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Medical Licensing Assessment

Changes to assessments

When a doctor applies to work in the UK, we must be sure they are safe to do so. We already check this in a number of ways depending on where a doctor gained their medical degree. Now we’re working to create one assessment all doctors are assessed by.

The Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA) builds on our existing assurance work to set a common threshold for safe practice.

When will it start?

The new assessment will start in 2022.

Who will need to take the MLA?

UK medical students and most graduates outside the European Economic Area (EEA) will need to take it.

We also want to assess graduates from inside the EEA. This would mean nearly all doctors go through a common assessment. At the moment, the law says we cannot do this. However, this issue is part of the negotiations ahead of the UK leaving the European Union.

What happens before the new assessments in 2022?

UK medical graduates will apply with their medical degree.

Medical graduates trained outside the EEA will apply through:

What happens after the MLA starts in 2022?

UK students will take the MLA as part of their medical degree.

Medical graduates trained outside the EEA will take the MLA instead of the PLAB test.

A decision is still to be made on whether the MLA will be required for those apply using through:

  • sponsorship
  • approved postgraduate qualifications
  • specialist registration.

Registration for medical graduates from within the EEA will depend on the outcomes of the UK leaving the European Union.

How you can get involved

You can share your views and ask us more about the MLA by email