There are various different routes to registration with a licence to practise in the UK.
You will need to pass the PLAB test before you can apply for registration with a licence to practise if you meet the following criteria:
You are a national of a country outside the UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland who graduated from a medical school outside the UK OR you are a UK national who has graduated from a medical school outside the UK, EEA or Switzerland
You do not have EC rights
You do not have one of the following: a sponsorship under an arrangement approved by us
an approved postgraduate qualification
eligibility to enter the GP or specialist register
If you do not meet the above criteria, you may be eligible to apply for registration with a licence to practise without passing the PLAB test. Please see our Applications section to find the guidance that is relevant to you.
Candidates need to be aware that a pattern of multiple failed attempts at any part of the PLAB assessment will be taken into account on any application for registration in the future and could lead to our refusing such an application.
From September 2017, candidates must pass the written and practical parts of the test within a maximum of four attempts at each. And, any application for registration and a licence to practise must be approved within two years of passing the Part 2 practical exam.
If you are eligible to apply for registration with a licence to practise by a route other than PLAB, but decide to take the PLAB test and fail, this will be taken into consideration if you later apply through an alternative route.
What is expected of a doctor in the UK? We set the standards that all doctors in the UK are expected to meet and publish them in our core guidance Good medical practice.
the role that the GMC has for doctors who have successfully gained registration in the UK
the importance of following our guidance.
The film features a number of established doctors sharing their experiences of putting the important principles of Good medical practice into action.
Online scenario based tool To find out more about how GMC guidance applies to UK medical practice and check your understanding of this, try our online self-assessment tool. The interactive tool is anonymous and includes clinical scenarios, questions and feedback based on the principles and values within Good medical practice.
To find the full range of our guidance and access our learning tools such case studies and interactive flow charts, take a look at our guidance pages.
Links to other resources which may help you to prepare for the PLAB test are listed on the PLAB resources page.
What the PLAB test covers
We set out the knowledge, skills and behaviours PLAB candidates are expected to demonstrate in the PLAB test blueprint. The blueprint shows how the test is mapped against our core guidance Good medical practice, the Outcomes for provisionally registered doctors July 2015 (originally published in The Trainee Doctor) and, the UK Foundation Programme curriculum 2016.
Find out more about what we assess IMGs on during the PLAB test and what we don't.
Recent developments We're strengthening the PLAB test by introducing a number of changes (pdf) to make it more rigorous and more reflective of real life practice.
The practical Part 2 exam now includes more and longer scenarios, redesigned to more accurately reflect real life consultations. There are also new questions and scenarios that will assess candidates' professionalism and understanding of ethics as well as their clinical skills.
From September 2017, candidates must pass both parts of the test within a maximum of four attempts at each.
Help and support for employers Employers have a vital role to play in carrying out pre-employment checks on doctors, making sure those they employ, have the relevant qualifications, skills and experience required for the role.
Our Employer Liaison Service gives help and support to employers and healthcare providers. To find out more about their work, please visit the Employer Liaison Service page.
To check a doctor's registration status, find general information about registration and licensing and our guidance on pre and post-employment checks, please visit our Employing a doctor page.
Practising Consultants or GPs, or those of equivalent status, with knowledge and understanding of the duties and responsibilities of a doctor successfully completing F1.
Applicants must be fully registered with a licence to practise and have a reasonable expectation of being in this position for at least five years. Applicants must be in good standing with the GMC.
Experience as an OSCE examiner and of assessment is an advantage, but not essential.
We are committed to an inclusive philosophy of equality and diversity; a policy reflected in the range of examiners we recruit. All specialties, including GPs, are represented in our examiner pool.
What's it like to be a PLAB examiner? Read quotes from doctors who work, or have worked, as PLAB examiners.
> What commitment is required?
We expect examiners to make themselves available for at least six days a year: five days examining, plus a compulsory calibration day in the autumn. You will have a choice of at least five calibration days, spread over different days and different weeks.
Examinations are held throughout the year in blocks of two or three days, generally between Tuesday and Thursday. There are no plans to examine at weekends or during the evening, although we could not rule this out in the future.
We will circulate exam dates for six-month periods about three or four months ahead. We will ask you to indicate your choice of dates, whether you wish to examine on single or consecutive days and any other preferences. We will allocate days based on this and send you an email confirming the dates we have allocated you. Exams are held at our purpose-built Clinical Assessment Centre in Manchester and you must arrive at 08:00 in time for an 08:15 briefing. We run one circuit of candidates before lunch and one in the afternoon. We normally end the day by 16:45. You will examine the same station usually all day but from time to time you may examine more than one station.
