Latest Blog

How to get a UK training post

By Gabrielle Richardson
November 02, 2018

After you have finished your foundation/internship training you will be eligible to start applying for Speciality Training. In today’s post, we provide you with an outline to training within the NHS, how to apply for a training post and ways to enhance your training post application. Introduction Postgraduate medical education and training is the joint responsibility of the four Departments of Health in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the GMC, Postgraduate Deaneries and the Royal Colleges. Specialty Training Structure After you graduate from university, you will be a qualified junior doctor and you are then required to enter a two-year Foundation Programme designed to practice your knowledge and skills across a broad spectrum of specialties. If you complete this overseas, it is typically called an internship. Please note, that to enter into Core Medical Training within the NHS you will need your core competencies signed off. If you are unable to get them signed, you will need to complete FY1 and FY2 in the UK and then go onto Specialty Training. Core Medical Training and Specialty Training After you have finished your Foundation Training you will then need to enter Core Medical Training (CMT) and then Specialty Training (i.e. ST1, ST2, ST3 etc.) What happens in Core Medical Training? During this period of training, doctors will continue to acquire general competencies following the General Curriculum for Medical Specialties, which will provide a professional, moral and legal framework for practice. Please note, that CMT is specific to each individual specialty – some require it, some do not. Please visit the relevant Royal College’s website to find out more information. What happens in Speciality Training? For training within a specific medical specialty, you will be required to acquire the level 1 competencies as defined by the appropriate curriculum. Depending on the specialty, these training programmes will typically take a further 4-6 years. Please click here for a list of medical specialties and subspecialties you can practice within. If you achieve all your relevant competencies, each trainee will achieve a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT). What if I am an international doctor who is looking to train in the UK? I am a junior doctor: If you are a junior doctor with no specialist experience, then you can use the PLAB route to work within the NHS. This will allow you to apply for an ST1 post and use the UK training route to obtain your Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) – which will make you eligible for entry onto the GP Register or Specialist Register. Being on the Specialist Register will allow you to work as a UK Consultant. I am a specialised doctor: If you are a specialised doctor and you hold a Royal College Qualification, you can enter Speciality Training at ST3+ level. You can then use your UK training to obtain your Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) – which will make you eligible for entry onto the GP Register or Specialist Register, allowing you to work as a UK Consultant. Please click here for further information on the difference between CCT and CESR. What if I am a specialised doctor but I do not hold a Royal College Qualification? If you do not hold a Royal College Qualification, you can either obtain one which will allow you to apply for ST3+ level posts. Alternatively, you could use the PLAB route to obtaining GMC Registration. However, you will be limited to training within ST1 and ST2 posts – and you will eventually have to get a Royal College Qualification in order to continue with your training. How do I apply for a training post? Since 2015, the application process for specialty posts are implemented by Oriel, an online portal for everyone applying for medical and dental training across the UK. Oriel will allow you to register, view vacancies, apply, book interviews and assessment centres and receive offers – all in one place. Round 1 – Contains recruitment to all CT1/ST1 specialty training programmes. Posts appointed in this round will normally start in August 2018 and end typically no later than December 2018. Round 2 – This will be the first opportunity where ST3/ST4 posts in uncoupled training programmes will be advertised. These posts are typically advertised between August 2018 and December 2018. Round 1 Re-Advert – This is where vacant posts advertised in Round 1 are re-advertised in a second round. These adverts will appear in February 2018. Round 2 Re-Advert – This round contains vacant posts from Round 2. Typically, posts advertised in this round will commence in February 2019. Training posts are extremely competitive When deciding which posts and specialties to apply for, it is important that you are aware of the competition rate involved – as 99% of Round 1 and Round 2 posts are given first refusal to those who come through the UK training system. Please click here for a list of the 2018 Competition Ratios for each specialty. Therefore, as an IMG, we advise for you to take an NHS service job for at least a year and then apply for a training post – the NHS experience will dramatically enhance your application and reduce your competition. As a junior doctor, I understand that NHS posts at FY1, FY2 and SHO level posts are extremely competitive. What can I do to enhance my application? Our first and foremost advice would be to format your CV well. This is critical for it to be passed to the next stage of the recruitment process. Furthermore, if it is possible, try to obtain an NHS clinical attachment. This will massively enhance your application as you will have first-hand experience of how the system works. How do I successfully format my CV? A CV can be needed at any point of your medical career, and especially at the point of your decision to relocate to the UK and work for the NHS. Your CV is essentially a personal record of all your qualifications, achievements, skills and relevant experience being a doctor. You should view your CV as an opportunity to sell your skills and experiences. The GMC strongly advise that you write a CV specifically for your registration application. Details of what to include in your CV and its construction are listed below: Personal Information and Contact Details: Your name on your CV must match your name on your proof of identity Registrations: Provide your GMC reference number and the details of any other medical regulators you are registered with Memberships: List your professional body membership Qualifications: List your qualifications in reverse-chronological order Employment History: List your employment history in reverse-chronological order. Information to include: post title, start-end date, institution name and location, the name of your supervisor, provide a brief description on your current role – it should cover your duties and responsibilities indicating your level of supervision. Lastly, in this section include details of gaps of employment. Again, you should list them in reverse-chronological order. Any gaps which are longer than 28 days should be explained and accounted for Awards: List any awards you have received Research: List any research placements you have undertaken Publications: List any publications Continuing Professional Development (CPD): List your CPD activity within the last five years Conferences/Courses: Give details of relevant/important conferences or courses you have attended Teaching and Training Experience: Provide a brief description of your teaching and training activities Management Experience: Provide a brief description of your management history. Procedures: Give a list of all procedures you have performed Other details to include in a CV not being sent to the GMC: Interests and Hobbies: Here you could focus on any College Memberships or positions of responsibility References: Typically, people provide two references. Make sure your references have positions of responsibility, state their position and offer their contact details. CV Format Do’s and Don’ts: Do’s Choose a professional font to ensure legibility for prospective employers. Present each section in a clear logical order. Use clear section headings (i.e. Education and Employment History) and remember to order your history in reverse-chronological order to keep your CV legible and clear. Power Words – These are also known as action words. This includes: responsible for, co-ordinated, supervised, influenced, designed etc. Explain gaps in employment – You should explain all employment gaps that are over four weeks long. Don’ts Length - A medical CV is heavily focused on your experience and so detail is fundamental. Therefore, do not worry too much about the length of your CV. Personal Data – Do not include the following information: age, date of birth, ethnic identity, religious preference, marital status and sexual orientation. Experiment with font – You might think that decreasing your font size is a good way to fit a large amount into a smaller space, this could lead to your CV being illegible and not being read by prospective employers. Irrelevant information – When writing your CV ask yourself the question ‘Will it help me get the job?’ If the answer is no, do not put it in your CV. For instance, in the ‘Hobbies and Interests’ section do not put any hobbies unless it is relevant to your job application. Please email us at [email protected] if you would like u to send you an exemplary CV.   If you have any questions about the above information or relocation to the UK in general, get in touch with us at [email protected] and we will be happy to help. Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor – here, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional support and the chance to meet other IMGs.

How to get GMC Sponsorship (via the MTI Scheme)

By Gabrielle Richardson
October 26, 2018

International doctors are able to receive GMC Sponsorship via the MTI Scheme. The purpose of the MTI Scheme is to allow IMGs from developing nations to experience two-years of high-quality postgraduate training within the NHS before returning back to their home country to improve the healthcare system there. If your MTI Scheme application is successful you will be given Royal College sponsorship for GMC Registration and you will be recommended for a Tier 5. Step 1: Am I eligible for GMC Sponsorship? To be eligible for the MTI Scheme and for GMC Sponsorship, you must meet the below requirements: You must be living outside of the UK at the time of your application You must evidence your English language skills via either: IELTS – You must obtain a minimum score of 7.0 in each category and an overall score no less than 7.5 OET – You must obtain a minimum of Grade B in each category You must hold a GMC approved primary medical qualification that is verified by ECFMG You must demonstrate an intention to return home after the two-year maximum training period and evidence how the skills and knowledge you learn in the UK will benefit your patients and colleagues at home. Please note, that some Royal College’s will require you to have a certain amount of experience within the specialty, so check their requirements online. Step 2: Apply for a Training Post   After you have been accepted onto the MTI Scheme by your Royal College, you will be eligible to apply for a suitable job. You can either apply via: NHS Jobs or The Royal College’s list of approved posts Any post with sufficient and achievable training can, in theory, be converted to a post for the MTI Scheme. These posts will be advertised as a clinical fellowship or a Trust-grade post. However, it is important to note that these posts are often difficult to find because the Royal College need the job to match specific training requirements. Step 3: Application for GMC Sponsorship After you have been offered an NHS post, the Royal College will give both you and the hospital an application pack. The application pack will consist of important documents you will need to fill out and certificates you will need to provide a copy of. The hospital will need to do the same. Step 4: Review After the documents have been reviewed by the Royal College they will ensure that both you and the hospital post are suitable for MTI Sponsorship. Step 5: Offer Letter If you are successful in the above process, the Royal College will issue you an offer letter, stating your GMC sponsorship and a recommendation for a Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship. Step 6: Apply for GMC Registration After you have received your offer letter from the Royal College, you can now begin applying for your GMC Registration. The GMC will require: A Certificate of Sponsorship from the Royal College Other key documents which were required for your application pack   If your application is successful, you will be offered provisional GMC Registration without a licence to practice. It is only once you attend your ID check that you will be issued with full GMC Registration with a licence to practice. Step 7: Apply for your Tier 5 Visa CoS You must be offered provisional registration before the Royal College can apply for a CoS on your behalf. After the UK Government have issued you your CoS you can then apply for your Tier 5 visa.   Step 8: Apply for your Tier 5 visa After you have got your Tier 5 visa, you can fly over to the UK, attend your GMC ID check and obtain full GMC Registration with a licence to practice and then take up your new training post. For further information on the advantages and disadvantages of the MTI Scheme, please click here. And if you have any further questions, please email [email protected] and we will be happy to guide you. Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor! Here, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional guidance and the chance to meet other IMGs!

