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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 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 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. 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 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 – 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 – 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) 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. 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 – 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? 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. If you are an IMG who wants to relocate to the UK and work for the NHS then send your CV to – 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].

Change to GMC Registration Process

By Gabrielle Richardson
May 16, 2018

Changes to the GMC Registration application process for IMG’s From today (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 What happens if I started my application before 11th June 2018? Applications for registration with a licence to practise which have not been submitted and paid for by midnight on 10th June 2018, will be closed on 11th June as the GMC will be updating their system. If you start your application after 11tth June 2018, you will need to have your primary medical qualification (and post-graduate qualification, if you have one) verified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) before the GMC can grant registration with a licence to practise. 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 – 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 - 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 – 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.

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 – and one of the team will be happy to provide you with tailored advice.

Overview of the Medical Training Initiative

By Gabrielle Richardson
March 13, 2018

Overview of the Medical Training Initiative (MTI) What is MTI? The Medical Training Initiative was established by the UK Department of Health in 2009. The scheme provides another possible route for an IMG who wants to relocate to the UK and work for the NHS. Its purpose is to allow suitable qualified overseas Doctors to undertake a fixed period of training in the UK within the NHS, before returning to their home country. As an IMG who partakes in this scheme you will greatly benefit from increased knowledge, skills and techniques learnt within the NHS and take that experience with you to use in your home country. The scheme has resulted in many government health institutions managing and running an array of programmes with varying responsibilities and quality assurance measures in place. This set of standards is placed by Health Education England (HEE), the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in partnership with the Medical Royal Colleges and other organisations with the goal of standardising and providing quality assurance of all MTI training places. In 2018 the HEE and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges launched a new set of standards for the MTI, which can be found here. The new standards are focused towards those who administer and approve MTI placements in line with the current guides and information for MTI’s already available. Benefits of MTI As an international Doctor who is part of the training scheme, you will be provided with speciality training and supervision by a qualified NHS consultant. When you begin the scheme, you will be given an opportunity to create a training plan which will suit your educational needs and ensure that you are offered all desired experience before the scheme ends and you return home. Royal College’s typically sponsor GMC registrations and Tier 5 Visa applications – making the process that little bit easier for you. Despite being a trainee within a hospital, you will receive the same salary as a qualified UK Doctor. However, it is useful to note that if you receive funding from your home country then you will not be provided with a salary in the UK. Disadvantages of MTI Visa issued is a Tier 5 VISA, this means that it will take 7 years to gain indefinite leave to remain in the UK as opposed to 5 years via the Tier 2 route If you already have full membership with the Royal College there is very little benefit to undertaking an MTI post as most doctors who come on this scheme are looking for UK experience prior to the final part of their Royal College Membership For senior doctors you will have to do a six-month period as an SHO in the UK, you can enter the UK system as a registrar from overseas with no UK experience if you have full Royal College Membership. MTI scheme does not make it easier to get into a training post in the UK. You have an equal chance of getting into a training post by taking a Service post in the UK for a six to twelve-month period. Required Qualifications to apply For each Royal College the requirements vary so we advise that you check your College website to find out what they require. However, the below requirements are typically found in each application: You must reside overseas at the time of applying for the MTI scheme and have no right of residency in the UK or EEA You must be practicing clinically in a GMC recognised priority country, a full list of those countries can be found here An overall IELTS score of 7.5 (with a score no less than 7.0 in each section of the test) / Or an OET result at grade ‘B’ or above achieved in each section. The results must have been achieved in a single sitting of the test and you must have achieved the score within the last two years You must have a primary medical qualification which is approved by the GMC, further details can be found here Worked in a medical practice setting for three out of the past five years, which includes working continuously in the last twelve months You must be able to demonstrate your intention to return home after finishing your two-year training scheme, with the ability to show how your training in the UK will benefit your medical practice in your home country Application Process If you meet the above criteria and want to apply to the MTI scheme then click here to access the application form and further guidance. Documents you will need: A copy of your full CV A copy of your IELTS results A cover letter which clearly specifies your nationality, preferred speciality, preferred duration and your available start date There is not an application deadline for the Medical Training Initiative as they accept applications all year round. Typically, interviews are conducted by the recruiting consultants, held over Skype rather than overseas. If an offer is made to you then you will need to start your GMC registration. The process of applying for the MTI scheme can differ dependent on your personal circumstance. We therefore advise you that the entire process can take up to six months from your interview to your first day in the post. However, the process can be accelerated if all the required documents are provided in the first instance. Will I be offered any support during my placement? During your induction to the training you will be under close supervision with a qualified NHS Consultant until you become familiar with local practices and protocols. Once both you and your supervisor believe that you are competent you will be able to begin any on-call or night-time shifts. Further support will continue to be offered after your induction period. This support includes providing you with a mentor, an ePortfolio (which will allow you to upload evidence to demonstrate your professional achievement and learning), College membership, and access to continuous feedback. If you are considering applying for the Medical Training Initiative or would prefer to relocate to the UK permanently then take a look at our GMC Registration article where we provide a break down of the different relocation routes. Get in contact with us at if you would like tailored advice and guidance on relocating to the UK and finding your perfect NHS position.

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