What is GMC UK? How to Register in 2024 Results

The General Medical Council (GMC) in the United Kingdom is a regulatory authority responsible for overseeing and regulating medical professionals, primarily doctors. 

Its primary mission is to uphold and enforce standards of competence and behavior within the medical field, with a focus on ensuring patient safety and well-being. 

The GMC engages in various key functions, including the licensing of doctors, maintaining a register of licensed practitioners, and setting and enforcing standards for professional conduct and ethics. 

This regulatory body also plays a crucial role in investigating complaints and concerns related to the professional conduct or competence of doctors, taking disciplinary actions when necessary. 

Additionally, the GMC is involved in shaping and maintaining high standards for medical education and training, ensuring that doctors receive quality and relevant education throughout their careers. 

To put short, GMC UK serves as a guardian of the integrity of the medical profession in the UK, promoting excellence and accountability among healthcare professionals.

A Brief History of GMC with Updates in 21st Century

The General Medical Council (GMC) has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1858. 

Initially founded in response to concerns about the competence and conduct of medical practitioners, the GMC has evolved over the years to become a key regulatory body for the medical profession in the United Kingdom.

In the early 21st century, the GMC underwent significant updates to adapt to the changing landscape of healthcare and medical practice. 

One notable development was the introduction of the "Good Medical Practice" framework in 2001, which outlined the professional standards expected of doctors in the UK. 

This framework emphasized key principles such as patient-centered care, integrity, and the importance of staying up-to-date with medical knowledge.

Continuing its commitment to ensuring the highest standards of medical education, the GMC implemented the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board (PMETB) in 2005. 

However, this structure underwent further changes, and in 2010, the GMC took over the responsibilities of the PMETB, consolidating its role in overseeing postgraduate medical education and training.

The 21st century also witnessed advancements in technology, leading to the development of digital platforms for communication and record-keeping in healthcare. 

The GMC adapted to these changes by incorporating digital tools to streamline processes such as registration and licensing, making it more efficient for both medical professionals and the regulatory body.

Moreover, the GMC continued to refine its processes for handling complaints and concerns about doctors.

The focus shifted towards a more transparent and accountable approach, ensuring a fair and thorough investigation of any issues raised against medical practitioners.

In recent years, the GMC has remained dedicated to its mission of protecting patient safety, upholding professional standards, and supporting the ongoing development of medical professionals. 

The regulatory landscape has evolved to address emerging challenges, such as the increasing importance of interdisciplinary collaboration and the ethical implications of technological advancements in healthcare. 

Throughout its history and into the 21st century, the GMC has played a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of medical practice in the UK, adapting to the dynamic nature of healthcare and continuously working towards excellence in patient care.

Why is GMC Important? What Happens if You Don’t Register?

The General Medical Council (GMC) holds significant importance for various stakeholders, including society at large, medical practitioners in the UK, and foreign medical professionals seeking to practice in the UK.

Importance for Society

The GMC plays a crucial role in safeguarding the well-being and safety of the public. 

By regulating the medical profession, the GMC ensures that doctors in the UK adhere to high standards of competence, conduct, and ethics. 

This commitment to maintaining professional standards directly contributes to the quality of healthcare services provided to the public. 

Patients can trust that registered doctors have met stringent criteria and are continuously held accountable for their actions, fostering confidence in the healthcare system.

Importance for Medical Practitioners in the UK

For medical practitioners in the UK, GMC registration is not only a legal requirement but also a mark of professional credibility. 

It signifies that a doctor has met the necessary educational and training standards, is committed to ethical and professional conduct, and is actively engaged in continuous professional development. 

GMC registration is essential for career progression, as it allows doctors to practice medicine, access employment opportunities, and participate in postgraduate education and training programs.

Importance for Foreign Medical Professionals

Foreign medical professionals interested in practicing in the UK must go through the GMC's registration process. 

This ensures that international doctors meet the same rigorous standards as their UK counterparts, maintaining consistency in the quality of healthcare.

