The GMC has published fresh information for PLAB candidates and international medical graduates, which the College welcomes.

New temporary clinical assessment centre

On Thursday 10 June, the GMC will open its new temporary clinical assessment centre. They have refurbished some of their existing office space to create a new socially distanced PLAB 2 circuit. This additional capacity will allow the GMC to test around 11,000 doctors each year, in line with the number of candidates they could accommodate before the pandemic.

A flexible approach to registration and PLAB

The College welcomes the GMC's decision to give international medical graduates more time to register with them, by adapting their policy on English language requirements. From now until March 2023, the GMC will accept a recent PLAB 2 pass as evidence that a doctor has maintained their English language skills. This will particularly help those whose IELTS or OET evidence has recently expired or is about to. The GMC has published advice on its website to explain the criteria candidates have to meet to be eligible for this option.

From 22 June, the GMC will also reintroduce cancellation fees for PLAB tests. Their policy is designed to cover the costs of managing bookings while being flexible and offering full refunds where candidates cannot attend due to unavoidable circumstances. This is in recognition that there remains a lot of uncertainty at the moment. They'll write to all candidates before their new policy comes into effect, to give them an opportunity to cancel their place without incurring a cost.

Support for doctors facing disruption from coronavirus

The GMC state that they will do everything they can to support PLAB candidates based in countries that are currently experiencing significant challenges with coronavirus. They advise that they are helping many doctors to reschedule their PLAB 1 and PLAB 2 places where they’ve been affected by the UK Government’s ‘red list’ travel ban or local restrictions around the world.

The GMC's latest guidance for PLAB candidates can be found here.