What are the GMC requirements for Nigerian-trained doctors?

Nigerian-trained doctors who intend to practice in the united kingdom must have General Medical Council (GMC) registration and a valid practising licence.

The General Medical Council is the regulatory body for medical practice in the United Kingdom.

GMC requirements for Nigerian-trained Doctors

All Nigerian-trained doctors will require GMC registration before they can be eligible to practice medicine in the United Kingdom.

Find below the GMC requirements for Nigerian-trained doctors;

  • Primary Medical Degree and Epic Verification

The UK General Medical Council requires you to verify that your primary Medical Degree (MBBS) was obtained from a reputable university.

Medical doctors trained in different institutions in Nigeria have met the GMC requirements and successfully completed the GMC registration process, thus are presently practising legally in the United Kingdom.

Nigerian-trained doctors should check their university in the GMC-approved list of schools on the World Directory. If the name of your university is not on the GMC-approved university list then contact the General medical council via email at for more information.

Note: If your university is on the General medical council blacklist then you are not eligible for GMC registration pending when the university’s name is removed from the GMC blacklist.

After verifying that your primary medical qualification is acceptable to the General Medical Council, GMC will need to authenticate your certificate through a trusted GMC third party.

GMC uses the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC) for their third-party certificate verification. ECFMG and EPIC are united states based organisations which specialise in verifying credentials.

  • English Language Proficiency

Medical education in Nigeria is taught in the English Language, however, GMC requirements for Nigerian-trained doctors include their ability to communicate efficiently in English. Two English language tests are accepted namely IELTS and OETS.

IELTS (International English Language Test System) academic has four sections which include speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

GMC requirements for IELT include an overall score of 7.5 with a minimum of 7 in all sections. Alternatively, a minimum grade of B in all sections of the Occupational English Test (OET) for medicine is accepted.

Note: Your English test is valid for only two years, thus your GMC registration must be approved within two years of passing the English test.

  • Proof of clinical knowledge

Nigerian-trained doctors are required to demonstrate that they have the requisite knowledge, skill and experience to practice in the united kingdom.

To prove that their clinical knowledge is adequate, Nigerian-trained doctors will need to pass PLAB or any accepted overseas examinations.

PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board) has two parts PLAB 1 and 2. PLAB one is in a multiple-choice question format and can be taken at designated centres in Nigeria.

PLAB two is in OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) format and is taken in the United Kingdom.

For more information about PLAB and other acceptable oversea examinations and routes visit the GMC website.

Note: PLAB one must be passed within two years of passing the English test and PLAB two must be passed within two years of Passing PLAB one.

  • Internship programme

Nigerian-trained doctors will need to meet the internship requirements for provisional GMC registration or full GMC registration.

Nigerian-trained Trained doctors who have not done their one-year post-graduate medical internship can apply for provisional GMC registration.

However provisional GMC registration will only allow the Nigerian-trained doctor to apply for a formal FY1 training post through the United Kingdom Foundation programme.

Nigerian-trained doctors who have completed their one-year post-graduate medical internship in an accredited centre should apply for full GMC registration.

You will need a letter from the hospital you did your internship stating clearly the dates and duration of all clinical rotations.

Nigerian-trained Doctors who have not done postgraduate medical internships can also apply for full GMC registration if they have evidence of at least two years of continuous postgraduate medical practice.

Please note that the application for full GMC registration must be approved within 3 years of a post-graduate qualification.

If your post-graduate qualification dates more than 3 years then GMC will require you to show evidence that you have been working and updating yourself since then.

  • Activities in the last 5 years

The General medical council would want to know what you have been doing in the past 5 years post-graduation.

GMC would expect you to include details of all your medical and non-medical activities in the past five years such as Medical work, clinical attachments, study leave, maternal leave, vacation, unemployment and carrier breaks.

  • Certificate of good standing

If you have worked in Nigeria as a licenced medical practitioner in the past 5 years then you need to obtain a certificate of good standing from the Medical and dental council of Nigeria.

If you have worked in any other country outside Nigeria and you are licenced there you will also need to obtain a certificate of good standing from their medical practice regulatory body.

If you practised in Nigeria or any other country in the past five years without a practising licence, please contact GMC for further advice.

If you are not registered in Nigeria or any other country and you have not practised as a doctor yet then you do not need a certificate of good standing.

Note: A certificate of good standing is only valid for 3 months.

Once you have all your documents ready, it’s time to submit all your documents for the GMC application. If your GMC application is not approved within three months you will be required to submit a new application and update any outdated requirements.

  • Declaration Of fitness to practice

You will need to be certified medically fit to practice medicine. Also, Nigerian-trained doctors will be required to produce a Pulmonary tuberculosis test for visa application. This is usually done at the designated diagnostic centre in Abuja.


The UK GMC requirements for Nigerian-trained doctors might vary depending on the level of entry, experience and preferred route. The PLAB route is the commonest and easier route. Start your journey today by creating an online GMC account.

All UK GMC requirements and application processes have a timeline to which the applicant must adhere otherwise the step/process will be repeated. Good luck.

Read also: Requirements for Nigerian-trained nurses to work in the UK