After graduating from ScotGEM, 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 (GMC), 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 3 years and 30 days (1,125 days in total). After this time period, your provisional registration will normally expire.
Foundation Year 1 programme
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 get a Foundation Year 1 post, you will need to apply during the final year of your undergraduate course. You will apply through the UK Foundation Programme Office selection scheme, which allocates these posts to graduates on a competitive basis. So far, all qualified UK graduates have found a place on the Foundation Year 1 programme. However, this cannot be guaranteed, for instance, if there were to be an increased number of competitive applications.
Post holders normally complete the Foundation Year 1 programme within 12 months and receive 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, 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 completed an MBChB (or equivalent) degree. It is very likely that UK graduates will still need to apply for a training programme similar to the current Foundation Year 1 programme.
Medical Licensing Assessment
The following is applicable for graduates from 2024 onwards.
The GMC has introduced a Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA). The MLA demonstrates that anyone registered with a licence to practise medicine in the UK has met a common threshold for safe practice.
To obtain a PMQ, graduates from 2024 onwards will need to have a degree that includes a pass in both parts of the MLA:
- a test of applied knowledge (the AKT), set by the GMC and held at your medical school
- an assessment of your clinical and professional skills delivered by your medical school (the CPSA). Each school’s CPSA must meet GMC-set quality assurance requirements.
The MLA will test what doctors are likely to encounter in early practice and what’s essential for safe practice. It intentionally will not cover the whole of a medical school curriculum. So, you will also need to meet your university’s degree requirements.
Information about the MLA can be found on the GMC website.