Practicing Medicine in the UK
To practice medicine in the UK, you must be registered and have a licence to practice, a license allows you to do things like prescribe medicine and treat patients, if you do have a license, you must also demonstrate that your knowledge and skills are up to date by undergoing regular checks on your practice, a process which is known as revalidation.
The UK welcome doctors at varying stages of their career, please note GMC registration is required of you. You will need to have passed all the relevant examinations that include a recognised overseas medical qualification. Your primary medical degree will need to be found on the ‘World Directory of Primary Medical Qualifications’.
As part of your Primary Medical Qualification, you will be required to have completed at least 12 months of medical practice in an acceptable training post in a public hospital, this must include at least 3 months in surgery and three months in medicine.
Evidence in which is required
- GMC registration requires you to provide evidence that you can speak, read, write, and listen in English, this can be done through the following terms
Though the occupational English test 1 (OET). The minimum grade in speaking, listening, reading, and writing is a B
- Through the international English Language Testing System (IELTS). A SCORE OF 7.0 is required in each testing are and an overall score of 7.5 is needed for this test.
The OET test is recommended, however it is expensive and does have a higher pass rate as it is designed for medical professionals specifically. Whichever route you take please note they must both be completed within the last 2 years prior to your application. It is also very important to know that either qualification is needed to sit your PLAB test. However, if you have already gained a Postgraduate Qualification, for example MRCP or you are working towards one, you are able to sit your English Language test at any time.
There are two routes which can be taken to evidence your knowledge and skills to demonstrate that you can practice in the UK safely.
- PLAB Exam, this is a Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board. The purpose of this is to test an IMG’s ability as a doctor, to work safely in the UK NHS Hospital and to ensure they possess the relevant skills and knowledge to practise. Please see the PLAB Blog for more information.
- GMC Approved post graduate qualifications- Primarily for more experiences and specialised Doctors
Before you apply for your GMC Registration, it is important you obtain the relevant documents to support your application.
- Proof of Primary Medical Qualification.
- Certificate of experience.
- Certificate of good standing (the registration or licensing for all the medical authorities that you have practiced for within the last five years.
- Proof of identity.
- Employer references.
- EPIC verification Certificate.
Application, Fee, and ID Check
Once all above have been completed and obtained you will need to register for the GMC online, you can do this by going to ‘my registration and start application’ it will then ask you to provide evidence of all above. If you obtained your Primary Medical Qualification within the last 5 years your registration fee will be £156.00, however if you are not a newly qualified doctor and therefor obtained you primary medical qualification prior to the last 5 years the fee is £406.00.
After sending all your relevant documents, you will then be invited via the GMC online portal to an ID check at one of the GMC office in wither London or Manchester.
What Documents do I need to bring to the ID check?
When the GMC emails your inviting you to your ID check, they may also provide you with a list of documents you must take along with you. Photocopies will be made and then they will return your original documents.
At your ID check the officer will:
- Take your documents for photocopy
- Take your photograph
- Ask for your signature to keep on your account
- Take your passport or BRP details
The GMC will share your photograph and your signature provided with your employer so they can be assured that you are GMC registered when you start to work for them.
It is compulsory you attend you ID check within 3 months of your application being approved, if you do not attend your ID check within this time frame you will be required to complete a new application and a new fee off £400 will be required. You must only book an ID check once the GMC has invited you to do so, please note do not book until you have received the invitation to do so.
Guidance through the online application
You will need to sign up to the GMC online this is a personalised portal for all doctors who want to become GMC registered, once you have created account you will then need to click on ‘ My registration’, once you have done this click on ‘My applications’ and follow the instructions on the screen
You will then be asked to fill out the GMC Registration form, this has 8 sections to complete:
- Name (Full name including middle names).
- Details of your internship.
- Professional experience (your last 5 years of employment and any gaps you may have had in this time).
- Fitness to practise.
- Declaration (you will be required to declare your right to work in the UK).
- Payment (£156.00 if you are newly qualified in the last 5 years or £400 if you obtain primary medical qualification older than 5 years).
- Supporting documents.
After you have filled the above form and made the payment you will receive an email from the GMC asking you ton provide the following documents in one collated PDF document
- Passport/ right to work in the UK documents
Primary Medical Degree Qualification Certificate.
- Certificate of Good Standing.
- Evidence of your English Language Proficiency (ILETS or OET).
- Internship certificate.
- Employer Reference.
- EPIC Verification
If you do not upload these documents within 28 days your application will be closed and you will be refunded your application fee, this means you will have to restart the process again from start.
After you have uploaded your documents to the GMC, they will the process your application, if you are missing any evidence, they will contact you asking you to provide this, you will be given a timeframe to upload the missing documents so please note this time frame. Once they have received al the correct evidence they will then decide on your application. If it is accepted, you will then be asked to attend an ID check in the UK.