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.