Our criteria for acceptable overseas qualifications

Our criteria 

Your primary medical qualification must be in allopathic medicine and must satisfy all of the following criteria.

It must have been awarded after a programme of study, comprising at least 5,500 hours over a minimum period of three years.

You can read more about the basic medical training requirements your qualification must meet if you don’t have a UK or relevant European qualification.

Qualifications that meet these criteria are considered acceptable for the purpose of taking the PLAB test or applying to register with us. This does not mean that such qualifications will always be acceptable, as the criteria are subject to change. The criteria to be applied will be that in force at the point of taking PLAB or applying to register with us. 

World Directory of Medical Schools

Your qualification must be awarded by an institution listed on the World Directory of Medical Schools.

Where a qualification is not listed in the directory we may still accept it if the reason it’s not listed is because either:

  • the country awarding the qualification is not recognised by the United Nations, or
  • the institution that awarded the qualification no longer exists or no longer delivers medical education and we are certain the qualification is valid.

In each of these circumstances, the qualification must satisfy all of the other criteria for an overseas qualification to be acceptable.

Where relevant, the institution listed in the directory must have sufficient contact details (address or email address, fax or telephone number) to allow verification of the qualifications it has issued.

Clinical rotations 

You must have done clinical rotations (clinical clerkships) as part of your primary medical qualification, which have given you appropriate clinical experience. This means the clinical rotations:

  • must have been of an acceptable duration
  • included exposure to medicine and surgery
  • were overseen or approved by the institution you attended
  • formed part of your overall programme of study.

If you have studied at more than one institution 

If you have studied at more than one institution and the study contributed to the award of your primary medical qualification, we need to be sure that:

  • the institution is part of a recognised twinning programme or a recognised campus of another institution, or
  • it was not possible to complete your qualification at one institution for justifiable reasons.

The course credits that contributed to the award of your qualification must not have included credits transferred from another institution where you failed.

European medical qualifications

If you hold a medical qualification awarded in the EEA or Switzerland, it may be classed as a relevant European qualification if it has not been designated by the General Council.