The licence to practise
If you are a doctor and want to practise medicine in the UK, you will need to hold registration with a licence to practise.
Holding a licence to practise allows you to, for example, prescribe prescription only medicines and hold a post as a GP, physician or surgeon. It also means you will need to show us regularly that you are up to date and fit to practise through revalidation.
If you're not practising medicine, but would like to be able to continue to show you are in good standing with the GMC, you can choose to hold registration only.
It is important however, that you are clear about your registration status with any organisations or individuals who wish to contract your services. It is a criminal offence in the UK to give the impression that you hold registration or a licence if you don't.
If you are not sure whether you need to hold a licence to practise, we would encourage you to talk to the organisations or individuals who wish to contract your services, your medical defence organisation or your insurance and indemnity provider. You might also want to seek independent legal advice from a solicitor.
If you don't hold registration or a licence, you can still help out in emergencies or carry out so-called 'Good Samaritan' acts. However, we would encourage you to talk to your medical defence organisation about how this may affect your insurance and indemnity.
If you are an employer, please see:
I have more questions about the licence to practise
Please see our frequently asked questions if you would like to know more.
How to apply for registration and a licence to practise
You can apply for registration with or without a licence to practise online.