The General Medical Council (GMC) recently announced changes to the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test for overseas doctors who want to work in the UK.
Following recommendations from an independent review commissioned by the GMC, from September 2016, doctors will be required to undergo a broader knowledge test and a more thorough practical assessment, reflecting real life consultations in the healthcare system in the UK.
Doctors will also be limited to the number of times they can sit the new PLAB test, with an additional limit of two years to apply for the GMC licence to practice in the UK after passing the exam.
Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of the GMC, said: “The contribution made by doctors who come here from outside Europe is invaluable to healthcare throughout the UK and these changes will provide additional assurance to patients that they have passed a stringent assessment and have demonstrated high standards of care and knowledge.”
The test is taken by international doctors to assess whether they have the knowledge and skills to practice safely in the UK. It involves a written knowledge test, taken at various locations worldwide, and a practical assessment of clinical skills at the GMC’s Clinical Assessment Centre in Manchester, England. After the doctor has successfully passed the PLAB test, they can then proceed to apply for GMC registration, allowing them to practice in the UK. International doctors must demonstrate their knowledge of the English language before taking the PLAB exam. Most often, this is in the form of the IELTS exam. To find out more, please visit the GMC website.
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