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GMC registration - 7 essential steps to make your application successful

Following our GMC registration webinar with the GMC and its International Applications Manager, we are now starting our series of recap posts, which will include key points on the GMC registration process to help you make your application successful.

If you have just started your UK doctor journey, it may be useful to have a read about different types of GMC registration first to have a better understanding of why you must be GMC registered before starting your first NHS job in the UK. If you are familiar with the GMC registration types, you may just want to jump straight to the GMC registration steps below.

Why do I need GMC registration?

As you may already know, in order to work in the UK as a doctor, you must hold GMC registration with a licence to practice. There are two types of registration: provisional and full.

If you do not know the type of GMC registration you are eligible for, you can simply ask a question on our website, and our mentors and senior IMGs will help you. Our guidance is free.

Provisional registration is granted to newly graduated doctors right after completing UK medical school. It allows them to complete the first year (F1) of the 2-year Foundation Programme in the UK (UK-FP). The UK-FP is a 2-year UK internship that forms a bridge between medical school and clinical practice. As with any other internship anywhere in the world, the main goal of the UK-FP is to help newly graduated doctors develop clinical skills and prepare them for further training. Upon successful completion of F1, doctors receive a certificate of experience, which shows that they meet the requirements for full registration. Now they can apply for a full licence to practice and start the second year (F2) of the UK-FP.

Provisional registration can also be granted to International Medical Graduates (IMGs) who graduated from non-UK medical school and decided to complete the UK-FP. To be eligible for provisional registration, IMGs must meet certain criteria: have an acceptable primary medical qualification, passed the PLAB test and have not completed internship. We will create a separate post about the UK-FP application process for IMGs.

Full licence to practice is granted after successful completion of the first year (F1) of the UK-FP and stays valid during all following years of training and active clinical practice.

What do I need to do to get GMC registered?

There are 7 essential steps to consider when applying for GMC registration. In this blog post, we will just name them to give you an overview of the GMC registration process. We will go into more detail in our next posts and explain what each step entails and the documents you will need to provide as evidence.

If you missed the GMC registration webinar and would like to know the main steps you need to take in order to obtain full registration to practice, you can watch it for free here.

Step 1. Holding an acceptable Primary Medical Qualification (PMQ)

An acceptable Primary Medical Qualification is a PMQ that meets all necessary criteria for the purpose of registration with a license to practice medicine in the UK. You will need to check whether your qualification is acceptable before you start the application with the GMC.

Step 2. Having your PMQ independently verified by the ECFMG

Doctors with non-UK medical qualifications will need to have certain qualifications independently verified before GMC can grant registration. Verification is carried out by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) through their online system – known as the Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC) service. ECFMG will verify the qualification is genuine by checking this directly with your awarding institution.

Step 3. Demonstrating your English language skills

When you apply for registration with a license to practice the GMC needs proof that you have the necessary knowledge of English to practise safely in the UK. This does not apply if you are a national of a country where English is the first and native language and you were awarded your primary medical degree from a country where English is the first and native language.

Step 4. Demonstrating your medical knowledge and skills

There are a number of ways in which you can demonstrate that your medical knowledge and skills are up to date, including:

  • Passing the PLAB exams

  • Having completed an acceptable patterns of internship

  • Having previous clinical experience

  • Holding an acceptable postgraduate qualification (PGQ)

  • Being eligible for inclusion in the specialist register

  • Mitigating any breaks in practice

Step 5. Demonstrating your fitness to practice

You will need to give the GMC details of all your postgraduate medical experience, non-medical experience and certain other activities for the last five years or since you graduated. The GMC will likely ask for employer references to cover non-medical work or medical practice for which you did not hold registration. In addition, the GMC will need a certificate of good standing from each medical regulatory authority you have been registered or licensed with.

Step 6. Making online application and submitting key documents

You will need to make your online application through GMC online by simply clicking on ‘My Registration’ and then on ‘My applications’ and ‘Apply’. In your application, you will be asked to fill out the ‘GMC registration form’. We will explain how to fill this form in our next blog posts.

After you have applied and paid the registration fee, you will receive an immediate response by email from the GMC listing the required documentation you will need to submit.

Step 7. Things to do after your application is approved

After your application is approved, you will need to attend an ID check at the GMC. It can be done in person in one of the GMC offices either in London or Manchester. You would need to be in the UK, either on your visitor or working visa (if you have already got one).

The GMC will inform you by email about the list of documents you will have to take with you. Usually, these are the documents that you submitted earlier in the application. During the ID check, you will have to fill the declaration form. The GMC will check original documents and take a photo of you for their records. Usually, the whole process takes 20-30 minutes.

Having questions?

1. You can always ask our friendly team members, mentors and senior IMGs for advice here. Our guidance is free.

2. We encourage you to watch the Q&A session from a 1-hour interactive and engaging webinar with the GMC on the GMC registration process.

In our next posts, we will provide full guidance on each step. Stay tuned.

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