10 Steps to GMC Registration08 September, 2023
If you're an IMG looking to practice medicine in the UK then registering the General Medical Council (GMC) is the first consideration. GMC Regis...
If you're an IMG looking to practice medicine in the UK then registering the General Medical Council (GMC) is the first consideration. GMC Registration allows you to practice medicine in the UK and all doctors must have a licence with them to work in the NHS. The process can be intricate and time-consuming so we've broken it down into 10 manageable steps for you to follow:
Step 1: Complete a Recognized PMQ (Primary Medical Qualification)
Before you can think about GMC registration, you must first complete a recognised Primary Medical Qualification (PMQ). This typically involves completing your medical degree in a GMC-approved institution and you can find out which are approved on their website. You'll also need your qualification to be EPIC verified - more on this in Step 4!
Step 2: Finish Your Internship
After obtaining your PMQ, it's essential to gain practical experience through an internship or a foundation year. You'll need at least 12 months of continual practice in a hospital setting with a minimum of 3 or 6 months in both medicine and surgery, depending on the duration of your internship.
Step 3: Prove English Skills with IELTS or OET
Proficiency in the English language is a requirement for GMC registration. It makes sense as you'll need a good standard of English to work safely in the NHS. You can demonstrate your English skills by taking either the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Occupational English Test (OET). Both will test you in reading, writing, speaking and listening. If you take IELTS you'll need 7's in each element and a 7.5 overall. For OET the required scores are B's in each element. You can learn more about English tests here.
Step 4: Sit PLAB or a Recognized PGQ (Postgraduate Qualification)
To proceed with your GMC registration, you must pass either the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test or hold a recognised Postgraduate Qualification (PGQ). PLAB tests your medical knowledge and communication to the same level as a UK doctor entering FY2 level. PGQ's like the Royal College exams are sat by UK doctors at a more senior level (usually around ST3). You should choose the route that suits your experience. This video explains all about the differences between PLAB and Royal College Routes.
Step 5: Apply for EPIC Verification
The next step is to apply for the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC) verification. This step helps ensure that your qualifications meet GMC standards and that they've all be verified independently. You'll need to verify your primary medical degree as well as any post-graduate qualifications (but not PLAB). Our full guide to EPIC verification is a good starting point.
Step 6: Gather Certificates of Good Standing
Certificates of Good Standing from all medical regulatory bodies where you've been registered in the last 5 years are required. These certificates prove your professional conduct, ensure you have no disciplinary issues and that you've upheld good medical standards. Most licensing authorities provide these easily but some are harder than others - you can read more about how to get good standing certificates here.
Step 7: Apply to the GMC Online
Once you've worked through your degree, internship and all of those exams, it's finally going to be time to start your GMC application. This is done online and you should make sure to have all the necessary documents and information ready to streamline the process. We've created a step by step guide on the application process itself so take a look before starting.
Step 8: Send Any Further Evidence
After submitting your initial application, the GMC may request additional documents or information. Be prepared to provide these promptly to avoid delays.
Step 9: Attend an Online ID Check
Once your application is processed, you'll be invited to attend an online identity check. Traditionally doctors were asked to travel to the UK to meet with the GMC in person however this has been changed recently and you can now complete the process using a helpful app. We've created this guide to the GMC Application ID Check which will help.
Step 10: GMC Registration Granted
Congratulations! If you've successfully completed all the previous steps, you're on the route to GMC Registration and a career in the UK.
Step 11: Send your CV to BDI Resourcing!
Ok, so this isn't really a step in completing your GMC Registration but, did you know that BDI Resourcing have recruited more than 1500 medical doctors in to their dream jobs at more than 100 NHS Trusts. If you'd like to hear about how we can help you achieve your career goals and find a dream post in the NHS then please get in touch or upload your CV. We wish you all the best of luck with your journey to GMC Registration.