How do I register with the GMC?

To register with the GMC (General Medical Council), you must sit the PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board) test to show you have the skills and knowledge necessary to practise in the UK.

Some specialist doctors are automatically entered on to a specialist register, and therefore do not need to sit the PLAB. Emergency Medicine doctors can also sit the MCEM exam (to become a Member of the Emergency College of Medicine) or MRCP (Member of the Royal College of Physicians). Although not essential, membership of these colleges will help your chances of landing a job.

The GMC sets the standards that international medical graduates need to meet in order to register as a doctor in the UK. You can find out about the GMC’s acceptable medical qualifications by clicking the button below:

GMC Acceptable Medical Qualifications

You’ll need to register with the GMC if you want to:

  • work as a doctor in the National Health Service (NHS) or in private practice
  • prescribe drugs, the sale of which is restricted by law
  • sign certificates required for statutory purposes (death certificates, etc).

Doctors who hold a licence to practise are required to renew their licence regularly. This applies to all doctors working in the NHS and private sector and is to assure the GMC that doctors have up-to-date knowledge and experience.

Different types of GMC registration

The GMC offer different types of registration for doctors:

  • Provisional registration with a licence to practise is granted to newly qualified doctors before undertaking their Foundation Year 1 (F1) post. This is a clinical training programme for doctors to demonstrate they have met the outcomes required for full registration before they start their Foundation Year 2 (F2) post.
  • Full registration with a licence to practise is needed for doctors undertaking unsupervised medical practise. Doctors who have completed their F1 year, international medical graduates new to full registration and doctors returning to the register after a prolonged absence are initially required to work within a GMC approved practice setting, where they can receive appropriate training, support and supervision.

Doctors must be on the specialist register to hold a consultant post in the UK and the General Practice register to work as a GP (this excludes GP trainees).

PLAB

You’ll also need to hold the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board qualification. If you don’t hold PLAB you can also hold MCEM (Membership of the College of Emergency Medicine), MRCP (Membership of the Royal College of Physicians) , MRCS (Membership of the Royal college of Surgeons) or any of the following:

Country Awarding Body Qualification
America American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics – General Pediatrics
American Board of Anaesthesiology Certificate of the American Board of Anaesthesiology
Australia Royal Australasian College of Physicians Passed the written and clinical exams for FRACP (Paediatrics)

The specialist training programme leading to the award of this qualification is six years long. After basic training
lasting three years candidates sit written and clinical examinations.

Doctors then undertake a further three years training – Fellowship is only awarded after successful completion of this training. If the doctor has passed both the written and clinical examinations or obtained their Fellowship within the last three years, this is acceptable evidence of a postgraduate qualification.

Australia/New Zealand Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists Fellowship of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.
Bangladesh Bangladesh College of Physicians and Surgeons Fellowship in Anaesthesia or Anaesthesiology awarded since July 1999
Europe European Academy of Anaesthesiology or European Society of Anaesthesiology European Diploma in Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care
Hong Kong Hong Kong College of Physicians Membership of the Hong Kong College of Physicians
Ireland Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland MRCS (collegiate) examination

MRCSI (intercollegiate) examination

Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland

Fellowship of the Faculty or the College of Anaesthetists of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

MRCP Medicine (Medicine of Childhood)

Bangladesh Bangladesh College of Physicians and Surgeons Fellowship in Anaesthesia or Anaesthesiology awarded since July 1999
Pakistan College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan FCPS Paediatrics Pakistan

Fellowship in Anaesthesiology awarded since 1998

Singapore National University of Singapore Master of Medicine (Anaesthesia)

Master of Medicine (Paediatrics)

Master of Medicine (Internal Medicine)

South Africa College of Anaesthetists of South Africa Fellowship of the College of Anaesthetists of South Africa
Sri Lanka University of Colombo, Sri Lanka Doctor of Medicine (Anaesthesiology)

MD (Obstetrics and Gynaecology)

MD Paediatrics Sri Lanka

West Africa West African College of Physicians Fellowship of the West African College of Physicians (Paediatrics)
West Indies University of West Indies Doctor of Medicine (Anaesthesia) awarded since September 2003