A summary of the requirements candidates from countries within the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland must fulfill in order to practice medicine in the UK is described below.

1. Language Requirements
2. Registration with the GMC (General Medical Council)
3. Disclosure & Barring check
4. Occupational health report

 

 

1. Language Requirements

There are different ways in which doctors may be able to demonstrate their knowledge of English.

Evidence of knowledge of English will only be considered if it meets the following criteria:

  • Is recent (less than two years old at the point of application)
  • Clearly shows you can read, write and interact with patients, relatives and healthcare professionals in English
  • Can be verified through contact with recognised medical institutions, regulators or other official bodies

a. IELTS test

The easiest and clearest way to demonstrate knowledge of English is to take the academic version of the IELTS test and meet the following minimum scores.

  • A score of at least 7.0 in each testing area (speaking, listening, reading and writing), and an overall score of 7.5.
  • These scores have to be acquired in the same test
  • Only the academic version of the test is accepted
  • The certificate must have the original stamp and test report form (TRF) number

IELTS certificates are valid for two years.

Other forms of validating knowledge of the English language are:

b. An offer of employment from a UK healthcare organisation

where you can provide:

  • A copy of the offer in writing
  • A completed English language reference for doctors with UK job offers from the appointing clinician
  • Confirmation from the Responsible Officer that the recruitment process has made sure that the applicant has the necessary knowledge of English to practice safely in the UK

c. Your PMQ is less than two years old at the point you apply for registration.

You will have to provide an original letter or certificate from the institution where you qualified that confirms:

  • All of the course, including clinical activities, were taught and examined solely in English,
  • At least 75% of any clinical interaction, including personal contact with patients, their families and other healthcare professionals, which took place as part of the course of study, was conducted in English,
  • The date you passed your final examination.

 

2. Registration with the GMC

All doctors intending to practice medicine in the UK are required to be registered with the GMC, follow the GMC’s Good Medical Practice guidance and be subject to the GMC Fitness to Practice actions. The required documents in order to register depend on a number of things, but some are standard such as:

  • Evidence of your primary medical qualification
  • Proof of identity (passport or identity card if it states your nationality)
  • Certificates of good standing from any medical regulators you have been registered with in the last five years (and translations of them)
  • Employer reference(s) (and translations of them).

 

3. Disclosure & Barring check

Job candidates can’t do a criminal records check on themselves.

  • The employer gets an application form from DBS or a registered body that gives access to DBS checks (umbrella body).
  • The employer gives the applicant the form to fill in and return to them along with documents proving their identity.
  • The employer sends the completed application form to DBS or their umbrella body.
  • DBS sends a certificate to the applicant. The employer has to ask the applicant to see the certificate.

 

4. Occupational health report

An Occupational Health Assessment is a medical examination performed by an Occupational Health Physician with an aim of addressing questions raised by the employer. Its primary aim is to advise management regarding the employee’s health issue and to make recommendations on what adjustments could be considered to ensure a safe/healthy working environment for that employee. It can also be an assessment of somebody’s fitness to work. The aim of the report is to inform Management and give them an expert medical opinion and sufficient information to enable them to make any onward decisions with appropriate knowledge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Applying for registration with a licence to practise – for nationals from the EEA, Switzerland and other doctors with EC rights, who graduated at EEA or Swiss medical schools and have completed an internship

You have three months to submit your application from when you start it online. If you have not submitted your application after three months you will have to start a new one. Instructions on setting up your online account are given at the end of this guidance.

This guide is to help doctors who:

  • Are a national of a member state of the EEA or Switzerland or a doctor with European Community rights (opens in a new window)
  • And have qualified at a medical school in an EEA country (but not the United Kingdom) or Switzerland

Your application will be an online application.  At the end of this guidance you will be given a link to enter our secure web portal which is called GMC Online.

Your next steps

  • Read this
  • Set up an online account (unless you already hold provisional registration)
  • Log in, complete your application and pay your fee
  • Send copies of your supporting documentary evidence by post
  • Visit one of our offices for an identity check

Paying the registration fee

  • Once you have completed your application online, but before you submit it, you will be asked to pay a fee for full registration with a licence to practise. You will not be able to submit your application without paying the fee. However, you can save your application and come back to it later if you need to.
  • For information on fees (including the non-refundable scrutiny fee) please see the GMC guidance on paying your fee

Collecting the documents you need to support your application

When you apply for registration with a licence, you will need to provide the GMC with details of a number of important documents to complete the three stages of the application process.

Stage 1 – Recognising your qualification

Stage 2 – Your licence to practise

Stage 3 – Completing the registration process

Stage 1: Recognising your qualification

When the GMC has your application, they will look at it then ask you to send photocopies of some evidence documents by post

Please wait until the GMC asks for these before you send them, they will only ask you to send photocopies.

