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The blueprint for employers

What does the PLAB blueprint tell employers?

Employers using the blueprint can learn about what we assess international medical graduates on during the PLAB test and what we don’t.

Employers will be able to understand how the test assesses candidates on the common, important or acute conditions (those typically common in emergency departments) and the management of long term conditions seen in primary care. However, it excludes the advanced duties of general practice. The test assesses candidates on those conditions that are typically faced by junior doctors just starting their second year of the Foundation Programme training (F2).

The blueprint was put together using both Hospital Episode Statistics for all UK countries and the NHS Read codes. This makes sure that the topic areas are reflective of the typical workload of a junior doctor entering F2.

How can the blueprint help employers? 

By familiarising themselves with the test blueprint, employers can understand what we expect of doctors passing the PLAB test and the level at which they are assessed. This will help employers when they come to carry out their pre-employment checks to satisfy themselves that doctors have the necessary knowledge, skills and experience for the role they’re required to do.

We don’t test candidates on their knowledge of the NHS and its local arrangements. We support doctors preparing to work in the UK, beyond the PLAB test. Our Welcome to UK practice programme explains how the health system operates in the UK. Employers are responsible for the local induction and support given to newly registered and licensed PLAB doctors they appoint to their organisation.