The CESR Application Process

By Gabrielle Richardson
September 12, 2018

If you are an international doctor who would like to become a Consultant within the NHS, you will need to apply for CESR. CESR stands for Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration. The process can take over six months and you will need to prepare various pieces of evidence to support your application. This guide will help you prepare your application, give tips on how to successfully apply and inform you of the GMC’s recent change to the CESR application process. Please read our article A guide to CESR for more in-depth information on how CESR can be advantageous to your career. In this article, we provide you with details on how to organise and submit your evidence, qualifications that need to be verified, and changes to the CESR application process. How do I organise my evidence? The GMC is able to deal with your application more quickly if you ensure that you only upload evidence that is directly relevant. They typically expect to see between 800 and 1,000 pages of evidence. For example, evidence over five years old will be given less weight than more recent evidence, so you may not need to include it. Tips – your evidence should be structured so that the GMC can assess it properly. The GMC provides an application divider pack to help arrange and present your evidence correctly. You must follow the structure of the dividers when ordering your evidence. GMC Guidance: Do not bind or staple your documents A4, A3 and A5 document sizes are permitted Double-sided documents are permitted Do not submit books or leaflets, you must scan the relevant pages and submit Do not submit your evidence in folders or plastic wallets Once you have listed your evidence within your online application, you should print your evidence checklist, which will include all of the details you have listed. The GMC advises you to use this checklist as the first page of your bundle of evidence and tick the relevant box to show that you have included each item in your bundle. How do I submit my evidence? You must ensure that you have all the pro-formas from your verifiers to accompany your evidence before you send this to us Your pro-formas must be submitted on the top of your evidence bundle and if your pro-formas are not at the top, your application may be delayed Remember to provide copies of your evidence and not the original documents How do I verify my evidence? Only certain pieces of evidence must be verified: Evidence showing registration with overseas medical regulators Qualifications gained outside the UK Who will authenticate this evidence for me? A solicitor The awarding body Evidence that does not need to be verified: Your CV Feedback Continuing professional development (CPD) certificates, courses relevant to the curriculum, evidence of attendance at teaching or appraisal courses Publications (those available in the public domain) Reflective notes or diaries Honours, prizes, awards or discretionary points Please note, you must still provide copies of the above evidence. Changes made to the CESR application process On 6th November 2018, the online application system for CESR, CEGPR and Review applications is changing. As a result of feedback from a survey, the GMC will not require applications to be submitted electronically – this will make the application process easier and less burdensome for doctors. Advantages to the change: Quicker and cheaper for you as you will not need to print and post large numbers of documents You will be able to use the online application like a portfolio to gather your evidence The application process will be quicker as there will be no delays Please note that you will still be able to submit hard-copied evidence, you will just have to inform the GMC on your online application. References (2018). CESR CEGPR application process. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Sep. 2018].

Everything you need to know about verifying your medical qualifications

By Gabrielle Richardson
September 05, 2018

Everything you need to know about verifying your medical qualifications From the 11th June, all IMGs applying for their GMC Registration will need to have their primary medical qualification verified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). In this article, we want to share some top tips on verifying your medical qualifications and hopefully make the process that little bit easier for you. Check the criteria Before sending your qualification off to ECFMG it is important to check that your primary medical qualification is on the list of acceptable overseas medical qualifications. If your qualification is not listed, you will need to contact the GMC for further advice. Please note that verification is also required if you are applying for registration through the approved postgraduate qualification route (rather than the PLAB route). In this case, you will need to verify both your primary medical qualification and your postgraduate qualification. Start the verification process as early as possible When you request for your qualification to be verified, ECFMG will contact the organisation which gave you your medical qualification (e.g. a medical school or a Royal College) and ask them to confirm that your qualification is genuine. The GMC can only keep applications open for 90 days, so it is a good idea to make the verification of your qualifications one of the first steps you take to prepare to work in the UK as the verification process can be lengthy. You can start the verification process as far in advance as financially possible, for example before taking PLAB Part 1. For guidance on how to set up an EPIC account please click here. In most instances, you will only need to have your primary medical qualification and postgraduate qualification verified Most doctors worry that they will now need to have all their documents verified, for example, an internship certificate – however, this is not the case. It is only your primary medical qualification and postgraduate qualification that will need to be verified. Advantages to verification The first advantage is that once you have had your qualification verified by ECFMG, the check will last for your entire career. Therefore, if you decided to work in another country where this is required, you would not need to have this verified again. Other countries that require this are Australia, the USA, Canada and the Republic of Ireland. Second, your EPIC account allows you to build an online portfolio of your medical qualifications, which you can update as you progress throughout your career. The third advantage of verification is that if you are re-applying for GMC Registration, you will not need to have your qualifications verified again. You will simply need to enter your existing EPIC ID number in your GMC application and use EPIC to send a verification report to them. Other registration requirements remain unchanged The registration process for IMGs has not changed. You will still need to: Evidence your English language skills - via IELTS or OET Attend an ID check at the GMC Offices – either London or Manchester Provide the GMC with evidence of good standing, where required Overall, the introduction of the verification from ECFMG simply confirms to the GMC that your qualifications are genuine. If you have a query about the verification process or GMC Registration, then email your question to [email protected] and we will be happy to help you. And if you are an IMG who is ready to relocate to the UK and work within the NHS send your CV to [email protected] and one of our Specialist Advisers will be in touch. Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor – here you will have access to frequent blog posts on relocating to the UK and working within the NHS, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional guidance and the chance to meet other IMGs. References Amison, R. (2018). 10 things you need to know about verifying your medical qualifications. [online] Medical professionalism and regulation in the UK. Available at: [Accessed 5 Sep. 2018].

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. 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 requires 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 [email protected] 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!  


