English Language Information for NHS England GP Recruitment Programme

Overseas doctors applying for registration must satisfy the GMC that they have the necessary knowledge of English to be able to communicate well with patients and treat them safely.

This may be demonstrated though the International Language Test System (IELTS) or the Occupational English Test (OET).

For the IELTS, candidates will be required to prove that they meet the GMC's requirements in the academic version of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test which has four areas:

  • speaking
  • listening
  • reading
  • writing

Prospective entrants to NHS England's International GP Recruitment scheme must score 7.0 or more overall if using the IELTS (and no less than 6.5 for any individual module). If you are successful in your application, you'll be provided further English Language training should you require it.

Download these free IELTS mobile apps to help you prepare with useful advice, practice questions and quizzes to test your knowledge of the IELTS format. 

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You can find test centres in your location on the IELTS website.

For the OET (medical version), candidates will need to achieve a Level B in each skill (listening, reading, writing and speaking) to meet the GMC’s requirements. The test is designed for healthcare professionals with an emphasis on real situations medical staff might encounter. 

The OET provides an alternative to the IELTS and was introduced on 8th February 2018. Further details about the OET are available on the GMC website.

To find out more, contact our UK Team on +44 (0)131 240 5268 or email UK@headmedical.com


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