GMC accepts another test as proof of language skills

Authors: Abi Rimmer 

Publication date:  09 Feb 2018

The General Medical Council has said that it now accepts an additional test as proof of English language skills.

The regulator said that from 6 February it began accepting the Occupational English Test (OET) as proof of a doctor’s language competency, in addition to the International English Language Test System (IELTS), the only test it has accepted until now.

The OET is designed for healthcare professionals and includes real workplace scenarios. It is already recognised by the UK’s Nursing and Midwifery Council, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, and authorities in Australia and New Zealand.

Charlie Massey, chief executive of the GMC, said it was vital that doctors who worked in the NHS had a good standard of English.

“We have reviewed the OET thoroughly and are confident that, as well as giving more flexibility for doctors keen to work in the UK, it will continue to ensure that only those with a high level of English will reach the required standard,” Massey said.

The OET can be taken in more than 40 places worldwide. Once overseas doctors have met the GMC’s language requirements, those who gained their primary medical qualification outside of the European Economic Area must also demonstrate that they have the necessary practical skills and knowledge before being able to work in the UK.

Abi Rimmer The BMJ

Cite this as BMJ Careers ; doi: