Check a doctor is registered in the UK
The General Medical Council (GMC) regulates doctors and holds the medical register. Before a doctor can work in the UK, they must be registered and hold a licence to practise with the GMC.
You can check whether a doctor is registered to practise on the GMC’s List of Registered Medical Practitioners (LRMP), an online database that lists all doctors qualified to practise medicine in the UK. The LRMP holds information that includes a doctor’s full name and primary medical qualification.
View the List of Registered Medical Practitioners
Doctors need to be registered with a licence to practise if they wish to:
- work as a doctor in the National Health Service (NHS) or in private practice
- prescribe drugs, the sale of which is restricted by law
- sign certificates required for statutory purposes (death certificates, etc).
Doctors who hold a licence to practise are required to renew their licence periodically through the process of revalidation. This applies to all doctors working in the NHS and private sector and is to assure the GMC that doctors are up to date and fit to practise.
Find out more about revalidation
Search past fitness-to-practise cases by the GMC
Types of registration
There are different types of registration that doctors can hold with the GMC. They are:
- Provisional registration with a licence to practise is granted to newly qualified doctors to undertake their one-year Foundation Year 1 (F1) post. This is a clinical training programme for doctors to demonstrate they have met the outcomes required for full registration before they start their Foundation Year 2 (F2) post.
- Full registration with a licence to practise is needed for doctors to undertake unsupervised medical practice. Doctors who have completed their F1 year, international medical graduates new to full registration and doctors returning to the register after a prolonged absence are initially required to work within a GMC approved practice setting where they can receive appropriate training, support and supervision.
Doctors must be on the specialist register to hold a consultant post in the UK and the General Practice register to work as a GP (this excludes GP trainees).
Find out more about approved practice settings
Find out more about the specialist register
Find out more about the general practice register
Registration for overseas doctors
The GMC sets the standards that international medical graduates need to meet in order to register as a doctor in the UK.
Find out about the GMC’s acceptable medical qualifications
In the majority of cases, doctors from non-European Economic Area (EEA) countries also need to pass the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test to demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and knowledge needed to practise medicine in the UK.
Many international medical graduates from non-EEA countries who are looking to register with a licence to practise also have to show the GMC that they have an adequate standard of English. For most doctors this is demonstrated by obtaining a satisfactory score in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test.
Find out more about the PLAB test
Find out more about the IELTS test
Visit the GMC website for more on English language requirements for doctors
Keeping up to date
The GMC’s Good Medical Practice guidelines outline that doctors should keep their clinical and professional skills up to date. Doctors can keep up to date on developments in medicine through continuing professional development (CPD) programmes.
Find out more about CPD for doctors