Full registration enables doctors to work in any form of professional medical practice in the UK, provided they hold a licence to practise. Doctors must, however, also hold specialist registration to take up a consultant post (other than a locum consultant post); and those wishing to work as GPs must be on the GP register.
Doctors qualifying from outside the UK may be eligible to apply directly for full registration if they hold an acceptable primary medical qualification and have completed a period of postgraduate clinical experience (internship).
A doctor will need to provide documentary evidence to support their application. Only original documents can be accepted. To complete the process, all doctors must visit the GMC in person to undergo a pre-registration identity check. A photograph of the doctor will be taken and this will be made available to employers so they can be assured of the doctor’s identity.
UK graduates and IMGs who are new to full registration and taking up a new job, or restoring their names to the register after a prolonged absence from practice, are required to work within an approved practice setting (APS) as assessed by the GMC as suitable for doctors new to full registration. The GMC recommends that EEA graduates ensure that they also work in an APS when they first take up employment in the UK under full registration. Most NHS employers will have approved practice setting status.
The purpose of the APS system is to provide public protection by requiring doctors new, or returning, to full registration in the UK to work within a system with appropriate supervision and appraisal arrangements or assessments.