For foreign professionals, GMC registration serves as a gateway to employment opportunities within the UK healthcare system.

It also demonstrates their commitment to adhering to the UK's professional and ethical standards.

Consequences of Not Being Registered with GMC

If a medical professional is not registered with the GMC but practices medicine in the UK, they may face legal consequences.

It is a legal requirement for doctors to be registered with the GMC to practice in the UK. 

Working without registration can lead to serious disciplinary actions, including fines, legal proceedings, and, in extreme cases, prohibition from practicing medicine in the UK. 

Lack of registration also affects a doctor's ability to secure employment and access professional development opportunities within the country.

The GMC's importance extends beyond legal compliance; it is integral to maintaining the quality of healthcare, ensuring professional standards, and fostering public trust. 

For medical practitioners, both domestic and international, GMC registration is a vital aspect of their professional journey, providing assurance to patients and supporting their career development in the UK.

How to Register with GMC UK? - Registration Requirements for Overseas Doctors & UK/Swiss Nationals

We have articulated all important information for registering with GMC in the UK as of January 2024. However, you are always advised to check the latest updates yourself to be sure.

If you're looking to register with the GMC in the UK, you need to start by creating your online account on their website and check your eligibility to ensure you meet the necessary criteria. 

The next step involves completing the application which includes providing details about your medical qualifications and professional background. 

After submitting your application, proceed to securely pay the required fee through the GMC's online portal, and also that for verification through ECFMG as detailed below. 

During EPIC verification, submit supporting documents, such as copies of your medical degrees and proof of identity, and undergo an identity check for verification. 

As an international medical graduate, you must also be prepared to demonstrate your English language proficiency, which can be done either with IELTS Academic or OET.

After completing these steps, await confirmation from the GMC and gain access to online services upon successful registration. 

The process, which we have elaborated below, is designed to maintain high standards of competence and professionalism within the UK medical profession.

Remember, before applying for GMC registration, the applicants must also pass MLA (Medical Licensing Assessment).

Academic year 2024-25 onwards, all medical students who will graduate from UK universities will be required to pass the MLA to be eligible to register.

Similarly, for international students, the PLAB test will be in compliance with the requirements set in the MLA.

The motive of MLA is to ensure safe medical practice which manages uncertainty in the healthcare sector and ensures person-centered care.

For more details about the syllabus and curriculum of the MLA, the applicants can refer to the MLA content map and also read the official guide which is updated regularly. 

What are the steps for GMC UK Registration?

1. Check Eligibility - Before initiating the registration process, prospective applicants must verify their eligibility.

This involves ensuring you meet the necessary educational, training, and language proficiency requirements.

Overseas doctors need to confirm their qualifications are recognized by the GMC, and are required to pass the PLAB to demonstrate their knowledge and skills.

2. Complete Application - Once eligibility is confirmed, applicants can proceed with the online registration application.

The application varies for each applicant based on every individual’s profile.

You can join and start the registration process by answering some basic questions about yourself to determine what kind of application best suits you.

Ultimately, you need to create a GMC Online Account which is a handy way to reach, modify, and preview your application any time making the application process very convenient. 

3. Pay Fee - Applicants are required to pay the registration fee, which covers the processing of the application, and then an annual fee to remain registered.

The annual registration fees for doctors who already have a license is £433 (GBP 433), and that for doctors who are newly qualified is £166 (GBP 166).

The GMC's official website provides details on the current fee structure. Payment can usually be made online through the secure payment portal.

As you will read in the next step, a fee has to be paid to ECFMG for verifying qualifications which as of January 2024 is US$100 per credential. More about it can be read here.

4. Provide Evidence - Substantial documentation is required to support the GMC application.

This includes verified copies of medical degrees, proof of completion of internship or equivalent training, and any additional certifications or qualifications.

The verification of primary medical qualification is done by USA’s non-profit organization named Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) through their online portal, EPIC.

All applicants need to provide evidence of English language proficiency (IELTS Academic, IELTS Academic UKVI, or OET), and successful completion of the MLA or the PLAB as applicable.