Because the exam is set at the level of the successful completion of F1, examiners would be expected to be able to examine in most stations. We will not necessarily allocate examiners to stations in their own specialty. We allow 30 minutes calibration for each station in the morning. You will pair up with another examiner giving you the opportunity to seek advice if you are at all uncertain about the marking scheme.
See our sample station for more information.
A Typical Day Would be:
Registration Examiners and Actors
Examiner Briefing including IPad
First circuit candidates arrive
Calibration and Station Familiarisation
1st circuit of OSCE
Second circuit candidates arrive
2nd circuit of OSCE
End of the OSCE
The selection process Applicants will be invited to complete an online application form. Those shortlisted will be invited to observe an OSCE and attend a training and assessment day. We will offer a choice of dates when possible.
The training and assessment day currently involve presentations about PLAB, the format of the Part 2 examination and the marking scheme. Facilitators will conduct practice and coaching in small groups in marking filmed scripted candidates and filmed real candidates.
The assessment stage will involve marking filmed candidates. Trainees' marks will be compared to those of a group of established examiners in the same stations. Those whose marks do not significantly differ from the range of marks given by the established examiners will be invited to examine.
Payment and expenses
We currently pay $310 a day, plus receipted expenses up to GMC limits. We pay half that fee for the two training dates for new applicants. You will be entitled to stay overnight in Manchester if you would need to leave home before 07:00 to attend the exam by 08:00.
Tenure A stable, well trained pool of examiners is a great asset so there is no period of tenure. You must be registered with a licence to practise, in good standing with the GMC and be marking consistently.
Examiners' performance is reviewed by a variety of methods.
Council has agreed to freeze all registration fees, including the annual retention fee, from 1 April 2017 - 31 March 2018. Further details are in the table below.
The transaction fee for making payments by credit card will be reduced from 1.5% to 1.2% from April 2017, to reflect a reduction in the charges passed on to us by card issuers.
How much do I have to pay? The fee you pay is dependent on your application type and date you submit it.
Fees to join the medical register
Effective from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2018
Application for full registration with a licence to practise for doctors who hold, or have previously held, provisional registration
Application for full registration with a licence to practise for doctors who submit their application within two years of passing a primary medical qualification (and do not hold, or have not previously held provisional registration)
Application for full registration with a licence to practise for doctors not covered by the scenarios above
Application for full registration with a licence to practise for a temporary period for a visiting eminent specialist
Application for provisional registration with a licence to practise (for three years and 30 days)
Scrutiny fee if your application to join the register is refused, closed or withdrawn
Fees to remain on the medical register
Effective from1 April 2016 to 31 March 2018
Annual retention fee for registration with a licence to practise
Annual retention fee for registration without a licence to practise
Fee for paying the annual retention fee in quarterly or monthly instalments
Revalidation annual return fee
Revalidation assessment fee
Fees to leave or change your status on the medical register
Effective from 3 December 2016 to 31 March 2018
Application fee to give up registration and licence to practise (also known as voluntary erasure)
Application fee to give up the licenceto practise (also known as relinquish licence)
Application fee to restore the licence to practise
Application fee fora first licence to practise
Fee for licence withdrawal (by the GMC)
Fees torestore to the medical register
Effective from 3 December 2016to 31 March 2018
Restoration fee payable when you apply to restore your name to the registerfollowing an administration erasure (payable in addition to the annual retention fee)
Application fee to restore your registration following voluntary erasure (payable in addition to the annual retention fee)
Fees to join the specialistand GP register
Effective from 1 April 2015to 31 March2018
Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT)
Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration(CESR)
Certificate of Eligibility for GP Registration(CEGPR)
An application for specialist or GP registration through the General System of assessment
Application for a CEGPR through an Approved Programme (AP)
Review of an applicationor a reapplicationfor a CESR or a CEGPR
Reassessment of an application for specialist or GP registration that was assessed through the General System of assessment
Application for a CESR or CEGPR through the combined programme (CP)
Application for sub-specialty recognition
Certificate of GP acquired rights
Review of an application or a reapplication for a Certificate of GP acquired rights
Application to an Appeal Panel (written appeal)
Application to an Appeal Panel (oral appeal)
Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test fees
Effective from 1 February 2016to 31 March2018
Part 1 of the PLAB test
Part 2 of the PLAB test
Request for clerical check of results for the PLAB test