What is a break in practice?
- Our definition of a break in practice is a period of time when a qualified doctor has not been working in a medical capacity in a role which requires registration with a licence to practice.
- The criteria and guidance applies to applicants for full or provisional registration with a break in practice in the last 5 years, who are EEA nationals (or exempt persons) with a non-European qualification.
- The criteria and guidance does not apply to UK applicants, international medical graduates or EEA nationals (or exempt persons) with a European qualification.
- Not necessarily. When we grant registration with a licence to a doctor, we need to make sure that they meet the required standards to practice medicine in the UK. We know that medical knowledge, and skills can start to deteriorate over time if they are not regularly used. However we also know that doctors often take steps to keep their knowledge and skills up to date during a break in practice.
- The decision maker may request further information and evidence from you about the circumstances of the break in practice to help them understand the impact. The information will be considered and may be taken into account as part of the decision making process in line with our criteria and guidance.
- We’ll consider:
Who does the criteria and guidance apply to?
If I have a break in practice, will this be a problem or prevent me from getting registration?
I’ve had a break in practice and I’ve applied for registration. What happens next?
What factors will you take into account when you consider my break in practice?
- The period of time that has elapsed since you were awarded your primary medical qualification
- The total amount of time you have practised since your qualification was awarded
- Whether you have practised recently.
|Time since graduation||Total amount of practice since graduation (does not need to be continuous)||Practice in the last 12 months|
|0–6 months||No practice required||No requirement|
|7 months up to 2 years||Must have practised for 60% of the time since graduation in a full time role||No requirement|
|Between 2 years and 5 years||Must have practised for 60% of the time since graduation in a full time role||6 months minimum|
|Over 5 years ago||Must have practised for 60% of the last 5 years in a full time role||12 months minimum|
What if my break in practice doesn’t fall into the criteria set out above?
- done a substantive period of medical practice in another country
- if you’re an EEA national or exempt person with a non-European qualification, a recent pass in an objective medical test (such as passing the membership examinations for a UK medical royal college within the three years prior to the application for registration or if you have voluntarily taken and passed the PLAB test within the two years prior to the application for registration)
- been awarded one or more acceptable postgraduate qualifications obtained within three years prior to the application for registration.
I haven’t done any of those things, is there anything else you can consider?
What is a clinical attachment?
- observing consultations
- participating in patient administration (clerking)
- taking patient histories
- physical examinations (under direct supervision)
- directly observing surgery.
I’ve done a clinical attachment what evidence do I need to send?
- clear and verifiable information about the length of the clinical attachment in the form of a detailed log including hours per week worked, type of work, duties performed and training attended
- an offer of the clinical attachment from the hospital and a satisfactory reference relating to the clinical attachment submitted on a GMC proforma. This should be completed by the clinician who supervised the attachment and include commentary on all assessable areas, in particular core medical skills
- evidence to demonstrate that the clinical attachment is of sufficient duration to allow a meaningful assessment of your medical knowledge and skills over a period of time
- evidence of your learning from the clinical attachment you’ve undertaken, in particular how it has helped to keep your medical knowledge and skills up to date, and how it will influence your day to day medical practice, future practice or future career plans.
What about continuing professional development (CPD)?
- the extent and nature of the CPD and whether the evidence demonstrates that you’ve maintained a broad range of core medical knowledge and skills while out of practice
- whether you’ve taken a targeted and structured approach to CPD while out of medical practice
- the proportion of online CPD undertaken and whether this is directly relevant to your medical practice. Decision makers will take into account whether there are good reasons why online learning was the best available way for you to keep you medical knowledge and skills up to date, for example if childcare responsibilities or remote location meant you found it difficult to attend medically related learning with others
- the proportion of other CPD activity undertaken, such as attendance at courses, seminars, symposiums, and conferences or medically related distance learning with academic accreditation; and whether this is directly relevant to your practice
- whether the evidence is supported by an overarching personal development plan
- whether the totality of the evidence is clear and verifiable
- whether you’ve provided evidence that you’ve learned from the CPD you’ve undertaken, in particular how it has kept your medical knowledge and skills up to date and how it will influence your day to day medical practice, future practice or future career plans.
I’ve got a job offer to work as a doctor in the UK, will that make a difference?
- the responsibilities of the role
- key skills required for the role
- the assessment process for the role
- confirmation of dates of interviews or tests and
- written confirmation that you were successful and have been offered the role.