Updated: 08/07/2020: Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we have made changes to the evidence required to sit our tests.

We are pleased to announce that we’ll be restarting our PLAB 2 tests for overseas doctors in August. You can find the latest information via our dedicated PLAB webpage here.

Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) the General Medical Council (GMC) suspended all its scheduled PLAB 2 tests earlier this year to allow time for them to be adapted to run safely, in line with social distancing measures.

Here, Richard Hankins, Head of Assessment at the GMC, explains what candidates need to know about rebooking onto the practical test.

We understand the cancellations of PLAB 2 has been extremely disappointing and unsettling for candidates. We are delighted that we are now able to operate the Clinical Assessment Centre safely within government guidelines and reopen bookings. I wanted to advise you on what the process will be for booking onto assessments and the changes we have made to assist candidates during this challenging time.

Booking a PLAB 2 test

Candidates, you do not need to do anything until you receive an email over the coming week from the GMC, inviting you to complete a survey.

This survey will tell us of your situation, for example whether you are in the UK, if you have had a previous test cancelled or if you have a job offer. The information you provide will help us to allocate bookings.

Please don’t send us information about your circumstances until you have received the survey. The survey will allow us to allocate places more quickly. Following the survey, we will contact candidates in order of priority letting them know when they can book a place.

As you are no doubt aware, the demand for PLAB 2 places is very high. Due to COVID-19 we are unable to test as many candidates in one sitting as we previously could, but we are working to increase capacity as soon as possible.

PLAB 1 and English language evidence

We have extended the validity of a pass in PLAB 1 for candidates who passed from 15 March 2018 onwards. Your pass will now be valid for three years, rather than two, to give you time to book onto PLAB 2. We will amend this automatically on your GMC account – you do not need to do anything.

Not all countries are able to run the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exams currently so we will, temporarily, accept the online IELTS indicator score as an additional option when booking your test. This score will help candidates to progress through the PLAB process. Please note that you will need to provide evidence of your language skills either by taking a full IELTS or the Occupational English Test before you can apply to join the medical register.

We hope these steps will help you to progress through the journey to securing registration for UK practice. We thank you for your patience and we will keep you informed of any additional updates.

Please read our PLAB page on the website for more information.