Supporting doctors from overseas

We’re experiencing increased demand for exam places from doctors who want to relocate to the UK from overseas.

Given the important and valuable contribution these doctors make to our health services, we’re committed to making the process as straightforward and streamlined as possible, while retaining the high standards required for practice across all four countries of the UK. 

We’re working to reduce delays for doctors taking our assessments and speed up the registration process. 

Opening our new clinical assessment centre 

This summer, we’ll open a new clinical assessment centre in Manchester. The new centre will help us deal with increased demand for Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) exam places, doubling our existing capacity and enabling us to test around 11,000 doctors each year. This increased capacity will help doctors who want to relocate here, easing the pressures on stretched health services across all four nations.

The test centre, close to our existing site in Manchester, will assess doctors for the PLAB 2 assessment. It will comprise two test circuits, each catering for 18 candidates at a time.

Until the centre opens, we will be running assessment days at temporary sites in London and Cambridge, as well as at our current Manchester site.

Increasing the number of test sites for PLAB 1

To manage the increasing demand we’re also experiencing for the written PLAB test (PLAB 1), we’ve increased the number of test sites available in the UK and at assessment centres overseas. This includes adding test dates at our offices in Edinburgh and Cardiff.  

A more streamlined identity check process

To help reduce delays for doctors entering the UK medical workforce, we now carry out just one face to face identity check. This saves many candidates the cost of two international trips, and speeds up the registration process. The independent verification of qualifications has allowed us to streamline these checks, while making sure they are still robust.