Coming to train in the UK

International Medical Graduates (from outside of Europe) wishing to come and train in the UK must obtain a work permit and registration with the General Medical Council (GMC) before they are able to take up a post. 

International Medical Graduates (IMGs) seeking to gain registration via the College Sponsorship Scheme must not leave their employment  until they have secured a post, their application has been approved by the College, and their GMC registration has been approved. 

Routes to GMC registration

IMGs wishing to come and train in the UK must be aware of the requirements for obtaining work permits and registration with the General Medical Council (GMC). In order to apply for a UK training post, you would need to obtain GMC registration.  There are four routes to GMC registration:

  • The Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test: IMGs who have graduated from a medical school outside of the UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, and are not eligible for the other 3 routes will probably need to take the PLAB test. The PLAB test will check that IMGs know and can do the same as a doctor starting the second year of their Foundation Programme training in the UK.
    There are two parts to this examination. Part 1 is a written multiple-choice exam, with 180 single best answer questions. Part 2 is a practical objective structured clinical exam, known as an OSCE. IMGs will need to pass both examinations.
  • RCPath Sponsorship Schemes: The College runs two Sponsorship schemes, the Medical Training Initiative (MTI) and the Sponsorship scheme. For both schemes, the College recommends to the GMC that each doctor they sponsor possesses the knowledge, skills and experience necessary for practice as a fully registered medical practitioner in the UK.
    • The MTI scheme provides training for a maximum of 24 months and supports the trainees visa application through a Certificate of Sponsorship issues by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC).
    • Trainees on the Sponsorship scheme can receive training for a longer period of time because the UK Employer supports the trainee's visa. The College does not provide the Certificate of Sponsorship for the trainees visa on the Sponsorship scheme. 
  • Postgraduate Qualification Route: The GMC accept certain postgraduate qualifications as evidence that a doctor applying for full registration with a license to practice who has the necessary knowledge, skills and experience. The FRCPath (Part 1 and Part 2) is recongised by the GMC as a postgraduate qualification. For more information on accepted postgraduate qualifications, please visit the GMC website.
  • Acceptable Overseas Registration Examination Route: International medical graduates who have passed an acceptable overseas registration exam. Doctors should contact the GMC directly regarding this route ([email protected]). The following overseas examinations are accepted: 
    • United States Medical Licensing Exam: Step 1, Step 2 clinical knowledge and Step 2 clinical skills.; For Step 2 clinical skills, your pass must be on or before 13 March 2020. 
    • Medical Council of Canada Qualification Examination 2 (taken in English) on or before 27 October 2020 
    • The Australian Medical Council Clinical Examination on or before 5 March 2020 
Please note IMGs who would like to come and work in the UK as a consultant, will need to go through CCT or CESR