After your degree
Provisional registration with the GMC
At the end of the undergraduate programme you will receive your MBChB degree, which is a primary medical qualification (PMQ). Holding a PMQ entitles you to provisional registration with the General Medical Council, subject only to its acceptance that there are no fitness to practise concerns that need consideration.
Provisional registration is time-limited to a maximum of three years and 30 days (1,125 days in total). After this time period your provisional registration will normally expire.
Provisionally registered doctors can only practise in approved Foundation Year 1 posts: the law does not allow provisionally registered doctors to undertake any other type of work.
To obtain a Foundation Year 1 post you will need to apply during the final year of your undergraduate programme through the UK Foundation Programme selection scheme, which allocates these posts to graduates on a competitive basis. All suitably-qualified UK graduates have found a place on the Foundation Year 1 programme, but this cannot be guaranteed - if, for example, one year there were an increased number of competitive applications from non-UK graduates.
Successful completion of the Foundation Year 1 programme is normally achieved within 12 months and is marked by the award of a Certificate of Experience. You will then be eligible to apply for full registration with the General Medical Council. You need full registration with a licence to practise for unsupervised medical practice in the NHS or private practice in the UK.
Although this information is currently correct, please be aware that regulations in this area may change from time to time.
There is some discussion about whether to remove provisional registration for newly qualified doctors. If this happens then UK graduates will receive full registration as soon as they have successfully completed an MBChB (or equivalent) degree. It should be noted that it is very likely that UK graduates will still need to apply for a training programme similar to the current Foundation Programme and that places on this programme may not be guaranteed for every UK graduate.
Medical Licensing Assessment
The GMC has decided to introduce a Medical Licensing Assessment - the MLA - from 2022, to demonstrate that those who obtain registration with a licence to practise medicine in the UK meet a common threshold for safe practice.
The MLA will be in two parts: there will be a knowledge test, which will be set and run by the GMC, and an assessment, delivered by medical schools, that will evaluate students' clinical and professional skills. To obtain registration with a licence to practise, you will need to pass both parts of the MLA, pass university finals and demonstrate your fitness to practise.