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Pre-employment checks

Check the medical register 

You should always check a doctor is both registered and has a licence to practise with us. You can do this using the medical register.

Don't rely on a locum agency to check a doctor's status on the register for you (the Department of Health has issued guidance on the employment of locum doctors).

You still need to check their registration and licensing details, even if a doctor has been employed somewhere else in the UK their status on the register may have changed since they were last employed.

Important information to remember: 

  • the due date of an annual retention fee is not evidence the doctor is registered with a licence
  • an annual registration confirmation letter is not evidence that a doctor is registered with a licence
  • preparing to take the PLAB test does not mean a doctor can work in clinical practice in the UK health service. The doctor must hold registration with a licence to practise.

Specialists and GPs

Doctors who are appointed as consultants or GPs must also be on the Specialist or GP Register, as appropriate. This does not apply to doctors who held a consultant post (other than a locum consultant post) in oral and maxillofacial surgery in the NHS immediately before 1 January 1997).

These certificates are not evidence that a doctor is on the Specialist or GP Register:

  • certificates of completion of training (CCT)
  • certificates of eligibility for specialist registration (CESR)
  • certificates of eligibility for GP registration (CEGPR)
  • certificate of completion of specialist training (CCST)
  • certificate of prescribed/equivalent experience
  • any certificate issue by the Specialist Training Authority (STA)
  • certificate of specialist training (CST).