Become a PLAB examiner for the GMC
- 1. Who are we looking for?
- 2. What's it like to be a PLAB examiner?
- 3. What commitment is required?
- 4. The selection process
- 5. Payment and expenses
- 6. Tenure
- 7. How to apply
Who are we looking for?
Practising Consultants or GPs, or those of equivalent status, with knowledge and understanding of the duties and responsibilities of a doctor successfully completing F1.
Applicants must be fully registered with a licence to practise and have a reasonable expectation of being in this position for at least five years. Applicants must be in good standing with the GMC.
Experience as an OSCE examiner and of assessment is an advantage, but not essential.
We are committed to an inclusive philosophy of equality and diversity; a policy reflected in the range of examiners we recruit. All specialties, including GPs, are represented in our examiner pool.
What's it like to be a PLAB examiner?
Read quotes from doctors who work, or have worked, as PLAB examiners.
What commitment is required?
We expect examiners to make themselves available for at least six days a year: five days examining, plus a compulsory calibration day in the autumn. You will have a choice of at least five calibration days, spread over different days and different weeks.
Examinations are held throughout the year in blocks of two or three days, generally between Tuesday and Thursday. There are no plans to examine at weekends or during the evening, although we could not rule this out in the future.
We will circulate exam dates for six-month periods about three or four months ahead. We will ask you to indicate your choice of dates, whether you wish to examine on single or consecutive days and any other preferences. We will allocate days based on this and send you an email confirming the dates we have allocated you. Exams are held at our purpose-built Clinical Assessment Centre in Manchester and you must arrive at 08:00 in time for an 08:15 briefing. We run one circuit of candidates before lunch and one in the afternoon. We normally end the day by 16:45. You will examine the same station usually all day but from time to time you may examine more than one station.
Because the exam is set at the level of the successful completion of F1, examiners would be expected to be able to examine in most stations. We will not necessarily allocate examiners to stations in their own specialty. We allow 30 minutes calibration for each station in the morning. You will pair up with another examiner giving you the opportunity to seek advice if you are at all uncertain about the marking scheme.
See our sample station for more information.
A typical day would be:
08:00 Registration Examiners and Actors
08:05 Examiner Briefing including IPad
08:15 Actor Briefing
08:30 First circuit candidates arrive
08:30 Calibration and Station Familiarisation
09:30 1st circuit of OSCE
12:00 Second circuit candidates arrive
13:20 2nd circuit of OSCE
16:40 End of the OSCE
The selection process
Applicants will be invited to complete an online application form. Those shortlisted will be invited to observe an OSCE and attend a training and assessment day. We will offer a choice of dates when possible.
The training and assessment day currently involve presentations about PLAB, the format of the Part 2 examination and the marking scheme. Facilitators will conduct practice and coaching in small groups in marking filmed scripted candidates and filmed real candidates.
The assessment stage will involve marking filmed candidates. Trainees’ marks will be compared to those of a group of established examiners in the same stations. Those whose marks do not significantly differ from the range of marks given by the established examiners will be invited to examine.
Payment and expenses
We currently pay £310 a day, plus receipted expenses up to GMC limits. We pay half that fee for the two training dates for new applicants. You will be entitled to stay overnight in Manchester if you would need to leave home before 07:00 to attend the exam by 08:00.
A stable, well trained pool of examiners is a great asset so there is no period of tenure. You must be registered with a licence to practise, in good standing with the GMC and be marking consistently.
Examiners’ performance is reviewed by a variety of methods.
How to apply
We are not recruiting examiners at the moment. If you would like us to contact you next time we do recruit, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of our commitment to diversity, we seek members from a wide range of backgrounds and actively encourage applications from Black Minority Ethnic (BME) doctors, women and doctors with a disability.