By Gabrielle Richardson
August 10, 2018

What is PLAB 2? PLAB 2 is the second part of the GMC’s PLAB Exams and is an Objective Structured Clinical Examination Exam – it contains 20 stations that includes 2 resting stations. Fees: PLAB 1: £230 PLAB 2: £840 Where is PLAB 2 held? The PLAB 2 Exam is held at the General Medical Council Assessment Centre in Manchester: General Medical Council 3 Hardman Street Manchester M3 3AW Please note that this is the only assessment centre and so to sit PLAB 2 you will be required to come to the UK by applying for a PLAB 2 UK Visit Visa. Please note, you will need to apply for a UK Visit Visa as soon as you have booked your exam. You will need to collate numerous documents to evidence your application – so we advise for you to get organised for this as soon as possible. View our article on the UK Visit Visa to find out what documents you will need. Furthermore, it is important that you do not apply for a six month visit visa when your purpose in the UK is merely to sit your PLAB 2 Exam. Therefore, it is important to apply for a visa of around 1-2 weeks. This is important because you will need to provide an itinerary of your stay and applications who do not evidence their plan for the UK/apply for too much time in the UK will be denied. When should I book my PLAB 2 Exam? The PLAB 2 exam can be booked at any time throughout the year as the GMC holds multiple exam sittings per month. However, the PLAB 2 is in high demand which means that it is rare to be able to book an exam date for the next month. On average, exam dates are available almost 90 days ahead of the date you are booking on. Because of the high demand we, therefore, advise for you to book your PLAB 2 Exam date as soon as you find out you have passed PLAB 1.  Those who end up booking a week after finding out their passed PLAB 1 result can end up waiting up to 5 months for the next available date. To apply for your PLAB 2 Exam you will need to log onto your GMC Registration account view the available dates and book under the ‘My Tests’ section. You can only do this once you have your PLAB 2 results. When should I start preparing for PLAB 2? The preparation time for PLAB 2 will vary depending on the individual and their personal circumstances. Factors that will influence your preparation time include your: Medical Knowledge English Language Skills Clinical Assessment Experience Interpersonal Skills Ideally, from listening to a number of doctors’ experiences with PLAB 2 – the minimum amount of revision time is 8 weeks. PLAB 2 Courses: Dr Swamy PLAB Courses – Manchester This course is located at a medical training centre with the purpose of training International Medical Graduates for the PLAB 2 exam. The course centre is held in Levenshulme, Manchester. For £600 you will receive a 12-day course of training and revision resources for PLAB 2, unlimited days of mannequin practice until your exam date and two mock tests. Online PLAB Coach This course is based online and costs £250. Buying this course offers you access to PLAB 2 lectures and a simulated mock exam. The use of Facebook Groups and Online Forums There are various PLAB 2 Facebook groups you can join which will provide you with support from other IMGs, the ability to ask mock exam questions, or the opportunity to find a partner to practice with. PLAB 2 Exam Stations The PLAB 2 stations can be roughly divided into three categories. History, Examination, Diagnosis and Management Stations Purely Manikin/Examination Stations Medical Ethics Stations 1. History, Examination, Diagnosis and Management Stations These stations will comprise of a clinical based scenario between a doctor and a patient within a typical clinical setting. The topics can range from a number of specialties including Medicine, Psychiatry and Paediatrics. You will be expected to take the patient’s history, perform an examination and discuss management with the patient. You will have to complete the entire task within 8 minutes. A bell will ring at 6 minutes and you will have to proceed to the management part if you have not yet begun to. Time management is a fundamental part of these stations because the mark scheme is based on History, Examination, Diagnosis and Management. Examination Stations The type of station will require you to perform a task on a manikin, such as the insertion of an IV Cannula or Basic Life Support. You will still be marked against the History, Examination, Diagnosis and Management criteria. Your revision should be extensive as almost all examinations performed in the medical field can appear in the PLAB 2 exam – so make sure you are prepared. Medical Ethics Stations The GMC has a strict code of conduct and it is essential that all practising doctors follow the GMC’s Good Medical Practice guidelines. For the GMC, it is important that all doctors within the NHS: Make the care of their patient their first concern Be competent and keep your professional knowledge and skills up to date Take prompt action if you think patient safety is being comprised Establish and maintain good partnerships with your patients and colleagues Maintain trust in you and the profession by being open, honest and acting with integrity Some doctors find these stations the most difficult because they ultimately test your knowledge of the UK system and your approach towards communication, behaviour and patient empathy. The scenarios will be based on a wide range of issues to assess your ability to act ethically. This includes patients with drug use, domestic violence cases and end of life treatment. The Marking Scheme There will be a total of 12 marks for each station. The marking is based on three criteria: Data Gathering – History and Examination Management – Diagnosis and Treatment Communication – Interaction with patient and language skills Each category is awarded 4 marks. Tip – Be careful not to use medical terminology during each station, but if it is said, it is advised for you to explain the meaning to the patient. Although marking is based directly against the above criteria, there are several other elements that the examiner will consider. This includes your listening skills, your tone of voice, hand gestures etc – so be conscious of your mannerisms. Accommodation near the GMC Building, Manchester Hotel Price Distance from GMC Building Travelodge Manchester Central £34 per night 9-minute walk Jurys Inn Manchester £62 10-minute walk Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel Portland Street £61 14-minute walk Please note that the above prices are subject to change, so it is important to book well in advance to secure the lowest price. Successful Tips to Passing PLAB 2 Take some time to read the task It is very important to take your time to read the task and to understand what is expected of you. When you are considering your approach to the task remember the three criteria you will be marked on. If you have misunderstood the task, the examiner may ask you to refer back to it. If this does happen, please do not panic – just take a deep breath and start again. When you are given the name of the patient – be sure to use the correct name and do not waste time establishing the patient’s name. This may appear like a small detail but to call a patient by their wrong name is unprofessional and it will impact your overall mark at the station. Do not think of PLAB 2 as an exam, but a busy clinic day The best approach to the situation is to think of the exam as a busy clinic day. Just think that you have 18 consultations on your clinic list, you have enough time to look over each patient’s notes before each consultation and you may have to give details of some test results. If you are an IMG who is interested in relocating to the UK and working within the NHS send your CV to [email protected] – and one of our Specialist Advisers will be happy to help you. Come and join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor. Here you will receive access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional support and guidance and you can meet other IMGs! References (2018). Good medical practice. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Aug. 2018]. Medical professionalism and regulation in the UK. (2018). Top tips from a PLAB examiner: how to succeed in Part 2. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Aug. 2018].

