Check if your practical training (internship) is acceptable

If you're applying for full registration with a licence to practise, you need to demonstrate that you have gained the necessary 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.

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

Applicants must satisfy the Registrar that they have the necessary experience for full registration in one of two ways.

I've completed a minimum of 12 months continuous medical practice undertaken immediately prior or immediately following graduation (this is usually referred to as an internship)

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 ask for evidence that your experience meets the following criteria:

  • You completed an approved training post – honorary posts are not acceptable.
  • All of your programme’s component parts were provided by the appropriate medical regulatory or educational authority.
  • All periods of practise were continuous, uninterrupted internship rotations (or equivalent) completed as part of your training programme, where you provided medical care with direct patient interaction.
  • You were not absent for more than 20 days for sickness or other statutory reasons such as maternity, paternity, or adoption in any 12-month period (in addition to annual leave, which can be up to 5 weeks).
  • After the first year, any break before you returned to medical practice was no longer than 12 months and was authorised by the authority overseeing the training programme. 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.
  • Your programme involved regular educational and clinical supervision throughout.

If you have completed a pre-graduate programme immediately before graduation, we will consider programmes that started outside the final year of study, providing the programme does not all take place before the final year, 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 ask for evidence that your experience meets the following criteria:

  • Your practice 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.
  • You have completed a minimum of three months of practise in medicine, continuously and without interruption.
  • You have completed a minimum of three months practise in surgery, continuously and without interruption.
  • Your practice was completed under supervision.
  • If you only have postgraduate medical practice in one branch of medicine or surgery, you may still be able to demonstrate you have the necessary experience if you can demonstrate that you have undertaken a substantial period of postgraduate practice, and that you have evidence of ongoing career progression and development.

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 and practice.

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

If you are relying on two years continuous postgraduate medical practice, we may ask for evidence from your supervising consultant(s) to cover this practice.

We will not accept experience from posts that involved observation, such as clinical attachments, shadowing, observerships and clerkships, as they are not comparable to UK internship training. This is because trainees are not responsible for the same level of patient care, and do not demonstrate the necessary experience required for full registration.

We will require verification from authorities overseeing the training programmes where the programme otherwise meets our minimum standards but has been completed before the final year because of a requirement to undertake national service. Postgraduate programmes commenced more than two years after graduation may require referral to an Assistant Registrar.