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Acceptable postgraduate qualifications for GMC registration

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To register with the General Medical Council (GMC), you’ll need to evidence that you have the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to practise in the UK. This article details the postgraduate qualifications which are acceptable for GMC registration.


PLAB

The PLAB is a two part exam that determines whether doctors who have qualified abroad have the right knowledge and skills to practise medicine in the UK, and are at least as capable as a doctor starting their second year of foundation training.

Passing the PLAB exams is the most popular and common route to GMC registration for junior doctors however, these exams can also be taken by senior doctors with several years experience in their specialty.

To read our comprehensive guide to the PLAB exams, click here.


UK postgraduate qualifications

Overseas doctors can apply for full GMC registration with a license to practise by attaining a postgraduate qualification via one of the UK Medical Royal Colleges.

The accepted UK postgraduate qualifications are detailed below and on the GMC website:

Awarding Body Qualification
Joint Committee on Intercollegiate ExaminationsJoint Surgical Colleges Fellowship Examination (JSCFE)
Royal College of AnaesthetistsFellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (FRCA)

Primary FRCA examination
Royal College of Emergency Medicine Royal College of Emergency Medicine Fellowship of the College of Emergency Medicine (FRCEM) awarded since 1 August 2018

Membership of the College of Emergency Medicine
(MCEM/MRCEM)
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Membership of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
(MRCOG)
Royal College of Ophthalmologists Fellowship of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (FRCOphth)
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child HealthMembership of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health plus a letter from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health confirming the date you completed the exam requirements and became eligible for membership of the College.
Royal College of PathologistsFellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists
(FRCPath) by examination only
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of GlasgowFellowship of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
(FRCS Glasg Ophthalmology)
Royal College of Physicians London

Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Membership of the Royal College of Physicians MRCP (UK)
Royal College of PsychiatristsMembership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists
(MRCPsych)
Royal College of Radiologists Fellowship of the Royal College of Radiologists (FRCR)
Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh Any of the following, awarded before September 2018:

– Intercollegiate Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons – MRCS
– Intercollegiate Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons – (MRCS (ENT))
– Collegiate Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons – (MRCS)
– Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (MRCS Ed Ophthalmology)

If you were awarded any of the qualifications above after September 2018, we will require a copy of your certificate and a letter from the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh confirming whether you were awarded MRCS in General Surgery, ENT or Ophthalmology. For MRCS Ed Ophthalmology, the College letter must also confirm whether you have sat the OSCE component.   

Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons – (following examination) (FRCS)

Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
(FRCS Ed Ophthalmology) 
Royal College of Surgeons of EnglandRoyal College of Physicians and Surgeons of GlasgowAny of the following:

– Intercollegiate Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons – MRCS
– Intercollegiate Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons – (MRCS (ENT))
– Collegiate Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons – (MRCS)
– Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons – (following examination) (FRCS)

Typically, this route is aimed towards senior doctors with several years experience in their specialty.


Overseas postgraduate qualifications

The overseas qualifications listed below meet the same standards as UK postgraduate qualifications and will be accepted by the GMC as evidence that you have the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to apply for full registration with a licence to practise. 

CountryAwarding BodyQualification
 America American Board of AnaesthesiologyCertificate of the American Board of Anaesthesiology
 The American Board of Radiology The American Board of Radiology diagnostic radiology examination
Australia/New Zealand Australian and New Zealand College of AnaesthetistsFellowship of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists
 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of OphthalmologistsFellowship of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (FRANZCO) awarded since January 2010
  The Australasian College for Emergency MedicineFellowship of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (FACEM) awarded since 2001
 The Royal Australasian College of Physicians FRACP Adult medicine or evidence of three years of basic training (PREP) + achievement of RACP written and clinical examinations 
 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of PsychiatristsFellowship of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (FRANZCP) awarded since January 2012
 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists Fellowship of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (FRANZCR) (Clinical Radiology)

Fellowship of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (FRANZCR) (Radiation Oncology)
 The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (FACRRM) awarded since 1 January 2013
 The Royal Australian College of General PractitionersFellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP) awarded since 1 January 2007
 The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners Fellowship of the Division of Rural Hospital Medicine (FDRHMNNZ) awarded since 1 January 2012
 The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners Fellowship of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (FRNZCGP) awarded since 1 January 2012
Bangladesh Bangladesh College of Physicians and SurgeonsFellowship in Anaesthesia or Anaesthesiology awarded between July 1999 and October 2019
Canada The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of CanadaThe Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada – diagnostic radiology examination
 The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) Certification in the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CCFP) awarded since 1 January 2009
EuropeEuropean Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine (previously the European Academy of Anaesthesiology or European Society of Anaesthesiology)


European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM
Diplomate of European Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care (DESAIC) (previously the Diplomate of European Academy of Anaesthesiology DEAA) or Diplomate of European Society of Anaesthesiology (DESA))



European Diploma of Intensive Care (EDIC) awarded since January 2015
Hong KongHong Kong College of PhysiciansMembership of the Hong Kong College of Physicians
IrelandCollege of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland Fellowship of the College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland (previously Fellowship of the College of Anaesthetists of Ireland)
 Royal College of Physicians in IrelandMembership of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (MRCPI) in General Medicine, awarded after 1 January 2007

Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (MRCPI) in Paediatrics  (Medicine of Childhood), awarded after 1 January 2007

Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (MRCPI) in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, awarded after 1 January 2007

Membership of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (MFOM), awarded after 1 January 2007

Membership of the Faculty of Public Medicine (MFPHMI), awarded after 1 January 2007
 Royal College of Surgeons in IrelandMRCS (collegiate examination)

MRSCI (intercollegiate examination)

MRSCI (ENT) (intercollegiate examination)

Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland

Fellowship of the Faculty or the College of Anaesthetists of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Fellowship of the Faculty of Radiologists in Clinical Radiology of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (FFR RCSI)
Malaysia Ministry of HealthMaster of Medicine (MMED) Malaysia with MRCP (UK) awarded since 1 July 2010

This must include four years of clinical experience (required to complete MMED) plus two years of training
Pakistan College of Physicians and Surgeons PakistanFellowship in Anaesthesiology awarded since 1998
Singapore National University of Singapore Master of Medicine (Internal Medicine) including MRCP (UK) 
 Joint Committee on Specialist Training Singapore Master of Medicine (MMED) Singapore, plus MRCP (UK) awarded since 1 July 2010
 College of Anaesthetists of South AfricaFellowship of the College of Anaesthetists of South Africa FCA (SA)
South Africa Colleges of Medicine of South Africa Fellowship of the College of Radiologists of SA FC Rad Diag (SA) – Diag Rad awarded after 1 October 2013
 College of Family Physicians of South Africa Fellowship of the College of Family Physicians of South Africa (FCFP(SA)) awarded since 1 January 2007
Sri Lanka University of Colombo, Sri LankaDoctor of Medicine or MD (Anaesthesiology)

Doctor of Medicine or MD, (Obstetrics and Gynaecology)

Doctor of Medicine or MD (medicine) awarded after January 2017

Doctor of Medicine or MD (surgery) awarded after July 2017
West Indies University of the West IndiesDoctor of Medicine (Anaesthesia) awarded between September 2003 and May 2014

(Course title has since changed to Doctor of Medicine (Anaesthesia and Intensive care))

Unfortunately, if your qualification is not listed above then it is not acceptable for the purposes of full registration with a licence to practise. The GMC may however accept a letter from a UK medical Royal College confirming that your international qualification is equivalent to its own qualification.


If you’re interested in working in the UK and would like to discuss the positions available in your specialty, and how we can assist you, please contact our team.