GMC to consider using PLAB as national exam for new doctors

Authors: Helen Jaques 

Publication date:  17 May 2012

The General Medical Council is to consider using the professional and linguistic assessments board (PLAB) test should it choose to introduce a national exam for medical students or foundation doctors.

In January the NHS Future Forum recommended that the GMC “should lead discussions on the desirability of implementing a national exam in medicine that would support alignment of registration and qualification” (Student BMJ 2012;20:e600, doi:10.1136/sbmj.e600).

In 2013 the GMC will review whether a compulsory national examination should be introduced and whether it should be linked to the granting of provisional registration at the end of medical school or the granting of full registration on successful completion of foundation year one.

The suitability of the PLAB test for a national examination towards the end of foundation year one will be considered as part of the current review of the test (BMJ Careers 3 Feb 2012, [Link] ).

The decision to consider the suitability of the PLAB test does not any way “pre-judge” the decision about whether to introduce a national examination, it adds.

The PLAB test is a two part language and clinical competency test comprising a written examination and an objective structured clinical examination.

The test is currently used to test the skills of doctors who have graduated outside the UK or the EU before they are granted a licence to practise and is set at the level of a doctor who has successfully completed foundation year 1.

Helen Jaques news reporter BMJ Careers

Cite this as BMJ Careers ; doi: