Top 5 Frequently-Asked Questions for the new UKMLA

Top 5 Frequently-Asked Questions for the new UK Medical Licensing Assessment (UKMLA)

The General Medical Council (GMC) has approved a plan to develop a unified assessment for every doctor who wants to practice in the UK, called the United Kingdom Medical Licensing Assessment (UKMLA), to be implemented in 2022. Here are our Top 5 FAQs for the exam…

What is the UKMLA?

The GMC says that “When a doctor applies to join the medical register, we must be sure they are safe to practise. We already confirm this in a number of ways. The MLA builds on our existing assurance work by setting a common threshold for safe practice. This means that we and the wider community can be assured that doctors joining the medical register with a licence to practise meet that threshold.”

The threshold will be the same no matter where they obtained their medical degree.

When will the UKMLA start?

Live MLA testing will begin in 2022.

How will I be assessed?

The UKMLA will comprise of two tests.

  1. Applied knowledge test. “UK medical graduates will probably take the test in their penultimate or final year. International graduates who apply to work in the UK will take the test at the same time as they would take the existing PLAB part one test. The test will be run by the GMC.”
  2. Assessment of clinical skills. “UK medical students will do this as part of their degree assessment. Their university will run the assessment and the GMC will check that this meets our standards. International graduates applying to the UK will take a GMC-run assessment, as they do at the moment.”

Who will take the exam?

All UK Medical students will need to pass the UKMLA to obtain a primary medical qualification. For IMGs the MLA will replace the PLAB.


Type of student Requirement to pass the UKMLA
UK degree ending 2022 Yes
On the UK medical register No
Applying to join the UK medical register before 2022 No, the requirement to pass UKMLA will start in 2022
IMG planning to take PLAB Yes, as soon as UKMLA replaces PLAB
EU/EEA doctors Currently, no. Changes subject to the outcome of negotiations on the UK leaving the EU.
Exempt students Some doctors ending the UK from overseas are exempt from the existing PLAB tests, so it is possible that some doctors will be exempt from the UKMLA under similar arrangements.

 Who will pay?

There will be no new fees for the UKMLA. IMG candidates will pay test fees, as they do when they take the PLAB.

Want to know more about the exam – visit our blog




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