GMC Registration for overseas doctors

  • July 06, 2022

To work as a doctor in the NHS (UK) you will need to register with the General Medical Council (GMC).

The GMC is the public body that maintains the official register of medical practitioners within the United Kingdom and attaining full registration is a multi-step process involving a number of different documents. The purpose of this article is to help guide overseas doctors through the various stages of GMC Registration by considering the following topics: 

TOP TIP: Before you start the process, we always recommend that It is worth having a read of the GMC website page on required documents. These can change, as the GMC adapts to changes in healthcare, and current issues like the coronavirus. Of course, if you have any questions have a chat with your IMG Consultant and we can help you to clear up any uncertainties. 

Why do I need GMC Registration?

The GMC's main responsibility is to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public and one way in which it does this is by carefully controlling entry to the register. Any doctor that wants to work in the UK must be fully registered with a licence to practice with the GMC, whether working as a locum or permanent member of staff.

How much will it cost me?

Generally, GMC Registration will cost £420 but this may change depending on your circumstance. Once you are registered, you must pay an annual retention fee of £390 (which can be paid quarterly, monthly or in one lump sum). A full list of GMC Fees can be found here.

What are the requirements for GMC Registration?

These will depend on a number of factors which can be broken down into the following:

  • Your nationality 
  • Where you gained your primary medical qualification
  • Whether or not you have completed a postgraduate training or internship

What is the process?

The registration process can be broken down into these six steps:

  • Check your primary medical qualification is GMC recognised
  • Evidence of English language capabilities
  • Registration and licensing history
  • Certificates of good standing
  • Knowledge and skills tests
  • ID checks

Recognised GMC qualifications:

If your primary medical qualification (PMQ) is from outside the UK or EEA, you need to make sure it is eligible for GMC registration. Check here to see if your PMQ is recognised or have a read through our blog on accetable overseas qualifications.

You will be required to have your PMQ independently verified before your license to practice is granted. 

This is carried out by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) through their online EPIC system. For more information on verifying your PMQ and the EPIC system take a look at our blog here.

English language capabilities:

If English is not your native language, then you will need to pass an English Language Test (ELT), you can take either one of the following: 

Registration and licensing history:

You must provide all details for any registrations or medical licenses held in the last five years.

Certificates of good standing:

From each of your listed medical establishments, you’ll need to provide a Certificate of Good Standing (CGS). It is worth applying for these early on as they can take some time!

Knowledge and skill tests:

If you attained your Primary Medical Degree from a country outside the EEA region you'll need to demonstrate you have the necessary knowledge and skills to practice in the UK. This can be through a number of routes:

Take a look at our IMG Library, in particular our sections on Postgraduate Qualifications, PLAB and CESR for further reading. Of course, we'd be delighted to talk you through your options so either give us a call or request a call back and we'll get in touch very shortly.

To reaffirm, if you have attained your medical degree from a recognised institution from a country inside the EEA region you will not need to demonstrate evidence of appropriate knowledge or skills.

ID Check:

Once all requested information is submitted, you will need to book an ID check with the GMC. This will require you to attend in person, at the London office. At this point your IMG Consultant will always make an effort to meet you in person & buy you a coffee. We always believe it is better to put a face to a name!

However, please note at this time of uncertainty and disruption caused by the coronavirus ID checks are not necessary. You can currently be granted a full license to practice without having shown your ID to the GMC first, however this is only a temporary measure. 

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