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GMC registration for doctors with an EEA or Swiss Primary Medical Qualification (PMQ)

Updated: Jun 23, 2021


After Brexit, if you have an EEA or Swiss Primary Medical Qualification (PMQ) and are applying for provisional or full registration in the UK, your medical qualifications – not your nationality – will determine what evidence you need to provide to the GMC.


Nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA) no longer benefit from automatic recognition of professional qualifications.


This blog post will give you an overview of the GMC registration process for doctors with EEA or Swiss PMQ and provide you with useful links where appropriate. There is a great guide and Brexit information for doctors on the GMC website, so we will not repeat what has already been comprehensively written on the GMC website.


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.

Types of GMC registration


There are 2 types of GMC registration:


Provisional registration allows you to take part in an approved Foundation Year 1 (F1) Programme in the UK.


Full registration allows you to move on to the second year of the Foundation Programme (F2) in an approved training programme, or to work in unsupervised medical practice in the NHS or UK private practice. With full registration, you are also eligible to enter the Specialist or GP register if you have a specialist medical qualification.


How do I know which registration I am eligible for?


1. If you qualified in:

  • Austria / Belgium / Bulgaria / Croatia / Cyprus / Czech Republic / Estonia / Finland / France / Germany / Greece / Hungary / Latvia / Lithuania / the Netherlands / Romania / Slovakia / Spain / Switzerland

You CAN NOT apply for provisional registration. You CAN ONLY apply for full registration after you have completed an internship outside the UK (either in the same county where you got your PMQ or elsewhere). You are not eligible for the UK Foundation Programme to complete an internship in the UK.


2. If you qualified in:

  • Denmark / Iceland / Ireland / Italy / Luxembourg / Malta / Norway / Poland / Portugal / Slovenia / Sweden

You CAN apply either for provisional registration if you have not done an internship yet OR full registration if you have already completed an internship. If you are applying for provisional registration, you will then have options where to complete your internship:


What evidence do I need to provide to the GMC?


Regardless of the type of registration you are applying for, you will need to:


  • Send your PMQ to the GMC

If you hold a medical qualification awarded in the EEA or Switzerland, it may be classed as a ‘Relevant European Qualification’ and you can apply for either provisional or full registration with the GMC. Your qualification will be treated as a ‘relevant European qualification’ if it is a PMQ listed in the Relevant European Qualifications list and you have an accompanying certificate issued from the same country (if applicable).


You can simply check if your qualification is a relevant European qualification by selecting the country where you qualified on the GMC website. This GMC guide will tell you what qualifications you need to send to the GMC and the steps you need to take to support your application.


  • Get your medical qualifications independently verified

Doctors with non-UK medical qualifications will need to have certain qualifications independently verified before the 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.


Before you start your EPIC verification, you may want to familiarise yourself with the main steps of the EPIC verification process. The process itself is not complicated, you just need to know what is expected of you and the documents you need to verify.


Read our previous detailed post about how to get your medical degree independently verified.


  • Provide evidence of your knowledge of English

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.


Read our previous detailed post about how to demonstrate your English language skills.


  • Provide your internship certificate (only if you are applying for full registration)

In order to get full GMC registration, you must have an acceptable internship and experience. In our previous post, you will find everything you need to know about the GMC internship criteria and the documents you will need to submit with your application for full GMC registration.


Please keep in mind it is not a requirement to have completed an internship if you are applying for provisional GMC registration and aiming for doing your internship in the UK through a 2-year UK Foundation Programme (UKFP).


If you completed your internship in a different country to your primary medical qualification, you should select the country on the GMC website where you gained your qualification. This will tell you whether you will need to send any additional evidence in order for it to qualify as a ‘relevant European qualification’.


  • Make your online application and submit the necessary documents

When you are ready to apply for GMC registration, you will need to use GMC Online to make your application. If you are applying through the PLAB route, after passing your PLAB 2 the GMC will send an email to inform you that you can now start your application for GMC registration.


In this post, we explained the whole process of making your online GMC application.


What to do after I have got my GMC registration?


A long-awaited moment has come - your application is approved and you are about to be granted full GMC registration with a licence to practice. Congratulations! Are you wondering what to do next? In our previous post, we explained the most important things you need to do and keep in mind after your application is approved.


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.

here.


3. Look at the examples from Omar's experience with the online application process here.


We hope that our GMC registration series was helpful for you.


Check out other posts on our blog.

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