Who Are The Gmc

Who does the GMC regulate?

By Gemma Raw

The General Medical Council (GMC) is the regulator for doctors in the UK. But what does the GMC do? Its main role is to decide which doctors are qualified to work in the UK. It manages a register to practice, sets the standards doctors must follow, and oversees UK medical education and training. As you would expect, the GMC’s primary purpose is to ensure doctors have the correct skills, knowledge and experience to safely and efficiently treat and care for patients.

In addition to having the right qualifications, skills and experience to practise as a doctor, the GMC also has specific ethics every registrant must embed into their practice. It’s one of the many things that makes the UK’s community of doctors so highly respected and safe. Talking about safety, the GMC also follows up on serious concerns raised about doctors and will investigate the situation, and if needed, act.

Who does the GMC regulate?

If you are reading this as an experienced and qualified international doctor, you may be inclined to think that there is a single GMC register. There is, however, it’s a little more complicated than this. There are four main categories of registration, and these are:

  • Provisional registration (doctors working in approved UK Foundation Year 1 posts)

  • Full registration (doctors qualified to work on an unsupervised basis and those in the second year of their Foundation Programme)

  • Specialist registration (those practising in a medical or surgical speciality)

  • GP registration (doctors working within the community – General Practice)

Joining the GMC register

This may seem like quite a lot of information to take in. However, the GMC has streamlined the registration process to make it as simple as possible.

Doctors within the EEA

Within the EEA, equivalent training and qualifications are recognised to enable doctors to freely move between member states. Currently, there are interim measures in place for the UK and for Swiss nationals given the their departure from the European Union. However, doctors who obtained their qualification in an EEA country are currently eligible for full GMC registration.

Doctors arriving from outside the EEA

If you are an international doctor from outside the EEA, there are a couple of extra checks. You must evidence that you have an acceptable medical qualification from outside the EEA and prove that you have enough clinical experience. There are four ways in which you can do this, by:

  • Passing the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test

  • Being by a GMC approved sponsor

  • Holding an approved postgraduate qualification

  • Being eligible for entry in the specialist or GP registers

To successfully register, the GMC will ask you to evidence that you hold an acceptable primary medical qualification, have the required skills and knowledge and have the necessary English language knowledge. You will need to show that you have a good written and verbal understanding of the English language to safely practice medicine. Therefore, you must have passed the Occupational English Test (OET) with at least a grade B or achieved a score of 7.5 in the IELTS exam. IELTS is the preferred English language test for UK doctors.

For more information about overseas worker requirements, please feel free to read our collection of blogs.