Overview of IELTS

By Gabrielle Richardson
July 30, 2018

Overview of IELTS As part of GMC registration, the GMC require all Doctors to demonstrate their knowledge of the English language to receive a licence to practise. All methods of communication need to be demonstrated to the GMC so you will need to prove your ability to listen, read, write and speak. There are various routes for Doctors to evidence their knowledge of the English language, however, the easiest and most popular way to this is to take the academic English knowledge test known as IELTS or the medical English knowledge test named OET. In this blog article we are going to explore the IELTS exam, provide helpful tips for taking the exam and provide the services of an IELTS expert who can also aid you. There are various IELTS test options, including Academic, General Training and Academic UK Visa and Immigration (VI). For an IMG who wants to become GMC registered we advise that you take the Academic UK VI exam, as this will satisfy both GMC and Visa requirements. The listening, reading and writing components of all IELTS tests are completed within the same day, with no breaks in between them. The speaking element of the exam can be completed up to a week before or after the other three tests. Your IELTS test centre will advise you on this. In addition, each part of the IELTS exam content can be formatted in any way – this includes graphs, multiple choice questions, matching lists and phrases to identification of information. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Listening There are four elements to the IELTS listening exam. Each section will have ten questions and a total of forty questions. There is no specialist subject knowledge needed for the listening exam as all the answers will be given in the played recordings. You will have forty minutes to complete the listening exam; you will listen for thirty minutes and then for the last ten minutes you will have to transfer your answers onto the answer sheet. Task 1 Social Needs: In the first task you will listen to a conversation between two people. The subject is social needs and so the topic of conversation can range from travel arrangements to decisions on which restaurant to attend. Task 2 Social Needs: The second task will be a monologue (a speech from an individual). The subject is social needs so the topic of conversation can range from providing a speech on thoughts on a university to an individual’s experience at a work conference. Task 3 Educational or Training: The third task will provide you with a recording between up to four people. One example of the type of conversation could include a conversation between a teacher and a group of students. Task 4 Academic Subject: The last part of listening exam is another monologue. The topic is academic subject. One example of this task could include a lecture from a university teacher. As mentioned above, once you have listened to the recordings you must ensure that you transfer your answers over to your answer sheet. When transferring your answers over we advise you to follow the subsequent tips. First, be aware of your handwriting. Although you may be rushed for time towards the end of the exam you need to ensure your handwriting is eligible because if the marker cannot read your writing then they cannot award you with marks. The same rule applies to spelling, if you have incorrect spelling then again, the examiner will have to mark it as incorrect. Second, you will be given some time to read the question before the recording is played – so prepare yourself for the topic and what key information to look out for. Third, when you are taking your listening exam if you do not hear everything on the recording do not panic, just try and listen for the keywords and then focus on what you need to be listening for. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Reading The reading part of the IELTS exam will provide you with three (sometimes four) reading passages which will increase in difficulty. The text provided will be genuine and are often taken from magazines, books and newspapers, the audience will be the public and the topic will be on general interest. The test will be sixty minutes long, there will be a total of forty questions and each question will be worth one mark. Part 1: The first part of the reading exam will provide you with a short factual passage and the topic will be relevant to your everyday life when you move to the UK and work in British environment. To exemplify, the question could ask you about a magazine advertisement. Part 2: Similar to the first part, the exam will provide you with a short factual passage however the focus will relate to employment. To exemplify, paying income tax. Part 3: The last part of the exam will be a longer passage and the most difficult. The topic in this section will be of general interest. When taking the reading part of your IELTS exam, our first and foremost piece of advice is to make sure you understand what the question is asking and follow the question instructions carefully. Second, do not try and read every word within the passage, the exam is testing your ability to skim and scan the passages to try and retrieve the most important pieces of information. Last, we advise you to keep an eye on the time – do not spend too long on one passage! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Writing The writing element of the IELTS exam will test your ability to write English clearly and with coherence. The exam will last for sixty minutes and has two parts to it. Task 1: The test will present you with a graph, chart, table or diagram and you will be asked to summarise the informational data in your own words. Task 2: The test will then ask you to write an essay as a response to an argument or problem stated in the paper. The second task is worth more than the first task so we advise you to spend more time on the second. Typically, forty minutes on the essay and twenty minutes on the graph description should be an adequate way to divide your time. Our second piece of advice when taking the IELTS writing exam is to practice. The best way for an individual to improve their written language skills is to frequently practice and to correct any grammar or spelling mistakes. Third, it would be useful for IELTS candidates to practice essay structures as the structure of your exam will contribute to your overall writing mark. If you would like advice on how to structure a short essay then visit this website. Fourth, before you begin writing your answer we suggest that you analyse each task closely, make notes and then write an essay plan. Other tips include to write in paragraphs (this makes it clear when you are moving onto a new point), do not repeat points (you will not receive extra marks and), keep each of your points relevant to the question and check your work for any mistakes. Following the above tips will help your answer appear well formulated and will fill the marker with confidence from the outset. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Speaking The format of the speaking test is a structured discussion with a certified examiner. Although the discussion will cover certain topics, IELTS try to ensure that the conversation between you and the examiner is organic, interactive and as close to a real-life situation as a test can get. The speaking test will be between eleven to fourteen minutes and will be split into three parts. Part 1: The examiner will ask you questions with regards to yourself, your family, your work and your hobbies and interests. Part 2: The examiner will present you with a task card and ask you to speak about that specific subject. The card will include subject points that you can include. The examiner will give you one minute to formulate your talk and you will then be expected to speak for one-two minutes. Part 3: In the last part you will then be expected to have a conversation with your examiner about the random topic you discussed in Part 2. The examiner will ask you questions on your subject talk and you will have to converse in conversation. To study for your IELTS speaking exam we provide three pieces of advice. First, practice speaking English with a friend or family member. Speak about the topics that the examiner will test you on, this includes personal information, details about your family work and hobbies. Second, record yourself talking about a particular topic and then listen back to it. By hearing your own voice, you will be able to assess whether your English is spoken effortlessly and accurately. Third, we advise that you should have a practice of the entire speaking test without interruption. The advantage of this is that it will make your practice as close to the real thing as possible! And so, when you come to take the exam you will feel more at ease as you have already experienced the process. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- How do I prepare for IELTS? Fail to prepare, prepare to fail – The amount of IELTS preparation differs for everyone, as everyone has a different level of English skills. Therefore, we advise to prepare for the exam as far in advance as you need. But remember, that just because you know someone who passed IELTS with flying colours, it is not the same for everyone. Assess your abilities – Before you book your IELTS exam for a date we advise you to find out what level your English is. Often people are stronger in one communication area, whether it is speaking, writing, reading or listening. Therefore, once you find out your level of ability you can set realistic goals and a revision timeline. Do practice papers – One of the best ways to prepare for an exam is to do practice questions. This is the best way to prepare because when you enter the exam you will already be aware of the papers format, you have practiced paper timings and you are learning at the same time. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- IELTS Expert BDI Resourcing work with an expert in IELTS preparation, named IELTS Advantage, who will be available to provide you with the help and support needed to allow you to pass the exam. The materials on IELTS Advantage website offers free materials that are regularly updated. The available materials include IELTS exam tips and tricks, lesson plans and sample answers. In addition, IELTS Advantage offer a premium essay correction service and online courses for those that would prefer tailored advice and guidance. So if you are an IMG who is in the process of taking IELTS and are considering moving to the UK and working for the NHS then take a look at our jobs board to find see current NHS vacancies. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If you are an international doctor who wants to relocate to the UK and work within the NHS send your CV to [email protected] – and we will be happy to help you. In addition, if you would like support form an online forum of other IMG’s join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor: IMG Advisor

