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Securing the licence to practise - introducing a Medical Licensing Assessment

Current Current
Start: Jan 31, 2017 End: Apr 30, 2017 Results Published: Dec 31, 2017 

Subject: Education, Consultation Reference Number: 790

Consultation summary:

We’re consulting on plans to establish a UK-wide Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA). This would create a single, objective demonstration that those who obtain registration with a licence to practise medicine in the UK can meet a common threshold for safe practice.

The consultation is open until 30 April 2017.

We would like you to respond by reading the consultation document which explains our plans in more detail. You can respond to the consultation questions on this website. If you prefer, you can respond on the consultation document which is a PDF - please click on the 'submit form' button once finished to email your completed response to us.

Please note that if you are using Google Chrome, Safari or a mobile phone/tablet you will need to save the completed pdf to your desktop or device, attach it to an email and send to

You can download the consultation document, and find further information on our MLA web pages.


There are currently three main routes to practice in the UK with differences in the standards required:

  • UK medical students need to pass their university finals which vary from school to school

  • Currently EU law means the GMC cannot check the competence of doctors with degrees from the European Economic Area 

  • Other doctors with overseas degrees may take a GMC test called PLAB or join the medical register through sponsorship arrangements or relevant postgraduate qualifications.

The MLA is intended to create for the first time a single, objective assessment that would enable everyone to be confident that doctors new to practice have met the same threshold of competence.

We have been working closely with medical schools and assessment experts to develop proposals for consultation. That is the spirit in which we plan to take the work forward.



The purpose of this consultation is to obtain feedback on our proposals. The responses will help us to define the way forward.

We are developing our proposals in co-production with UK medical schools and other key partners and assessment experts. The consultation is one stage in this collaborative process.

Subject to the outcome of this consultation and the views of the GMC Council, we envisage developing detailed plans with experts and our key partners. We would then pilot extensively with a view to implementing the MLA fully in 2022.

Further Details:

Consultation Type: General
Consultation Method: Consultation Document
Department: Policy

Contact Information:

MLA team
Phone: 020 7189 5283

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