Time limit on provisional registration

How long can I hold provisional registration for?

You can hold provisional registration can for a maximum of three years and 30 days (1,125 days). Most doctors complete Foundation Year 1 (F1) within 12 months. 

Once you reach your maximum allocation of days, your provisional registration will expire and we will remove your name from the medical register. Once this has happened, you won't be able to apply for provisional registration again, so it's important that you tell us if you need more time before it expires. 

The time limit does not affect the rules governing the UK Foundation Programme, which is administered independently of the GMC.

I need more time to complete F1

If, for whatever reason, you need more time to complete your training, we may be able to allow an additional period of up to 365 days, which won’t count towards your allocation of 1,125 days.

To be able to request an additional period of time, you need to be within the last 180 days of your provisional registration period, still taking part in the training programme and have agreement from your training provider.

I need more time to complete F1

How do I request additional time to complete F1? 

To make a request, complete section 1 of the request for additional time form and send it to the approved signatory of your foundation school, local education and training board (LETB) or deanery. They will complete section 2 and forward to us to process. We will aim to process the request within five working days of receipt.

Process for requesting additional time to complete F1

I’m not working within my F1 programme

If you're not working within your F1 programme, you should give up your provisional registration and restore it when you re-start your training. By doing this you'll save your allocation of days. You can begin using these again when you're ready to return to the training programme. 

You should also keep your LETB or deanery informed.

Our guide to giving up your registration has more information on this.

The impact of fitness to practise investigations on your provisional registration

If you find yourself subject to a fitness to practise investigation and your provisional registration is due to expire, it won’t do so until we have concluded our investigation and there is an outcome. If your registration is suspended then your provisional registration will also pause and that time will not count towards your allocation of provisional registration days (total 1125 days). If you are subject to fitness to practise proceedings and are concerned about the time limit on your provisional registration please speak to your caseworker.

Why we have a time limit

The time limit on provisional registration was introduced on 1 April 2015.

By putting a time limit on provisional registration, we want to minimise the risk of doctors working outside the scope of registration. We want to continue to protect patients by making sure doctors are appropriately supported and supervised in roles that are within the limits of their registration.

Before introducing this change, we ran a consultation to ask people what they thought about the new regulations introducing the change. Consultation on regulations to introduce a time limit on provisional registration.