How to restore your GMC licence

By Gabrielle Richardson
June 20, 2018

To practice medicine in the UK you will need to hold GMC Registration with a licence to practice. An individual’s status as a registered doctor holding a licence to practise will form part of their electronic record on the GMC’s List of Registered Medical Practitioners. Often, doctors leave the UK to visit family and during this time some like to take up temporary work in their home country. The GMC does not require doctors to retain registration or a licence to practice when they are not engaged in medical practice in the UK. During this instance, it is important for doctors to work within the guidelines and standards of the GMC and to ensure they comply with and are active on any foreign register prior to working abroad. If you want to temporarily leave the UK to work abroad there will be three options available to you: 1.Relinquish your registration 2.Relinquish your licence 3.Voluntary erasure (giving up your licence and registration) 1. Maintaining your registration – with or without a licence To maintain your GMC registration whilst you work overseas, you must pay your annual retention fee and keep the GMC informed of your up-to-date contact details such as your overseas address. You can choose to hold a licence to practise whilst practising abroad, but you will need to revalidate prior to your return. Restoring registration If you need to restore your registration you can do so up to three months before you need it to start. It is important to make an early application so that there are no delays upon your return to the UK. You must make your application online via the GMC website. Check the GMC website for current evidence requirements and the process that you need to follow. You may also need to attend another identity check before the restoration process can be completed. 2. Relinquish your licence but maintain your registration If you want to work abroad then you may consider giving up your licence for the period you are out of UK practice. However, each hospital’s policy on this will vary so be sure to check with them. You also need to check whether the medical association or organisation in the country to which you are relocating requires you to still be licenced in your home country. What are the benefits of giving up my licence? A reduced annual retention rate is charged by the GMC when holding registration without a licence You keep a professional connection with the GMC You won’t be involved in revalidation (until you have a licence to practise again Restoring registration If you have given up your licence to practise but kept your registration you will need to restore your licence before you can practise again in the UK. If you don’t need to change your registration and just want to restore your licence you can do so up to three months before you need your licence. You should apply as early as possible so you can practice promptly when you return to the UK. The GMC will ask you for: Evidence to confirm your identity Statements from the organisations you have most recently provided medical services to Certificates of Good Standing from any other regulators you have been registered within the past five years The GMC may ask you to attend another identity check at either their London or Manchester office. Please note that the BMJ advise that you should not assume that your licence has been restored until you receive written confirmation from the GMC. 3. Voluntary Erasure You can request to have your name erased from the register while you are practising abroad. This means you will no longer be registered with the GMC or hold a licence to practise. What are the advantages of voluntary erasure? You will not have to pay the annual registration fee during a period when you do not need to be registered There is no fee for removing your name from the register To give up your registration, you will need to make an application directly to the GMC – no more than three months before the date on which you want your registration to end. Please note that the BMJ advise that you should not assume that your licence has been restored or your registration type changed until you receive written confirmation from the GMC. If you would then like to register with the GMC to receive your licence to practise you will need to start another application online. Revalidation All doctors who have full registration and a licence to practise with the GMC are required to demonstrate, on a regular basis, that they are up to date and fit to practise. This is called revalidation. What is revalidation? Every licensed doctor who practises medicine in the UK must revalidate their licence. Revalidation ensures your medical knowledge and practice is up to date and drives improvements in clinical governance and will provide patients with confidence. For information on how to re-validate click here. If you are an international doctor who wants to relocate to the UK and work within the NHS send your CV to [email protected] – and we will be happy to help you. In addition, if you would like support from an online forum of other IMG’s join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor: IMG Advisor. References (2018). BMA – GMC guidance for doctors taking time out. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018]

