Immigration. Alternative to UKVI – UKNARIC – £49.50 + VAT* (£59.40) In addition to IELTS UKVI satisfying the visa application, there is an alternative way to satisfy the English language requirement in your visa application – UKNARIC. UK National Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) is an agency that provides an assessment and then a statement to confirm that an international academic qualification is comparable to a UK degree taught in an English standard. Therefore, if your primary medical qualification had some element of English language taught – whether you had modules taught in English or separately learnt the English language as part of the course – you will be eligible to use UKNARIC’s Statement of Comparability. However, please note that it is possible for the agency to assess your degree and find that it is not comparable to a UK degree. In this instance, you will be given a full refund of payment and you will then be required to sit IELTS UKVI. You should also note that UKNARIC for GMC Registration will not suffice. How do I apply for UKNARIC? You can apply directly here and the NARIC website sites completion time is between 10-15 working days. Documents needed for application: Your contact details and a statement of the purpose of your enquiry (i.e. UKVI) A photocopy or scan of your qualification certificate with final transcripts A photocopy or scan of a certified translation to English of your documents, if the translation is necessary Payment for the service Summary: IELTS Academic –Satisfies GMC Registration requirement IELTS Academic UKVI – Satisfies both GMC Registration& UK Visa requirements IELTS General – Does not satisfy GMC Registration or UK Visa requirements IELTS General UKVI – Satisfies UK Visa requirements If you are an IMG who wants to relocate to the UK and work within the NHS send your CV to apply@bdiresourcing.com and we will be happy to help you. And head over to our Facebook Group: IMG Advisor for an online support network of IMG’s who want to relocate to the UK.