Stage 2: Your licence to practise

The GMC needs to be satisfied you have the necessary knowledge of English to communicate effectively before they give you a licence. This is so you do not put the safety of your patients at risk. Communicating includes speaking, reading, writing and listening.

They may ask you to give them evidence that you have the necessary knowledge of English.

If they ask you for this evidence, and:

  • you do not send it

Or

  • they are not satisfied with it

They will approve you for registration without a licence. You will not be able to practise medicine in the UK without a licence.

If you give them your evidence before they complete the registration process at your ID check, and it meets their requirements, they will grant you both registration and a licence.

Or

You can make a separate application for a licence to practise after your registration is granted at the ID check. You will still need to give them evidence of your knowledge of English if they have asked you for it before.

Stage 3: Completing the registration process

You will need to bring the original versions of all your documents they have assessed to this point, including any English translations, to your identity check. They will send you an identity check invitation and tell you all the original documents they need to see.

If they grant you registration without a licence, they will refund you the licence part of your application fee.

 

 

Official translations

You must submit a complete and accurate translation of every document you provide that is not in English, along with the document in its original language.

Read more guidance on translations

Documents you must submit: proof of identity

You will be asked to provide details of your signed EEA or Swiss passport.

Alternatively, if you have a national identity card, you can use this as proof of your identity.

Your national identity card must include a photograph and clearly state your nationality.

If you are not an EEA or Swiss national you must submit evidence of your EC rights.
All identity documents must be valid and up-to-date.

You will be asked to send a photocopy of this document by post.

Once the GMC have recognised your qualification you should bring the original of this document when you visit their offices for your identity check.

Documents you must submit: evidence of qualifications (European primary qualification)

As part of the application process you must submit evidence of your qualifications.

This includes your European primary qualification and, if appropriate, your licence to practise.

You will be asked to send a photocopy of this document by post.

Once the GMC have recognised your qualification you should bring the original of this document when you visit their offices for your identity check.

Important

Please check the EEA qualification evidence guide to see what documents are required for your country of qualification and the type of registration that you are applying for.

Documents you must submit: evidence of qualifications (Specialists and GPs)

You need to hold full registration with the GMC before your name can be included in the Specialist Register or GP Register.

If you are eligible for direct entry onto the Specialist Register or direct entry onto the GP Register, you should make your application for this at the same time as your application for full registration with a licence to practise.

You will be asked to send a photocopy of this document by post.

Once the GMC have recognised your qualification you should bring the original of this document when you visit their offices for your identity check.

If you are applying for specialist registration

If you want to work as a substantive, fixed-term or honorary consultant in the NHS you will need to hold both full and specialist registration with a licence to practise. If you want to work outside the NHS as a specialist, your prospective employer may also require you to be entered onto the Specialist Register.

If you are an EEA national and have been awarded a specialist qualification in an EEA member state please read the EEA qualifications section to see what evidence you are required to submit.

If the title of your specialist qualification does not appear in Annex V of the Directive 2005/36/EC or is not accepted in the UK in Annex V of the Directive 2005/36/EC you may be eligible to apply for entry onto the Specialist Register with a Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR).

You will need to hold full registration with a licence to practise before you make your application for entry onto the Specialist Register.

For information about CESR please see background information about specialist and GP registration.

If you hold a specialist qualification in oral and maxillo-facial surgery listed in Annex V of the Directive 2005/36/EC, you can only apply for specialist registration if you have also successfully completed dental training that meets, or under article 22(a) of the Directive 2005/36/EC (part-time training) is to be treated as meeting, the requirements of article 34 of the Directive 2005/36/EC (basic dental training).

If you are applying for GP registration

If you are an EEA national and have been awarded a GP qualification in an EEA member state please see the EEA qualifications section to see what evidence you are required to submit.

If the title of your GP qualification does not appear in Annex V (5.1.4) of the Directive 2005/36/EC you may be eligible to apply for a entry onto the GP Register with a Certificate of Eligibility for GP Registration (CEGPR).

You will need to hold full registration with a licence to practise before you make your application for entry onto the GP Register.

For information about CEGPR please see the background information about specialist and GP registration.

For more information about the GP Register please read our guidance on the GP Register.

Registration Panels

If the Registrar decides to seek advice from a Registration Panel on your application they may need you to send further information and documents (for example, references from your employing authorities and/or supervising consultants). They will write to you to let you know if this is the case.

Documents you must submit: Certificate of Good Standing

You will be asked to provide details of each medical regulatory authority that you have been registered or licensed with in the last five years, even if you have not practised in that jurisdiction.

You will need to submit a Certificate of Good Standing (CGS) from each of the medical regulatory authorities that you have listed.

You can find out who the medical regulatory authority is for each country, and their contact details, in our CGS contact database (opens in a new window).

