Language Tests and Registrations

The GMC registration process

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Registering with the General Medical Council



Who are the GMC?

The General Medical Council (GMC) are a public body that maintains the official register of medical practitioners within the UK.

Their 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.

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


Requirements for GMC registration

You will need to provide provide the GMC with the below documentation:

  • Evidence of your primary medical qualification (PMQ)
  • Proof of your identity
  • Certificates of Good Standing (CGS)
  • Employer references

Note that the exact requirements to register with the GMC will depend on your individual circumstances.


The GMC registration process

The GMC registration can be described in the below stages:

  • Checking whether your primary medical qualification is recognised by the GMC
  • Verifying your primary medical qualification
  • Evidencing your English language skills
  • Detailing your registration and licensing history
  • Providing your Certificate(s) of Good Standing
  • 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.

Before you begin the GMC application process, you will need to check whether the GMC recognise your primary medical qualification. You can do this by following the link below which applies to you:

Verifying your Primary Medical Qualification

Once you’ve established whether your primary medical qualification 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’re relocating from a country where English is not the first language, then you’ll need to evidence your English language skills. For the vast majority of international medical graduates, this is done by passing an English language test.

The GMC accept two tests, these are:

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

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

For each of the medical establishments that you list, you’ll need to request a 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

You’ll need to demonstrate to the GMC that you hold the level of medical knowledge and the skills expected of doctors who are practising in the UK.

You can demonstrate this by:

Submitting your application to the GMC

Once you’ve provided the the GMC with the documents that they’ve requested from you, they’ll review your application.

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’ll invite you to attend an ID check*.

Attending an ID Check*

All applicants for registration with a licence to practise and restoration must complete an identity check with the GMC in the UK. ID checks are held at the GMC offices in Manchester and 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’ll 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.

*Due to the ongoing pandemic, identity checks at the GMC offices in Manchester and London remain suspended. For now, once your application has been approved, you’ll be granted registration without an identity check. Your status on the medical register will mention this.


GMC registration fees

All doctors pay a fee to register with the GMC and an annual retention fee to remain on the GMC register.

The standard fee for full registration with a licence to practise is usually £408. The standard annual retention fee is also £408.

For a full list of GMC fees, please click here.


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.