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Starting our work on a national licensing exam

You may have seen in the news that we want to start exploring the feasibility of a UK national national licensing exam.

There has been growing debate about the case for a national licensing examination to be taken by all UK graduates and doctors wishing to practise in the UK from overseas.

The exam would create a level playing field for all those seeking to join the medical register. It would also allow us to set a clear and unified standard for any doctor wishing to practise medicine in the UK, helping us tackle concerns about variations in standards.

Our Council, our governing body, discussed the issue at their meeting in September, and agreed that we could begin to explore the feasibility of developing a UK national licensing exam. You can read the paper they discussed on our website.

Council will consider the issue again during 2015; between now and then, we will be completing work on some research plus talking to a wide range of stakeholders, including medical students past and present, about how the exam might work. If we believe it’s viable and worth developing further, we’ll ask Council to approve further phases of work.

We are in the very early stages of this work and, pending Council approval of the research and development stages, it will be a number of years yet before we see the introduction of the examination for UK graduates.

Find out more and get involved

Read the announcement on our website and the paper which our Council discussed at their meeting in September.

You can also join the discussion on BMA Communities.