The CGS must confirm that

  • you are/were entitled to practise medicine in the appropriate country AND
  • you were not disqualified, suspended or prohibited from practising medicine AND
  • the regulatory authority is not aware of any matters that call into question your good standing.

If there is no medical regulatory authority in the country to issue a CGS, you will need to ask your employer(s) in each of those countries to complete an employer reference form (pdf).

CGS are only valid for three months from the date that they are issued and must be valid on the date that the application is approved.

You will be asked to send a photocopies of these documents by post.

Once the GMC have recognised your qualification you should bring the originals of these documents when you visit their offices for your identity check.

When completing your application, you will be asked to provide details of all of your work experience from the last five years both medical and non-medical. You must account for all periods in the last five years when you were not engaged in medical practice including:

  • alternative employment
  • clinical attachments
  • vacation
  • study leave
  • maternity leave
  • career breaks
  • unemployment

Documents you must submit: employer references

If there are any periods during the last five years in which you have not been registered or licensed with a medical regulatory authority, but have been working in either a medical or non-medical capacity, you must provide a reference from each employer.

Each letter must be on letter-headed paper and signed and dated by a person in authority. (If possible, this person should be your direct line manager or a member of human resources.) The signatory must state their position in the organisation.

Alternatively, you can ask each employer to complete an employer reference form (pdf).

Each letter or form must confirm:

  • The dates of your employment
  • That they are not aware of any matters that call into question your good standing.

If you were working in a medical capacity, the letter or form must also confirm that you are or were not required to hold registration or a licence with a medical regulatory authority to undertake the post.

Please note that reference letters and forms are only valid for three months from the date they are signed.

We will ask you to send us photocopies of these documents by post.

Once we have recognised your qualification you should bring the originals of these documents when you visit our offices for your identity check.

When completing your application, you will be asked to provide details of all of your work experience from the last five years both medical and non-medical. You must account for all periods in the last five years when you were not engaged in medical practice including:

  • alternative employment
  • clinical attachments
  • vacation
  • study leave
  • maternity leave
  • career breaks
  • unemployment

Documents you must submit: employer references

If there are any periods during the last five years in which you have not been registered or licensed with a medical regulatory authority, but have been working in either a medical or non-medical capacity, you must provide a reference from each employer.

Each letter must be on letter-headed paper and signed and dated by a person in authority. (If possible, this person should be your direct line manager or a member of human resources.) The signatory must state their position in the organisation.

Alternatively, you can ask each employer to complete an employer reference form (pdf).

Each letter or form must confirm:

  • The dates of your employment
  • That they are not aware of any matters that call into question your good standing.

If you were working in a medical capacity, the letter or form must also confirm that you are or were not required to hold registration or a licence with a medical regulatory authority to undertake the post.

Please note that reference letters and forms are only valid for three months from the date they are signed.

You will be asked to send a photocopy of this document by post.

Once the GMC have recognised your qualification you should bring the original of this document when you visit their offices for your identity check.

Declaration of fitness to practise

You will be asked to complete a set of questions regarding your fitness to practise.

Depending on your answers to these questions, you may need to provide more evidence to support your application.

To find out more about this, read the guidance on the declaration of fitness to practise

Attending an identity check

When you have submitted your details on GMC Online, your application will be assessed. Once we have recognised your qualification, we will then email you to invite you to book an identity check at our London or Manchester offices. When you attend, we will take your photograph and inspect the original documents that you provide in support of your application.

You will need to attend this identity check within three months of your application being approved. If you do not, we will not be able to grant your registration with a licence to practise.

Please do not visit our offices for an identity check until we have invited you.

For more information about this, please see the guidance on identity checks

Processing your application

We aim to assess applications as quickly as possible. If for any reason we cannot process your application immediately, we will tell you why. You will hear from us within five working days.

At peak times of the year (January and July) our Registration Directorate is extremely busy. It can take us longer at these times to process applications. It is, therefore, in your interests to make sure that you are able to submit all of the required documents and apply as early as possible and well in advance of the date you will need registration with a licence to practise.

We may ask you to provide further evidence and information in support of your application. We may also refer your application to a Registration Panel for advice on your eligibility to be registered with a licence to practise. We will let you know if this applies to your application.

Before taking up any employment you must ensure that you are registered with a licence to practise and that your registration with a licence to practise is appropriate for the type of post or practice that you will be undertaking. You can check your entry on the Register and the date from which it is effective on the List of Registered Medical Practitioners

Applying online

You are aware that you will be required to post us copies of documents. Please note that we will not be able to process your application until we have received all of the documents. Therefore you should ensure that you are able to submit all of the required documents before you apply.

To apply, you will need to log in to our secure web portal.

New users

If you have a GMC reference number, but have never logged into your online account and do not have log in details, you can activate your account here.

Activate your account

If you do not have a GMC reference number, please click on the link below and follow the simple instructions in order to set up your account.

Set up an account