Overview of OET

By Gabrielle Richardson
March 21, 2018

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the usual path taken by IMG’s to evidence their English language proficiency to the GMC. IELTS is a general English language assessment and is available to all professionals globally. However, from 6th February 2018 the GMC started routinely accepting Occupational English Test (OET) as a way for doctors to demonstrate their English language competencies. OET is designed specifically for all healthcare professionals globally who want to evidence their English capabilities. The OET exam assesses the language and communication skills of healthcare professionals who wish to receive a licence to practise in an English-speaking work environment. The test will provide a valid and reliable valuation of all four language skills – reading, writing, listening and speaking. However, they place prominence on testing candidate’s communication in professional healthcare settings. The exam is available in over 100 locations and 40 countries, with a test date available every month. For details on which countries the OET exam is available click here. After your OET exam has been graded you will receive a statement of results which will state each grade you received for each sub-test, from A (highest) to E (lowest). You must receive a grade B or above in all sub-tests to demonstrate your English language proficiency to the GMC. What should I expect in the exam? Listening The listening element of the exam consists of two parts with around 20-28 question items. The question topics will be of general healthcare. Part A and Part B of the exam will be around 20-25 minutes long each. The recording will contain pauses to allow you time to write your answers. The task will provide a wide range of task types, such as multiple-choice and short answer responses so a good sample of your listening ability is tested. Part A Consultation: The first part of the listening exam will test your ability to follow facts during a healthcare professional-patient consultation. Part B Presentation: The second part of the exam will test your ability to understand a short speech on a health-related topic that may occur in a workplace. Reading The reading element of the exam has two parts, it will take 60 minutes to complete and the topic will be of general healthcare interest. Part A Summary Task: The first part of the exam will take you 15 minutes to complete and it will test your ability to source information from multiple texts and skim and scan information. In this task you will be asked to read several passages and then fill out a summary paragraph by filling in the missing words. Part B Multiple Choice: The second part of the exam will assess your ability to understand comprehensive texts, such as those in an academic healthcare journal and then answer a set of multiple-choice questions.   Writing The writing part of the exam will take 45 minutes and will be healthcare professional-specific. There will be one set task, usually to write a referral letter for a patient. In addition to the task instructions, you will receive stimulus material such as case notes to help you write the letter. Speaking Each OET candidate will take their speaking test individually and will take around 20 minutes. The test will form as a patient/client role-play. The exam will begin with a short warm-up conversation about your professional background and then the role-play will be introduced. There will be two-role plays and each will last for about five minutes each. Your presentation in the speaking exam will be scored against the following criterion: communicative effectiveness, fluency, appropriateness, fluency and intelligibility. How should I prepare for my OET exam? Everyone learns differently and preparation for your OET exam will differ dependent on your skill set in each of the communication areas. However, below are useful tips to aid you in passing your OET exam. Assess your English skills – the first port of call is to assess your English skills and find out what your strengths and weaknesses are. Once you know what area you need to improve on you can create a revision timeline and then find an appropriate date to book your exam. Learn the exam format – if you practice all elements of the exam in the correct format prior to doing the actual exam you will not come across any unexpected questions, feel calm and will be able to put all your energy into excellent answers. Learn to identify key pieces of information – when reading through long text passages make sure you skim the information to pick up the most important pieces of information – this will save you a lot of time and will allow you to focus on your answer. Preparation in the speaking roleplay – Often, the role-player in the speaking exam will ask you to start the conversation. Therefore, you should know how to introduce the situation confidently and appropriately. For instance, if you are a Doctor in the Emergency Department you could say ‘Hello, I am the Doctor who will be looking after you today. I can see from your notes that…. How are you feeling?’. Reading will help your language skills – Try to read varied pieces of English publications before your test, such as newspaper articles and academic journal articles – because reading will improve your English in all communication areas. When reading your comprehension will progress in addition to your vocabulary widening and improvements on your spelling and grammar. Extra English reading can even be fun! Why don’t you try buying your favourite book in English or switching your Facebook language to English to give yourself a challenge! Are there any similarities between OET and IELTS? Each test has four sub-tests, one for each form of communication: reading, listening, writing and speaking. Each test provides a graded score, there is no pass/fail but different institutions need test takers to achieve different scores. I.e. The GMC require a B in OET and a 7.5 in IELTS to qualify for GMC registration. Are there any differences between OET and IELTS? Content – The main difference between the two tests is that IELTS is an academic English test. The exam will test your ability to write essays, understand academic articles and debate a wide range of topics from cultural trends to news headlines. However, the OET will test your healthcare English. The exam will test your ability to successfully communicate in medical scenarios, understand a patient consultation and write a referral letter. Preparation Requirements – Your preparation for IELTS will involve learning vast amounts of vocabulary on a wide range of academic subjects so you are fully prepared to read all academic texts quickly and effectively, discuss abstract questions and provide your opinions in detail. Whereas preparation for OET will involve you learning a wide range of healthcare and professional-specific vocabulary so you can easily engage with and participate in various clinical situations whilst understanding medical texts and talks. Scoring – IELTS is marked out of 9 and the GMC declare you must achieve a 7.5 overall and 7 in each sub-test. OET is graded from A (best grade) to E and the GMC requires a grade B to satisfy GMC registration. Cost – The cost of both tests varies by country, however, typically IELTS is around £160 and OET is around £330. Frequency of test dates – IELTS offer test dates in 140 countries, in over 1000 test locations and tests dates are offered 2-4 times per month. Whereas OET offers the exam in 40 countries, in over 100 locations and has only one exam date each month. If you are unsure of what English language test to take or have already received your IELTS or OET result and are looking to relocate to the UK then get in contact with us at apply@bdiresourcing.com – and one of the team will be happy to provide you with tailored advice.

Overview of the English language requirements for the GMC

By Gabrielle Richardson
March 19, 2018

Overview of the English language requirements for the GMC 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 ways in which you can evidence your English language skills to the GMC. Evidence 1 - IELTS The first 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. If you would like more information on taking IELTS, what to expect and tips and tricks to passing – please see our Overview of IELTS blog. Evidence 2 – OET Similar to IELTS, the Occupational English Test (OET) is an objective professional English test. The main difference is that it tests your English language purely in a medical context. 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 declare 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 require 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 with 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). Evidence 5 – Structured English Language Reference (SELR) The final way to evidence your English language capability is to provide the GMC with a written offer of employment from a UK hospital which is accompanied by a completed SELR form. The hospital who has offered you a position (which must be a GMC designated body) will have to interview you clinically and send you a provisional offer letter, before completing, signing and sending an SELR form back to the GMC. This must include your GMC reference number and have a signature of the interviewing doctors and Responsible Offer (RO) for the Trust – often the Medical Director. The SELR form should provide comprehensive evidence of all aspects of your language skills and why the Trust feel you should be exempted from other English Language testing. Please note: there is a very specific procedure to follow which BDI Resourcing has perfected and documented through years of use, so if you are hoping to utilise this as a way of evidencing your English language then please get in touch for further advice. It is not possible for everyone to use an SELR form and it is assessed on a case by case basis. The SELR form can be found here.   If you are an IMG who is considering moving to the UK then take a look at our jobs board to view current vacancies and if you think any vacancies are the perfect opportunity for you then please email your CV to apply@bdiresourcing.com 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!    

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