Changes to the registration process for doctors who have qualified in Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, West Indies before 31st October 2003 or the University of Malaya before 31st December 1989
NOTE: No changes have been made for Indian graduates despite a strong rumour of plab 1 exemption for certain medical colleges in India.
Why are changes being made to the way I can apply for registration?
Until 17 December 2002 the GMC had a two-tier system of registration for overseas qualified doctors. Doctors who qualified at certain medical schools in the above countries had the right to apply for provisional and full registration.
Doctors who qualified at other medical schools overseas were only eligible to apply for limited registration although they could apply to move to full registration after working in the UK for a period under limited registration. This arrangement has not changed.
It was for many years the GMCs policy to secure the legislative changes necessary to abolish the arrangements for granting provisional and full registration to doctors holding recognised overseas qualifications. This was on the grounds that those arrangements were unfair in that they failed to ensure equal treatment for all doctors who qualified outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and who did not benefit from European law. They were also not in line with the GMCs policy that eligibility for registration by overseas qualified doctors should be based not on where they had qualified but on objective evidence of their capability for practice in the UK at the point of registration.
Who do the changes affect?
Doctors who have qualified at the following Medical Schools on or before 31st October 2003 (except the University of Malaya).
MB BS University of Adelaide
BM BS Flinders University of South Australia
MB BS University of Melbourne
MB BS Monash University, Victoria
B Med University of Newcastle, New South Wales
MB BS University of New South Wales
MB BS University of Queensland
MB BS University of Sydney
MB BS University of Tasmania
MB BS University of Western Australia
MB ChB Chinese University of Hong Kong
MB BS University of Hong Kong
MB BS University of Malaya *
*The degrees of MB BS awarded by the University of Malaya on or after 1 January 1990 are not recognised for full or provisional registration. However, they are accepted for the purposes of limited registration
MB ChB University of Auckland
MB ChB University of Otago
MB BS National University of Singapore
MB ChB University of Cape Town
MB ChB University of Natal
MB ChB University of the Orange Free State
MB ChB University of Pretoria
MB ChB University of Stellenbosch
MB BCh University of the Witwatersrand
MB BS University of the West Indies
How does it affect me?
If you qualified at one of the above Universities on or before October 31st 2003 then you will be eligible for provisional and full registration but only if this is granted before 31st December 2003.
What happens after 31st December 2003?
After 31 December 2003, your qualification will not be accepted for full or provisional registration, directly. You will however be able to apply for limited registration.
What is limited registration?
If you would like information about limited registration please read the factsheet: Applying for limited registration for the first time.
Can I apply for registration if I pass my degree between 1st November and 31st December?
No, you must have passed your degree on or before 31st October 2003. If the pass date of your degree is after 31st October then you can make an application for limited registration.
What if I have passed my degree before 31st October 2003 but I will not have it awarded until 2004?
If your degree has not yet been awarded we require an original letter from your university stating your full name, qualification gained, date passed and that you left the university in good standing. But again you will only be able to obtain provisional registration before 31 December 2003.
How have you publicised these changes ?
The GMC first informed all Universities and Regulatory Bodies about the proposals to move to a single form of registration for all overseas-qualified doctors (outside the EEA) in 1992.
In June 2002 and December 2002 all Universities and Regulatory Bodies were again informed of the proposed changes drawing their attention to the transitional arrangements which were being put in place.
Can I apply for provisional registration even if I do not intend to work in the UK?
Yes, as long as you meet all the criteria for registration
Can I apply for full registration even if I do not intend to work in the UK?
Yes, as long as you meet all the criteria for registration
If I currently hold provisional registration do I have to apply for full registration before 31st December?
No, If you currently hold or have held provisional registration then there is no time limit on you moving to full registration.
What happens if I have only sent you part of my application by 31st December 2003?
If your application has not been processed by 31 December 2003 you will not be able to obtain registration via this route. If your application is incomplete on 31st December then your application will be refused. We must have received all the evidence we require and it must have been in order. If you do not meet the deadline for this route to registration, you will have to make a new application for limited registration. Please make sure that you only send us your completed application and that all documents are original and current.
What if I post my application before 31st December but you dont receive it before January.
If we do not receive and process your application by 31 December 2003 it will be refused. We advise you to send your application by recorded delivery.
Can I send copies or certified copies of my documents?
All your documents must be originals. We can accept a certified copy of your degree certificate as long as it has been copied and certified by your University. However Universities do not always make it clear that they have certified a copy and if we are unsure we will ask for the original. In order to prevent any delay to your application please send us your original degree certificate.
Can I fax any documents to you?
All your documents need to be originals except your character declaration and postgraduate summary sheet. We can accept faxed documents direct from some Medical Boards and Universities. Please note though that towards the end of the year all our fax machines will be very busy and if your document is not faxed before 31st December your application will be refused. It is advisable not to fax documents to us in the last few days of December incase they do not get through.
How long will it take you to process my application?
We aim to process all complete applications within 5 working days. However towards the end of December it is anticipated that the number of applications made will increase substantially so it may take slightly longer to process your application.
Where should I send my application?
Please send you application to Registration Section, 178 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 5JE.
If I have held full registration in the past but have not maintained my registration will I need to take the PLAB exam if I restore my name to the register after 31st December 2003?
There is currently no requirement for doctors who have previously held full registration sit the PLAB exam before restoring their name to the register. However regulations do change from time to time and it is advisable to check our website to see if there have been any changes to the regulations.
I have all the evidence requirements for registration except for my International English Language Testing System (IELTS) as my local test centre is full until 2004.
You must submit an IELTS certificate with your application and you must score at least 7 in each category. If your IELTS certificate is not sent to us before 31st December 2003 then your application will be refused and you will need to make an application for limited registration. If your local test centre is full please see the IELTS website for other centres where you can sit the test www.ielts.org.
I hold a full British passport do I have to sit the IELTS exam?
Yes, unless you are married to a national of another EEA Member State or Switzerland. Please see our EC rights factsheet. Please note that nearly all British passport holders have to sit the IELTS exam. Please do not assume that you do not have to sit the IELTS exam.
What happens if I do not score 7 in each category in the IELTS?
If you do not get 7 in each category of the IELTS then you must resit the whole test again before 31st December 2003. Please do not submit an application if you have failed your IELTS.
If I am still unsure where can I get further information?
Please telephone our helpline on 020 7915 3630