Registration: I am working as a PA or AA but do not have a UK qualification

When do I need to apply?

If you are working as a physician associate (PA) or anaesthesia associate (AA) but do not have a UK qualification, we recommend you get in touch with us as soon as possible. Please email maps@gmc-uk.org. You may be able to join our register without a formal qualification. You will need to show extensive and relevant UK practice.

When regulation starts you will have a two-year transition period to register with us. If you are not registered by the end of the transition period, you must stop working.

After this point, you will only be able to apply for registration if you hold a UK qualification in:

  • Physician Associate studies
  • Physician Assistant studies
  • Anaesthesia Associate studies
  • Physician Assistant (Anaesthesia) studies

awarded by a UK university at the level of a postgraduate diploma or above. Or, if you hold a non-UK qualification, you can apply via our route for internationally qualified PAs or AAs.

How do I apply?

Please get in touch with us as soon as possible by emailing maps@gmc-uk.org. During the transition period, we will offer a managed route for experienced practitioners without a UK qualification to demonstrate their eligibility to apply for registration. We will provide a form which you and your current employer should complete to provide evidence of your knowledge, skills and experience.

If you can provide enough evidence to confirm your eligibility to apply for registration with us, you’ll also need to pass the national exam for your profession. If you're a PA, you’ll need to sit the PA national exam (PANE), and if you're an AA, you'll need to sit an equivalent assessment (currently under development, expected 2024). Once you have passed this assessment, you will be eligible to apply for registration.

What evidence do I need to provide to apply for registration?

To join our register, you’ll need to show that:

  • you have the knowledge and skills to work safely as a PA or AA in the UK
  • there are no outstanding concerns about your fitness to practise.

To do this, we’ll need to see:

Employer reference

As a minimum, we’ll need validated evidence of employment as a PA or AA in the UK for at least three of the last five years (or part-time equivalent). This should show a breadth and depth of practice consistent with the current PA Competence and Curriculum Framework or AA Curriculum Framework.

Your employer will also need to provide a reference confirming:

  • your fitness to practise and
  • their intention to employ you on an ongoing basis.

Fitness to practise declaration

This is to assure us that there are no ongoing or previous concerns about your performance, professionalism or behaviour. It's also an opportunity to share any health concerns which may impact on your ability to work safely. If you need to declare a concern, this doesn’t mean you can’t join the register. We’ll ask for extra information to help us make the appropriate decision about your registration.

Regulator references

If you’ve registered with another healthcare regulator in the UK or overseas within the last five years, we’ll ask for evidence of your good standing with that regulator.

Please don’t gather references until we ask you. We’ll send you specific forms to fill in. These need to be signed and dated no earlier than three months before you apply for registration.

Do I need to recertify or have appraisals?

Until regulation starts, you should follow the requirements of your employer. For PAs, this includes guidance issued by the Faculty of Physician Associates.

Once you're registered with us, you’ll be expected to maintain your skills and fitness to practise as a PA or AA. We're currently reviewing our approach to assessing revalidation. We'll publish more information on this closer to the start of regulation.