UKMLA to replace PLAB

By Gabrielle Richardson
May 23, 2018

The GMC has announced their plan to replace PLAB with UKMLA for doctors wishing to practise in the UK The General Medical Council has approved a plan to develop a unified assessment for every doctor who wants to practise in the UK. This will be implemented from the academic year of 2022. The new title of the exam is the United Kingdom Medical Licensing Assessment (UKMLA). Currently, UK graduates are required to pass their medical school’s exams, and international medical graduates are required to pass the Professional and Linguistics Assessment Board (PLAB) test (or have a GMC approved postgraduate qualification) before the GMC will grant them a licence to practise in the UK. Why is this change happening? While UK medical schools’ curriculums must comply with the GMC’s Outcomes for Graduates, the GMC claims that the new licensing exam will give greater reassurance to the UK public and create a “common threshold for safe practice”. Post the GMC’s announcement, they then carried out a public consultation from January 2017 to April 2017 and have visited all medical schools to get medical students’ views. When will this happen? So what do we know about the UKMLA so far? 1. What is the MLA? The exam is likely to consist of a “test of applied knowledge” (multiple-choice questions), a “test of clinical and professional skills” (objective structured clinical exam – OSCE), and questions about health care and law in the UK. 2. If I am already on the UK medical register, will I have to take the MLA? No – the MLA will be for people who are applying for registration for a license to practise. 3. If I apply to join the UK medical register before 2022 will I have to take MLA? No – the requirement to pass the MLA will start in the academic year of 2022. 4. Will I have to take PLAB and the MLA? Once the MLA replaces PLAB you will take the MLA. Before implementation, you will take PLAB. 5. Will there be exemptions from taking the MLA? Some doctors entering the UK from overseas are exempt from the existing PLAB tests, as they have a GMC approved postgraduate qualification. Therefore, it is possible that some doctors will be exempt from the MLA under similar arrangements. Unfortunately, at this moment in time, we do not know any further details about the new UKMLA exam. However, when more information is published we will share this with you.   How will the UKMLA exam test me? The exam will form two parts: 1. Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) - this test will be the same for UK students and IMGS. You will be able to sit this test overseas. There is an intention for the test to be computer-based for all candidates. 2. Clinical and Professional Skills Assessment (Clinical and Professional Skills Assessment) - If your medical school's clinical exam meets the same standard of the MLA - you will have passed this element of the exam. 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. Referencing: (2018). What you should know about the new national exam for medical students | Student BMJ. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 May 2018]. UKLA forums. (2018.) GMC announces plans to develop the UK Medical Licensing exam (UKMLA) – UKMLAforums. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 May 2018].  

EPIC Verification

By Gabrielle Richardson
May 16, 2018

From 11th June 2018, applicants for GMC registration with a licence to practise will now need to have their primary medical qualification independently verified before registration can be granted. This article will provide you with everything you need to know about the change. Please note the change will apply if you: qualified at a medical school outside of the UK, European Economic Area or Switzerland are a national of a country outside the UK, EEA, or Switzerland who graduated from medical schools outside the UK do not already hold provisional registration How will my primary medical qualification be verified? The verification will be carried out by the ECFMG through their online system – which is known as the Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC) service. ECFMG will verify the qualification is genuine by checking this directly with the doctor’s awarding institution. Remember: Before you start the verification process it is important to check whether your primary medical qualification is GMC recognised and/or your post-graduate qualification. If your qualifications are not recognised by the GMC they will be unable to grant your registration with a licence to practise, even if your qualifications have been verified by ECFMG. How do I verify my qualifications? After you can confirm that your qualifications are GMC approved, you will need to set up an online EPIC account and confirm your identity. Once your identity is confirmed you will be able to upload your qualifications for verification. ECFMG will assess your qualifications and communicate directly with your awarding institution to confirm their authenticity. When they have verified your qualifications, you will be informed by email and then be able to update your GMC application. Please note that the GMC recommend that you have your qualifications verified before applying for registration as it is a timely wait verifying your qualifications and the GMC can only keep applications open for ninety days. How long will verification take? This will depend on a number of factors which includes: The time it takes for your awarding institution to respond to ECFMG (most schools will respond within ninety days) Whether your awarding institution accepts these requests electronically, as sending requests by post or courier will take longer How much will it cost me? The fees are charged in USD and you will need to pay the ECFMG directly. Based on recent exchange rates, it can cost anywhere between £155-£260, depending on how many qualifications you need to submit for verification. You should contact your bank or check currency conversion sites for the most up to date foreign exchange rates. Click here to find out more information about fees. Please note that if you no longer want your qualification verified, you will not be entitled to a refund. Sources: General Medical Council. 2018. Changes to the application process for international medical graduates. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 16 May 2018]. 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

NHS Options for IMGs

By Gabrielle Richardson
May 04, 2018

Here at BDI Resourcing we always asked what the different routes of relocating to the UK and working for the NHS are. We, therefore, wanted to visually simplify the process for you by creating a flowchart explaining the different routes. The three options are: Postgraduate Medical Qualification PLAB Medical Training Initiative If you are an IMG who is interested in relocating to the UK and working for the NHS then send your CV to [email protected] - and one of our Specialist Advisers will be happy to help you.

What does the online GMC Registration application entail?

