Verifying Qualifications with ECFMG via EPIC - guide for overseas doctors

  • January 25, 2022
 

Overseas doctors must verify their medical qualifications before making a GMC application.

In order to work in the NHS you need full registration with the GMC. This process requires independent verification of your primary medical degrees and any other qualifications or licensures you are using to join the register. Often this will be a Royal College Qualifcation, or another recognised postgraduate qualification, but can also include an accepted licensing exam such as USMLE, MCCQE or AMCCE. The process of verification is is done by the Educational Commission For Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and applies if you:

  • Qualified at a medical school outside of the UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland; OR
  • are an international medical graduate with a European medical qualification (not including UK qualifications) AND
  • do not already hold provisional registration.

Please note, only those with primary medical qualifications awarded outside of the UK and EU, and those who are not EU nationals but hold a primary medical qualification from the EU (but not the UK), need to use an Electric Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC).

Which qualifications will I need to verify?

When registering with the GMC there will likely be two certificates you will need to verify for your GMC registration. Depending on what route you take to registration, you will need to verify both of the following:

  1. Postgraduate route: Medical Degree (PMQ) and Accepted Postgraduate Qualification
  2. Relevant European Qualification (REQ) route: Medical Degree (PMQ)
  3. Specialist European Qualification route: Medical Degree (PMQ) and Specialist European Qualification
  4. MTI or Royal College Sponsorship route: Medical Degree (PMQ)

Is my Medical Degree (PMQ) accepted by the GMC?

You must have completed an acceptable medical degree to register with the GMC. Check if you’re qualification is accepted via the GMC website here. Your medical degree is commonly known as your primary medical qualification (PMQ) and it will need to be independently verified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) via their online portal, EPIC.


Please note, if you hold refugee status in the UK and are applying to the GMC for registration with a license to practice medicine in the UK, you may be able to get help with your EPIC fees. Contact the GMC before using EPIC.


Setting up an on-line account:

Once you have established the correct documents to be verified, set up an on-line account (EPIC Account) via ECFMG EPIC

  1. The first step to start using EPIC is to complete a request to establish an account. The request requires you to submit some basic personal information, details about your medical education, and, if applicable, details about your postgraduate medical education.
  2. EPIC will then send you an e-mail to confirm receipt of your request to establish an EPIC Account.
  3. Once your account request has been processed, they will send you an e-mail containing your EPIC ID and instructions on how to complete the final step in the account establishment process, completion of the EPIC Identification Form (EIF) to confirm your identity. 

The GMC's instructions for EPIC verification are here however this we have outlined the steps above, so things shoud be fairly clear already.

Before you start:

Before your start the verification process, there are a couple of important steps to consider: 

  1. Create a GMC online account if you haven't already and check whether the GMC accepts your primary medical qualification and/or postgraduate qualification. 
  2. If your medical school is included on the list below then you should contact the GMC before starting the verification process.
    • on the GMC’s list of qualifications that are not acceptable 
    • on the GMC’s list of qualifications that may be acceptable
    • not in the list of medical schools on GMC Online

General advice from IMG Connect

Start early: At IMG Connect we strongly advise that you complete this part of the process as soon as possible. There are several factors that contribute to the length of the verification process, ncluding the time it takes for the medical school to verify your qualification(s). It does not expire, so there is no reason to delay! Also consider the GMC will close your application after 90 days if you cannot submit it, so by starting EPIC too late you may cause your GMC application to be closed. 

Prepare and save yourself some time: As always, at IMG Connect we advise it is best to gather your documents prior to starting any application. If you do, it should only take about 15 minutes to complete. 

Before you begin, make sure you have the following available:

  • a full-colour photograph (passport style)
  • a scanned, full-colour copy of the photograph page of your current, unexpired passport
  • information about your medical education, including your medical school identification number (if applicable) and attendance and degree issue dates
  • your medical licensure information (if applicable), including any identification numbers
  • your ECFMG/USMLE Identification Number (if you have one)
  • your ECFMG International Credentials Services (EICS) Identification Number (if you have one)

Make sure you select the General Medical Council as you upload each qualification. By doing so, the GMC will automatically receive an update when your qualification has been verified. If you don’t do this, it could cause a delay.


How much does EPIC verification cost? 

The fees are charged in USD and you’ll need to pay ECFMG directly. Full payment is due at the time you submit your request to establish an EPIC Account. Setting up an account currently costs $125 and as of recently, the fee to verify a credential through EPIC increased to US$90 per credential. For more information on fees and payment, see the fees section of the EPIC website.

I've got my PMQ verified, what next?

Submit your application for registration to the GMC and provide your EPIC ID to the GMC. 

You won’t be able to submit your application to the GMC until you have confirmation that your PMQ has been sent for verification. ECFMG will send you confirmation via e-mail. You can also check the status by logging in to your EPIC Account. If you prefer, you can wait until after the qualification has been verified to submit your application, as it can take some time for the verification to be completed.

Once verification of a qualification has been received from the issuing institution and ECFMG has confirmed that the qualification is authentic, ECFMG will confirm this with the GMC. ECFMG will also notify you by e-mail that your qualification has been verified.

 

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