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Verification of qualification is mostly the most time-consuming process of the application and therefore, the applicants are advised to apply for GMC only after verification is complete.

5. Complete ID Check - Once the application is submitted by the applicant and no further evidence is required, applicants must undergo an identity (ID) check.

This involves providing original documents to confirm identity, such as a passport or national ID card, and proof of address.

For overseas doctors, additional checks may be required to validate their qualifications and training.

6. Await Confirmation - When all steps are completed, applicants must await confirmation from the GMC regarding the status of their registration.

This may take some time as the GMC carefully reviews all documentation and conducts necessary checks.

In short, steps for GMC UK registration are:

  1. Check eligibility

  2. Complete application

  3. Pay fee

  4. Provide evidence

  5. Complete ID check

    What are the Eligibility Requirements for GMC Registration?

All applicants are required to provide evidence in several key areas. Firstly, proficiency in the English language is a prerequisite. 

All applicants must submit results from either the IELTS Academic/IELTS Academic UKVI (with a minimum score of 7.5, no less than 7.0 in each module) or the OET - Medicine version, with at least a B grade in all modules.

Secondly, applicants must demonstrate their fitness to practice, which encompasses factors such as health conditions, cautions and convictions, penalty notices, actions taken by medical schools or employers, and instances of clinical negligence.

For the primary source verification process, applicants are exempt if they already possess provisional registration or are UK graduates. 

However, those who do not meet these criteria, like foreign graduates, must undergo verification. 

This involves creating an account on the GMC Online platform as we have detailed above, establishing an EPIC account to confirm identity with ECFMG, uploading the necessary qualifications for verification, and subsequently submitting the GMC application.

In short, evidence to be provided by all applicants includes:

  • English language skills (either IELTS Academic/IELTS Academic UKVI (7.5, no less than 7.0) or OET - Medicine version, at least B in all modules)

  • Fit to practice (health conditions, cautions and convictions, penalty notices, action by medical school or employer, clinical negligence)

  • Primary source verification (not required if possessing provisional registration or UK graduate)

    • Create GMC Online account

    • Create EPIC account (to confirm identity with ECFMG)

    • Upload required qualifications for verification 

    • Verify qualifications

  • Submit GMC application

Eligibility Determination Process for GMC Registration in the UK

Determining eligibility for GMC registration in the UK involves a thorough assessment of various criteria. 

The process takes into consideration the applicant's nationality, medical qualifications, internship location, and the ability to provide evidence of meeting specific requirements. 

The questions asked during this evaluation encompass factors such as the applicant's origin, their medical qualifications, internship location, and proof of competence.

  1. Nationality and Qualifications:

  • The applicant must be either a qualifying Swiss national or a foreign national.

  • Medical qualifications considered eligible include those obtained in the UK, relevant European qualifications, or other acceptable overseas qualifications.

    • Acceptable Overseas Registration Exams

      • United States Medical Licensing Exam.

      • Medical Council of Canada Qualification Examination (in English).

      • Australian Medical Council Clinical Examination (AMC) CAT MCQ and Clinical Examination (face-to-face OSCE after March 2020).

  1. Internship Experience

The internship can be completed in the UK or elsewhere, broadening the scope for applicants with varied international experiences.

  1. Evidence of Competence

Applicants need to provide evidence of the following:

  • Successful completion of the PLAB test.

  • Sponsorship by a GMC-approved sponsor (optional).

  • Possession of an acceptable postgraduate qualification.

  1. Portfolio Pathway for Specialist or GP Registers

  • Eligibility for entry to specialist or GP registers is possible through the Portfolio Pathway, offering an alternative route for qualified candidates.

  • Eligibility for entry to the specialist and GP registers is granted to those with relevant European qualifications.

Special Conditions for Overseas Graduates Applying for GMC UK

There are some additional conditions for overseas exam applicants which they need to fulfill in order to be eligible to apply for GMC registration:

  • All overseas registration exams must be passed in less than four attempts.

