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In order to practice medicine in the UK, you will first need to register with the General Medical Council (GMC) to obtain a license to practice. By having a license to practice, you will be able to assess patients, diagnose and prescribe medication.

In this blog post, we are going to explore the GMC process and map out the different stages in order to get you best prepared!

Once you have your license to practice, unless the GMC tell you otherwise, you will just need to revalidate once every 5 years. You can read more about revalidation here.

There are multiple pathways of registration with the GMC, which are based on several different factors e.g. registration via PLAB, Specialist Registration, GP Registration. Before you can apply for the first time, you will need to visit the ‘guidance on applying for registration’ tool on the GMC website. Here you will be asked a series of questions with the aim that it will guide you into applying for the right type of registration. At the end of the questions, it will present you with a link to set up your GMC Online account. This can be done here.

Filling out the GMC Online Registration Form

The GMC Registration Form is comprised of seven sections, which are detailed below.

1) Name – Please provide your given name, any middle names and of course your family name.

2) Details of your internship – You will need to break this up per rotation and include the dates and specialty you worked in.

3) Professional Experience – Here you will need to provide a detailed account of the last 5 years. You will need to provide dates of employment, your employer and role & responsibilities. In this section, you will also be required to highlight any career gaps you have taken whether it’s for annual leave, training courses or conferences etc.

4) Licensing – Here you will need to provide evidence of any medial licenses you currently hold. You will be asked to present a Certificate of Good Standing; which is a certificate from your local medical authority to verify that you are practicing medicine.

5) Fitness to Practice – In this section, the GMC will ask you a series of questions to ensure that you are competent in what you do and can practice safely. These questions will look at safety, quality, communication as well as clinical knowledge.

6) Declaration - Here you will simply be asked to confirm you have no previous/current issues with the law and whether you agree to the GMC Terms & Conditions.

7) Payment – Once you have input all your information and checked it’s correct, you will be asked to make payment. If you achieved your primary medical degree within the last five years, you will need to pay £156 to register. If you achieved your degree over 5 years ago, you will be required to pay £406 to register.

Once you have completed the ‘GMC Registration Form’, you will then receive an email from the GMC asking you to upload several supporting documents. You will only have 28 days to upload the documents from the date you receive the email; so, we advise you to check both your inbox and junk folder in case it’s redirected for some reason. (If you don’t meet the 28-day deadline, your application will be closed and your registration fee will be refunded).

You will be asked to provide the following documents:

  • Passport / Right to Work in the UK (If you have already been sponsored, you can provide your visa details)
  • Primary Medical Degree Certificate – if you have obtained your Medical Qualification from outside of the EU/EEA, you can use the following link to make sure your Degree is acceptable in the UK.  Acceptable overseas qualifications.
  • Evidence of English Language Competency – you will be required to sit either the OET or IELTS exams, more information can be found here.
  • Internship/Rotation Certificate
  • Certificate of Good Standing
  • Employer References
  • EPIC Verification – wondering what this is? Read more here.

What’s next?

Once you have completed the online registration form and submitted your supporting documents the GMC will begin to process your application.

You will be allocated a case handler who will contact you if they require any further information or documentation. They will also be able to answer any questions you may have relevant to your application.

Once everything has been processed, the GMC will decide on your application. If you have been successful, you will be invited to attend an ID check with the GMC.

Note: On the rare occasion that your application is rejected, your case handler will be able to identify the reasons why and you will then have the opportunity to update documents/evidences for reconsideration.

Attending an ID check with the GMC

Visiting the GMC offices in either London or Manchester for your ID check is the final stage before they can issue you with your License to Practice. It’s nice and easy to book and can be done so via the ‘My Appointments’ link on the online GMC portal.

You will now have 6 months (rather than the previously stated 3 months) to book and attend your ID check from the time that GMC confirm that your application has been approved. If you don’t make this deadline, you will be required to submit a new application.

What you can expect on the day!

Your appointment with the GMC will usually be 20 - 30 minutes in duration and it will involve them:

  • Taking your photograph to keep on your file
  • Taking details from your passport or national identity card
  • Taking a further look at any original documents that your advisor has asked you to personally bring with you.

Once your meeting is complete and the GMC has confirmed your identity, you will be awarded with your License to Practice.

It is worth noting that you will be able to begin practicing medicine in the UK as early as up-to 24 hours after your appointment. If you are planning to work soon after you have received your license to practice, you will of course need to have a valid right to work in the UK, you can find more information on applying for this here.

Skilled Medical is an international medical recruitment, placement and services firm that delivers qualified medical professionals wherever they are needed in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.