To be able to practise medicine in the United Kingdom you are legally required to be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) and have a license to practice.

There are four types of GMC registration:

  1. Provisional registration - allows newly qualified doctors (alongside a license to practice) to undertake general clinical training required for full registration. This allows doctors to work only in Foundation Year 1 posts.

  2. Full registration - enables doctors to work in any form of professional medical practice in the UK, provided they hold a license to practice. Doctors must, however, also hold specialist registration to take up a consultant post (other than a locum consultant post) in the NHS.

  3. Specialist registration - all consultants (other than a locum consultant appointment) must be on the specialist register of the GMC and all consultants (including locums) must hold a license to practice before they can take up a post. It is not possible to hold specialist registration without also holding full registration. You may be required to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) if you did not complete a PMETB approved training programme)

  4. GP Registration - if you are a GP in the UK Health Services, other than a trainee, you must be on the GP Register. It is not possible to be entered on the GP Register without also holding full registration. 
The registration section on the GMC website will help you assess the type of registration you may be eligible to apply for.

For overseas doctors, full registration with the GMC is usually obtained through:

  • a) Sitting the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) Test exam


  • b) Through having a recognised higher qualification such as MRCP. 
A copy of the approved qualifications can be found here.

You will also need to have the following:
Please note the following when beginning the GMC registration process:
  • Only original documents will be accepted
  • To complete your registration with the GMC you need to visit the GMC office in the UK
  • A photograph will be taken by the GMC which will be available to any employers on request
Detailed information on obtaining GMC registration and the fees involves is available on the GMC website.