  • If the exams are more than two years old, applicants must have been practicing for three out of the last five years, including at least six months in the recent 12 months before submitting the application. 

  • A consultant report from a supervising consultant or colleague is required as evidence.

  • If an applicant fails in either of PLAB part 1 or 2, the applicant is deemed ineligible.

In conclusion, the eligibility requirements for GMC registration are comprehensive, taking into account various aspects of an applicant's background, qualifications, and professional experience. 

Applicants are encouraged to carefully review and fulfill these requirements to ensure a smooth registration process with the GMC in the UK.

Is there Only 1 GMC Registration? What are the Types of GMC Registrations?

In the realm of GMC (General Medical Council) registration, there isn't just a singular registration process; instead, there are distinct types tailored to specific stages of medical practice. 

It is crucial for individuals to apply for the appropriate registration that aligns with their eligibility and professional aspirations.

Provisional Registration

One fundamental category is Provisional Registration, which permits participation in an approved Foundation year 1 programme within the UK. 

This type of registration is designed to support individuals at the initial stage of their medical careers.

Full Registration

Moving forward, Full Registration becomes essential for those seeking to progress to the second year of the Foundation programme.

With Full Registration, individuals gain the authority to engage in unsupervised medical practice within the NHS or UK private practice. 

Eligibility requirements for Full Registration include the successful completion of the first year of the Foundation programme, the provision of evidence showcasing sufficient clinical experience, and relevant qualifications, particularly for Swiss or UK nationals.

Specialist Registration

For those aiming for a higher level of medical practice, Specialist Registration is pertinent. 

This type of registration is designated for individuals who are eligible to assume appointments in fixed, honorary, or substantive consultant posts within the NHS

Notably, individuals must already possess Full Registration to be eligible for Specialist Registration.

GP Registration

Additionally, there is a distinct registration path for those aspiring to become General Practitioners (GPs)

GP Registration is mandatory for all GPs, including those in training as GP registrars and locums. 

This registration type is tailored for those aiming for roles specific to general practice within the UK healthcare system.

To put short, the GMC offers various registration types to accommodate individuals at different stages of their medical careers. 

The key is to carefully assess one's eligibility and professional goals to ensure the appropriate type of registration is pursued.

What is the PLAB Test? A Guide for GMC Registration Applicants

The PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board) test serves as a crucial evaluation for doctors qualified abroad.

It ensures they possess the requisite knowledge and skills to practice medicine in the UK. 

This assessment is not mandatory for individuals who have obtained their qualifications in the UK, European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland, as they are considered to be on par with a doctor in the second year of the Foundation Programme in the UK.

The PLAB test comprises two parts designed to comprehensively assess an applicant's proficiency. 

  • Part 1 consists of a written Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) exam, featuring 180 single-answer questions with five options, to be completed within a three-hour timeframe.

  • Part 2 involves a practical Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) comprising 16 scenarios, each lasting eight minutes, conducted at a clinical assessment center.

    To be eligible for the PLAB test, several criteria must be met:

  • The applicant's medical qualification must be in allopathic medicine and awarded by an institution listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools (WMS), with current acceptability to the GMC.

  • Relevant European qualifications are also deemed acceptable. In cases where the qualification is not listed in the WMS, acceptance is possible only if the country is not recognized by the United Nations or if the institution no longer exists.

  • The medical program of study must span at least 5,500 hours over three years, and the applicant must have completed the program and graduated.

  • The program completed should not be entirely virtual, even if attempted during Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Specific conditions apply in transfer cases, and relevant clinical experience, including internships, is a prerequisite.

    Applicants must pass both parts of the PLAB test to become eligible to apply for GMC registration.

    It is imperative to have the GMC application approved within two years of passing PLAB Part 2.

    If a Primary Medical Qualification (PMQ) assessment is required post-application, the application will be closed. 

