Language Tests and Registrations

GMC Registration process

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Registering with the GMC


The General Medical Council (GMC) is a public body that maintains the official register of medical practitioners within the UK. Doctors working in the UK need to hold a licence to practise with the GMC. We’ve written this blog to provide you with a comprehensive guide on the GMC registration process, including:

What is GMC registration?

Requirements for GMC registration

What is the GMC registration process?

  • Check whether the GMC recognise your Primary Medical Qualification
  • Verifying your Primary Medical Qualification
  • Evidencing your English Language skills
  • Detailing your registration and licencing history
  • Providing your Certificate(s) of Good Standing (CGS)
  • Demonstrating your knowledge and skills to practice in the UK
  • Submitting your application to the GMC
  • Attending an ID check with the GMC

GMC registration fees and costs


What is GMC registration?

The GMC’s role is to protect patients and improve medical education and practice across the UK.

For this reason, the GMC oversee UK medical education & training and decide which doctors are qualified to work in the UK. They also set the standards which doctors need to follow throughout their careers and where necessary, take action to prevent a doctor from putting the safety of patients, or the public’s confidence in doctors, at risk.

You are legally required to hold a licence to practise with the GMC to work as a doctor in the UK – This applies to doctors employed both in the NHS and private sector, temporary or permanent. 

Requirements for GMC registration

The exact requirements to register with the GMC will depend on your individual circumstances (i.e your nationality, qualifications and experience) however, applicants are required to provide the following documents:

  • Evidence of your primary medical qualification
  • Proof of your identity (i.e. a passport or identity card if it states your nationality)
  • Certificates of Good Standing
  • Employer reference(s) 

What is the GMC registration process?

The GMC registration can be described in the below stages:

  • Checking whether your Primary Medical Qualification is recognised by the General Medical Council
  • Verifying your Primary Medical Qualification
  • Evidencing your English Language skills
  • Detailing your registration and licensing history
  • Providing your Certificate(s) of Good Standing (CGS)
  • Demonstrating your knowledge and skills to practice in the UK
  • Submitting your application to the GMC
  • Attending an ID check with the GMC

Checking whether the GMC recognise your Primary Medical Qualification

Your Primary Medical Qualification (PMQ) is your medical degree.

If your PMQ is from outside of the UK or EEA (European Economic Area) then you will have to check that it is acceptable for GMC registration. You will need to do this before you begin the application process. 

Your qualification must be awarded by an institution on the World Directory of Medical Schools for it to be deemed acceptable. To check whether your qualification is recognised by the GMC, please click here.

Verifying your Primary Medical Qualification

Once you have established whether your PMQ is accepted by the GMC, you will need to have it independently verified. This is carried out by the ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates) using a system called EPIC (Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials). 

Evidencing your English Language skills

If you are relocating from a country where English is not the first language, then you will be required to evidence your English language skills. In the majority of situations, this is done by passing an English Language Test.

The GMC accept two tests, these are:

  • IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System)
  • OET (Occupational English Test)

Read our OET vs IELTS blog by clicking here

Detailing your registration and licensing history

The GMC will require you to provide the details of your registration and licensing history for the last five years. 

Providing your Certificate(s) of Good Standing (CGS)

For each of the medical establishments that you have listed, you will need to request a CGS (Certificate of Good Standing). You can find a list of medical regulatory authorities and their contact details by clicking here.

Demonstrating your knowledge and skills to practice in the UK

The GMC will require you to demonstrate that you hold the level of medical knowledge and the skills expected of doctors who are practising in the UK.

You are able to demonstrate this by:

Evidencing a GMC approved Postgraduate Qualification

For a full list of the GMC approved postgraduate qualifications, please click here

Please note:

  • If you are a European doctor and have qualified from an institution within the EEA, then you will hold a GMC recognised postgraduate qualification and can apply for specialist registration with the GMC. 

Passing the PLAB examination

PLAB stands for Professional Linguistic and Assessments Board

If your postgraduate qualification is not recognised by the GMC, then you can demonstrate that you hold the level of medical knowledge and skills expected of doctors practising in the UK by passing PLAB.

The PLAB examination is broken down into two individual tests:

  • PLAB Part 1 which is a written test
  • PLAB Part 2 which is a practical test

To read our PLAB guide, click here.

Submitting your application to the GMC

The GMC will review your application once all of the relevant documents which have been requested for your application are received.

Generally, the GMC aim to assess and respond to applicants within 5 working days. If the GMC request additional documents, you’ll need to compile and send these documents to them within 14 days of their request. 

Once the GMC are satisfied with your application, they will invite you to attend an ID check.

Attending a GMC ID Check

All applicants for registration with a licence to practise and restoration must complete an identity check with the GMC in the UK. GMC ID checks can be done at either the GMC office in Manchester or the GMC office in London.

During the ID check, the GMC will:

  • Take your photograph and keep it on your account
  • Ask for your signature and keep it on your account
  • Take details from your passport or national identity card
  • Take copies of any original documents that they’ve asked you to bring

Following a satisfactory ID check, you will be GMC registered and your name will be added to the registered list of medical practitioners. 

Please note that if you’re applying for registration using a pass in the PLAB examination, you will have had an identity check when you sat the PLAB 2 test.

GMC registration fees and costs

All doctors pay a fee to register with the GMC.

Fees do depend on your individual circumstances however, the standard fee for full registration with a licence to practise is usually £406. 

The GMC will be require you to pay an annual fee to to remain on the GMC register. This amount depends on your individual circumstances, but the standard annual retention fee from April 1st 2020 is £406. 

For a full list of GMC fees, please click here


If you are interested in working in the UK, want to discuss available job opportunities or may have already begun your journey and need further advice, please contact our team today.