The MLA and UK students

We are still discussing and developing the MLA, which will be taken both by UK students and international medical graduates (IMGs). This involves medical schools and students. We also work with a group of experts from across medical education and training. So some of the answers on this page only show our latest thinking. As we discuss the practical details, we’ll refine our plans. We’ll update this page to show the latest position.

When will the MLA start for UK students?

To register with a licence to practise, students graduating in 2023 onward will need to have passed a degree that includes the MLA.

Will this create a bigger exam burden?

The MLA will not require UK students to learn anything beyond what's already covered in your degree programme. Your degree is all the preparation you need.

The clinical and practical skills assessment (CPSA) will be delivered through the medical schools' arrangements in place in 2022. So this will not be an extra burden to students.

We are working with medical schools to see how the applied knowledge test (AKT) can fit into their programmes of assessment. We know some schools are already considering whether it could replace an existing test.

What about reasonable adjustments?

We are discussing this with medical schools, and our own Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) team as well as wider stakeholders and our expert reference group. We have not made a decision yet. Our current thinking is that we would set guidance and medical schools would make the final decision.

Can students resit the MLA?

Our current thinking is that we will set a maximum number of attempts. We are still deciding the exact number.

Our current thinking is that medical schools would then decide how many attempts to allow their students (up to the maximum).

What about appeals?

A robust and fair appeals system will be an important part of the MLA. We are discussing this with medical schools, students, stakeholders and our expert reference group.

How can I prepare for the MLA?

The MLA will not include any content not in your degree. Your course will prepare you for it.

We will provide an opportunity to get familiar with the way the on-screen AKT works. We will also provide sample papers so that you can understand the format of the test.

You might also want to be part of our MLA pilot to see in advance how it will work. The pilot will be a test run of the MLA to check whether it will work as intended. Taking part in the pilot won't count as attempting the MLA. It will help us make sure the MLA is working properly for all students.

Will the MLA include the current situational judgement test (SJT) and prescribing safety assessment (PSA)?

No. These will remain separate.

Will students have to pay to take the MLA?

No. The GMC won't impose any additional cost on UK students to take the AKT. The CPSA for UK students will be part of their course, as now, and costs will be met by universities, including from course fees.

What happens to a student if you decide that their medical school doesn't meet the requirements?

We will work with and support schools to ensure they can meet the requirements from 2022. We anticipate that all schools will be compliant with the requirements by the go live date.

How are students involved in developing the MLA?

We have met members of the BMA medical students committee executive to discuss our plans. These meetings will continue. We hope to also meet with the medical students committees in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

We are meeting each medical school to discuss how we'll introduce the MLA. As part of that, we are meeting students to explain the MLA and get feedback from them.

We also arranged a conference with the Medical Schools Council. We invited all medical schools to send student representatives to hear about the model and offer comments.