Check if your practical training (internship) is acceptable

If you're applying for full registration with a licence to practise, you need to prove that you have gained the experience needed to work as a fully registered doctor in the UK.

To do this, you need to show that you have either successfully completed Year 1 of the Foundation programme (F1) in the UK, or a period of pre-graduate or postgraduate clinical experience outside the UK. This is usually referred to as an internship.

All internships must meet our criteria

They must meet the criteria set out in one of the patterns of experience below.

  • Involve a minimum of 12 months continuous medical practice.
  • In the first year, you must not have been absent for more than 20 days – this is in addition to annual leave, which can be up to five weeks.
  • After the first year, any break before you return to medical practice must be no more than 12 months and be authorised by the organisation employing you or overseeing the internship. We will consider cases where breaks have been taken for reasons other than the pursuit of medical-related education, training or experience, or contractual maternity/paternity leave. We may ask for evidence to support your case.

Please note: we’ll assess whether your training or experience is acceptable against the criteria in place at the time we receive your application for registration.

Patterns of experience

I've completed a minimum of 12 months continuous practice in the final year of study or immediately following graduation

If you've completed 12-18 months, you must have spent at least three months practising in medicine and three months practising in surgery. 

If you've completed 18 months or longer, you must have spent at least six months practising in medicine and six months practising in surgery.

We will also check that your experience:

  • is in an approved training post – honorary posts are not acceptable
  • involved regular educational and clinical supervision throughout
  • involved periods of practice which were continuous, uninterrupted internship rotations (or equivalent) completed as part of the training programme.

We will consider programmes that started but did not finish before the final year of study (or finished before the final year because of national service).

I've completed a minimum of two years continuous postgraduate medical practice in at least one branch of medicine and one branch of surgery

We will check that your experience:

  • was undertaken in a public hospital that meets the standards for regulation within its jurisdiction and has established supervision, safety and governance systems in place.
  • includes at least three months of practising medicine, continuously and without interruption.
  • includes at least three months practising surgery, continuously and without interruption.
  • was completed under supervision 

Evidence of your experience

We'll ask to see evidence of your experience in the form of a signed certificate or document detailing the dates and duration of all rotations.

The date of issue of the certificate or document confirming successful completion of the programme must match the date the programme ended.

We will not accept experience from posts that involved observation (such as clinical attachments, shadowing, observerships and clerkships), rather than active medical practice with direct patient contact.