To practice medicine in UK, it is mandatory for international graduates of MBBS to pass the Professional Linguist Assessment Board Testing. This allows medical graduates to work in UK hospitals and clinics in a supervised environment. This is one way to prove your qualifications as doctors to General Medical Council (GMC)
PLAB certification requirements
Allowed qualifications are those listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools published by the World Health Organization. (All MCI recognized colleges in India are in general acceptable.) www.who.int/health-services-delivery/med_schools.
Relevant scores in the IELTS test (academic module): a minimum of 7 as an overall score and in the speaking section, and 6 in each of the other sections. Listening, academic reading, academic writing.
At least 12 months? Postgraduate clinical experience in a teaching hospital, or another hospital approved by the medical registration authorities in the appropriate country. (The test can be taken without this experience, but the candidate will only be granted limited registration at the grade of House Officer - the grade occupied by new medical graduates).
Those students, who have passed the IELTS test more than two years back at the time of initial registration, will have to prove that they have maintained their English language skills once again.
Limited registration will not be granted without the offer of a job. But passing PLAB does not guarantee a job. Before taking the PLAB test, one should make sure that they are well informed about opportunities for work in the UK.
Glossary - Acceptable overseas medical qualifications
This page provides you with further information and explanations about the acceptable overseas medical qualifications criteria and related materials.
Good medical practice (GMP)
Good medical practice is the GMC’s core advice to doctors, and the PLAB test is set within this broader framework. It describes what is expected of all registered doctors. All doctors practicing or wishing to practice medicine in the UK are expected to read it and follow the guidance it provides. You can use our tool to gain an insight into your level of knowledge and understanding of Good medical practice.
Our range of explanatory guidance provides detail on the principles in Good medical practice and explains important issues in greater depth. All doctors must be familiar with and follow this guidance.
You can also download the publication, What to expect from your doctor: a guide for patients (2013) which we have developed to help patients understand the standards expected of all doctors. Please note that this is a guide written for patients not doctors, but it may help you to understand what patients will expect of you.
Our learning materials page has a range of case scenarios and decision tools which bring Good medical practice and our explanatory guidance to life. This features sections on:
Interactive decision tools and other learning resources which show how the guidance applies in practice, to help understand how Good medical practice and our explanatory guidance apply in a range of circumstances doctors often ask us about or find difficult.
Good medical practice in action: a set of interactive case scenarios in which you can follow a patient on his or her journey and decide what the doctor should do at crucial points in the process.
A selection of anonymised fitness to practice cases that show what can happen if doctors don’t follow the guidance. These are grouped under the relevant domain of Good medical practice:
The PLAB blueprint
It is most important that you are familiar with the PLAB blueprint and overarching statement. The blueprint is the key document for anyone wishing to sit the PLAB exams.
It sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviors you are expected to demonstrate in the test and beyond, and lists all the topics and skills needed for a pass in the PLAB test.
The blueprint is in the format of an Excel spreadsheet containing short headings with hyperlinks to further information. The blueprint page on our website contains a step-by-step guide to navigating your way around the blueprint which you can download and print.
The Foundation program
The blueprint contains information about the skills and professional qualities you will be expected to demonstrate if you pass the test and gain a place on the Foundation Program.
All the topics and skill areas on the blueprint match those faced by trainees on the Foundation Program. This is how we make sure doctors who pass the PLAB test are at the same level as UK-qualified doctors. You can find out more, including a copy of the FP curriculum, on the Foundation Program website. This will also give you an insight into the
kind of work you will be doing if you pass the test and gain a place on the training program.
Other useful resources
The NHS National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance is based on the best evidence and is internationally recognized for its excellence.
The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) develops evidence based clinical practice guidelines for the NHS in Scotland.
The British National Formulary (BNF) and BNF for Children reflect current best practice as well as legal and professional guidelines relating to the use of medicines.
Names of medicines in the PLAB test are those contained in the most recent edition.
You do not need to attend a course to pass the examination, but many candidates choose to do so. We are unable to monitor the quality of courses and, therefore, do not endorse any.
You should be aware of the range of equipment routinely available in UK hospitals. We will provide you with everything you need to complete the examination.
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