Provisional Registration

I thought it was important to write a separate section regarding Provisional Registration as there is a lot of ambiguity regarding this topic.

So medical graduates and IMG’s with no Internship experience will hold this registration initially.

Prior to 2015, doctors with provisional registration was valid for an unlimited time. However, since 1 April 2015, the rules have changed.

The provisional registration is only valid for a maximum of 3 years and 30 days. (1) It is expected that doctors by this time should finish their FY1 and obtain their full registration. In the event that the doctor is in the FY1 training and the deadline (last 180 days) are approaching, the doctor can request additional time. (2)

Failure to get a full registration by this time would mean cancellation of their registration status. In other words, for IMG’s…. PLAB 1…!

There was a debate started by the Medical Schools Council whether there was a need for Provisional Registration following graduation. That this should be scrapped and graduates should receive full registration directly. However, this idea was scrapped and never came into practice. (3)

Doctors with provisional registration are legally only allowed to apply for FY1 posts. Locum Appointments for Training (LAT) posts for FY1 doctors are very rare and requires Foundation School involvement during the process of recruitment.

After completing the FY1 post, the doctor will receive a Certificate of Experience, which provides evidence required for full registration. It must be signed by the University or designated representative of the post-graduate Deaneries or Foundation Schools.

Now the doctor will be required to keep up to date with and adhere to the laws and code of practice relevant to his/her work…Good Medical Practice.(4)

Giving up your registration:

Also known as “voluntary erasure”, means the doctor will leave the GMC register in good standing. It also means the doctors name will remain on the GMC online register, but with the status ‘Not registered – Having relinquished registration’.

The doctor can request to give up their registration up to 3 months in advance.

For doctors whom hold provisional registration, this will save the available days allowed by giving up the registration and leave the GMC register in good standing as mentioned before. For further details you can refer to this link ->(5).

However, doctors that give up their licence to practise, they cannot e.g. prescribe prescriptions and signing certain statutory certificates.

If the doctors needs his/her licence to practise back, the process for applying for a licence again is straightforward. The GMC has a “restoration guidance” section -> (6).

What jobs can I apply for with provisional registration?

Obtaining your Provisional registration is a huge achievement. It gives a sense of accomplishment after all the the back of your mind you think , “I’m finally here!”.

One of the immediate questions people ask upon receiving their registration is ” what job can I apply for now?”

Sadly the answer is “All the same jobs you could have applied for prior to your registration.”

It basically makes you eligible for the UKFPO FY1 posts.

Jobs that people have gone for in the past include :

  1. Researcher at a local University in Medical Sciences
  2. Lab technician
  3. Medical Administrator
  4. Pharmaceutical Jobs (including Pharmacovigilance Officer and Clinical Research Associate)
  5. Medical secretary
  6. 111 receptionist
  7. Some people may go for a Masters/PhD degree so they don’t have a gap in their CV.
  8. 111 receptionist

(Of course the doctor must have the right to work in the UK.)

The go to job website is : NHS Jobs. (although I am a firm believer of face-to-face introductions and networking)

A clinical attachment is an another option as well. It gives an insight to working within the NHS and the UK medical, legal and cultural traditions and is a great way for doctors to learn about UK clinical practice and NHS procedures in the public or private hospitals (or GP surgeries?).

However, many clinical attachments request a fee (not all), and are unpaid. Clinical attachments are more difficult to get in the major cities from what I have been told by my seniors. However, they are useful. The provide some work experience in the NHS and insight into how the system in the UK works. They also allow for networking and possibility to help out with small audits, which always looks good on any resume.

Clinical attachments are usually 1-3 months in duration.

The best way to find which hospital has a clinical attachment is to email the hospital of your choice. You can email the HR department or the Consultant you wish to do the attachment with directly.

It is always a good idea to also go to the hospital directly and introduce yourself. It shows initiative and the Consultant can get an idea of your personality and strengths, which would make him/her more inclined to say yes.

Do not be discouraged if it takes you a few tries before you get a clinical attachment. Some people spend days/weeks looking for clinical attachments, especially in London.

During an attachment you will be under supervision and will be involved with:

  • observing consultations
  • participating in patient administration (clerking)
  • taking patient histories
  • physical examinations (under direct supervision)
  • directly observing surgery

The GMC website has further information regarding clinical attachments. -> (7)