GMC Registration

General Medical Council

The General Medical council is the licensing body that allows registered doctors to practice medicine in the UK. The General medical council must be satisfied that the candidate is of sufficient standard to provide adequate medical care and it has a responsibility to protect patients. Any disciplinary action against a doctor may reach the GMC which will rule if you can still continue to practice.

For registration you need the following documents..

  1. Certificate of good standing
  2. IELTS examination (academic)with a score of 7.5 or greater.
  3. Passing the PLAB examination, becoming a member of Royal College (MRCP/FRCS) or Sponsorship by an approved body.
  4. Prescribed fees

The General Medical council requires the assurance that the doctor who is being registered to practice is of a standard which is equivalent to a doctor in the United Kingdom. This can be done in one of three ways below.

Certificate of good standing

You will need this certificate before you come to the UK. Please ensure that you obtain this from every medical council you have worked in (different states if appropriate) The GMC will want to know if you have been disbarred from any state. You will need to give a self declaration.


IELTS is an english examination to test the level of non-native english speakers. This involves a written, listening, reading and comprehension sections. This can be challenging as some basic assumptions made in use of other languages,  may not hold true in the english language.

What are the criteria?
For the GMC to accept your IELTS certificate it must show:

a) that you got a score of at least 7.0 in each testing area (speaking, listening, reading and writing)

b) and an overall score of 7.5.
c) that you got these scores in the same test
d) that you took the academic version of the test
e) the original stamp and test report form (TRF) number (we use this to validate all certificates) (Source GMC website  Feb 2016)

Qualifying exam

  1. PLAB Exam

The vast majority of doctors practicing medicine in the UK having trained abroad use the PLAB route to gain RGMC registration. This is an exam which is set at a very low level usually at the end of foundation year 1 (internship/house-surgeon level). The examination includes medicine (70%) and other specialities as well as basic sciences

2. Membership examination

The membership examination is a harder examination with the bar set higher. The level expected is the level of completion of postgraduate training abroad (MD/MS in India.) Furthermore after having passed the membership, the starting point will be ST3 or above and hence the examination will also question about specific issues relating to management, that may only relevant to the UK or other developed countries.

Remember that in the UK this is only the start of postgraduate training in a speciality (e.g. general medicine) which requires another 5 years of training after which you become consultant.

3. Sponsorship

Certain organisations have been allowed by the GMC the power to sponsor candidates. The sponsoring body will assess the candidate and assure the GMC that they are of sufficient level to work in the UK. This is very restrictive and the sponsorship will be for not longer than 2 years. The visa issues will be attire 5 visa which cannot be extended beyond 2 years. However it is possible that if the candidate passes the membership examination in this period, they can then request GMC registration.