By Gabrielle Richardson
March 23, 2018

What does the online GMC Registration application entail? The GMC requires all Doctors who practise medicine in the UK to be registered with them. Each Doctor has different circumstances and all international Doctors will begin their registration at different stages, however, usually it is towards the end of the relocation process. Registration with the GMC can be time-consuming and worrying, but in this article, we aim to explore each registration step, clearly state the required documentation and what you should expect at the ID check. And hopefully with our guidance the registration process should be a lot simpler to understand! Guide through the online application Sign up to ‘GMC Online’ – A personalised portal for all Doctors who want to be GMC registered Once you have created an account click on ‘My Registration’ Then click on ‘My Applications’ and follow the instructions regarding your nationality You will then be asked to fill out the ‘GMC Registration Form’ which has eight sections to it: Name – Provide details of your given name, including all middle names Details of your internship – Separate each rotation by date and specialty Professional Experience – Here you should provide details on your work experience in the last five years and any employment gaps in this time. Please note that you must explain all days off including annual leave and if applicable provide evidence. i.e. Details of a training course Licencing – Here you will provide details of your Certificate of Good Standing, which are the facts of your registration with the local medical authority from the country of which you have practised medicine Fitness to Practise – The GMC support that for Doctor’s to practise safely they must be competent in what they do. They will therefore ask you a series of questions regarding your competencies. This includes your knowledge, safety and quality, communication and teamwork, and the ability to maintain trust. Declaration – You will then be asked to declare your right to work in the UK, if you have had any problems with law enforcement authorities, and whether you agree to the GMC’s rules and regulations Payment – The final step of the registration process is to provide a payment. You are required to pay £425 until the 1st April 2018 and then the fee will reduce to £390 Supporting Documentation - After you have filled the above form and made the registration payment, you will receive an email from the GMC asking you to provide the following documents in one collated PDF document. What documentation do I need to provide to the GMC? Passport / Right to Work in the UK documents Primary Medical Degree Qualification Certificate – A full list of GMC approved PMQ can be found here. Certificate of Good Standing Evidence of your English language proficiency (Typically IELTS or OET) Internship Certificate Employer References Please note that the above list of documents are just a guideline and each documentation requirement is subjective to each application. However, after you have paid for your registration you will receive a personalised email from the GMC providing a list of required documentation. Furthermore, the GMC will only give you 28 days to upload these documents. If you do not submit the documents within this time your application will be closed and you will be refunded your application fee, meaning you will have to re-start the entire process again. What is a Certificate of Good Standing? The GMC requires you to provide details on each medical regulatory body that you have been registered with in the last five years, even if you have not practised in that jurisdiction. These details will be presented as a Certificate of Good Standing (CGS) from each medical body. Click here to find out who the medical regulatory body is for each country and their contact details detailed in the GMC CGS Contact Database. The GMC require that the CGS must confirm the following details: You are/were entitled to practise medicine in that country You were not disqualified, suspended or prohibited from practising medicine The authority is not aware of any matters that question your good standing You should note: If the country you are/were registered in does not have a medical regulatory authority, you will need to request an employer reference form. Certificate of Good Standings are only valid for three months from issue date and they must be valid on the date that your GMC registration application is approved. What happens after I have submitted the documents? After you have uploaded the required documentation to the GMC they will begin to process your application. If you have missing evidence they will contact you asking you to provide it so they can continue to process it. Once they have all the correct information they will then decide on your application. If it is accepted you will then be asked to attend an identification check in the UK. What happens if my application is not accepted? This is a very rare occasion. If the GMC cannot process your application it is typically due to administrative reasons, and they will always give you an opportunity to provide this evidence. Examples include but are not limited to: Clarification on your SELR form – in this case you will have to wait for the hospital to respond to the GMC Royal College Certificate is out of date by a couple of weeks – you will have to wait for your Royal College to verify your certificate On the seldom occasion the GMC cannot register your application they will refund your registration fee and you will have to apply again. Identification Check Your GMC ID check will have to be done in person at one of their offices in either London or Manchester. You can book your ID check through the same portal used to make your application via ‘My Appointments’. Although ID checks are often booked after an IMG’s registration has been accepted, we advise you to book your ID check as early as possible. This is because the ID checks are booked up a long way in advance and in fact the GMC do not require you to have all your relevant documentation approved first. In addition, the GMC only offer you three months from the moment your application is successful to complete the ID check and then you will need to apply again. When you arrive at the ID check you will be expected to have your passport and other forms of ID. The GMC may request other documents; however, this information will be provided once you are invited. Once you have arrived they will take an ID photo and a copy of your signature to keep on record. The ID check usually takes around twenty minutes and once it is completed you will be added to the list of registered medical practitioners and officially GMC registered. Do I need a Visa to come to the UK for my ID check? Yes, you will need to apply for a UK Visit Visa. You can apply for your Visa here. What information do I need to provide on my Visa application? The application will ask you to provide: Personal Details Travel information (itinerary) Family information Do I need to provide any supporting documents? Yes, the application will ask you to provide the following documentation for your application: Cover Letter: Details on what to include in your cover letter are provided in the section below Passport: Must be valid Letter of employment: This letter should be provided by the hospital that you are currently working for confirming your employment. Bank statements: If you will be supporting yourself financially for this trip then you will need to provide your bank statements, typically six months’ worth. However, if another person is supporting you then you will need to provide your own bank statements as well as the bank statements of your financial supporter. Proof of accommodation in Manchester: As your exam is held in Manchester we advise you took book accommodation in this city and if you book in advance the price will be a lot lower. PLAB 1 results: It would be useful to provide the application with a copy of the email which confirms your passing of the PLAB 1 exam. PLAB 2 booking: Another useful document that could be provided is a copy of the booking confirmation that the GMC will send you IELTS results: This will confirm that you are eligible to take PLAB Primary medical qualification: The last document which will greatly support your application is evidence of your primary medical qualification. If you would like further information on how to apply for a UK Visit Visa or more information on the supporting documentation, such as what to include in your cover letter or travel information – Read our article: The UK Visa Application Process for PLAB 2 (the Visa application process is the same for GMC ID check). If you have decided that relocating to the UK is the next career move for you then email your CV to [email protected] – where we will support you through the process. From deciding on the perfect UK location, to securing the perfect job to sourcing perfect school for your children – we will be there to help you decide.

error: Content is protected !!