In instances where the qualification is deemed unacceptable, the applicant is ineligible to sit for the PLAB test, emphasizing the critical role this assessment plays in ensuring the proficiency of internationally qualified doctors seeking to practice in the UK.

Why Bother? What are the Advantages of GMC Registration?

GMC (General Medical Council) registration offers several advantages for medical professionals, particularly those aiming to practice in the United Kingdom. Some key benefits include:

1. Legal Authorization to Practice - GMC registration is a legal requirement for doctors who wish to practice medicine in the UK.

It provides individuals with the necessary legal authorization and recognition to engage in clinical activities within the National Health Service (NHS) or private healthcare settings.

2. Professional Credibility - Registration with the GMC signifies that a doctor has met the required standards of education, training, and clinical competence.

It enhances professional credibility and assures patients, employers, and colleagues that the registered individual has the necessary qualifications and skills to provide quality healthcare.

3. Access to Training and Career Opportunities - GMC registration opens doors to various training and career opportunities within the UK healthcare system.

It allows doctors to participate in postgraduate training programs, pursue specializations, and advance their careers in diverse medical fields.

4. Global Recognition - GMC registration is globally recognized as a mark of professional competence.
It facilitates international mobility for doctors, enabling them to practice in other countries that acknowledge the standards set by the GMC.

5. Compliance with Regulatory Standards - By registering with the GMC, doctors commit to adhering to the ethical and professional standards outlined by the council.

This ensures that medical practitioners maintain high levels of integrity, professionalism, and ethical conduct in their practice.

6. Patient Trust and Safety - GMC registration contributes to patient trust and safety.

Patients can be confident that their healthcare providers are accountable to a regulatory body that oversees professional standards, thereby fostering a sense of security and reliability in the healthcare system.

7. Continuous Professional Development - GMC registration emphasizes the importance of continuous professional development.

It encourages doctors to stay updated on advancements in medical knowledge, technology, and practices, fostering a commitment to lifelong learning.

8. Networking and Collaboration - Being part of the GMC-registered medical community facilitates networking and collaboration with other healthcare professionals.

This interconnectedness contributes to the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and best practices within the medical field.

In short, GMC registration offers a comprehensive framework for ensuring the competence, professionalism, and ethical conduct of doctors, while also providing them with a gateway to diverse career opportunities and global recognition in the field of medicine.


In conclusion, understanding the intricacies of GMC (General Medical Council) registration in the United Kingdom is paramount for medical professionals aspiring to practice in this dynamic healthcare landscape. 

As outlined in this article, the registration process involves navigating various pathways, from the PLAB test for internationally qualified doctors to the specific criteria for different registration types. 

The advantages of GMC registration extend beyond legal authorization, encompassing professional credibility, access to training opportunities, and global recognition. 

In the evolving landscape of healthcare in 2024, staying abreast of the registration requirements and procedures is crucial for those seeking to contribute to the UK's healthcare system. 

Whether embarking on the journey towards Full Registration, Specialist Registration, or GP Registration, the process demands careful consideration, adherence to standards, and commitment to professional development, ultimately contributing to a robust and trusted healthcare community in the United Kingdom.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the OET score for UK doctors?
In the UK, the OET score requirement for doctors seeking GMC registration is a minimum score of at least B in all four modules: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.

What is the OET score for GMC registration for doctors?
GMC OET requirements include obtaining a minimum score of B in each OET module to demonstrate English language proficiency.

What is the OET exam for MBBS?
The OET exam for MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) graduates is not a specific exam; instead, MBBS graduates typically undergo the OET for doctors as part of the GMC registration process.

What is the pass rate for OET for doctors?
The pass rate for the OET for doctors is determined by achieving a minimum score of B in each of the four modules.

What are GMC OET requirements?
GMC OET requirements include obtaining a minimum score of B in each OET module to demonstrate English language proficiency.

Is OET required for PLAB 2?
English proficiency is mandatory but it does not necessarily have to be proven by appearing for OET. Applicants can also appear for the IELTS Academic, or IELTS Academic UKVI.