How much professional insurance does a doctor need?


In order to practise medicine in the UK as a newly qualified doctor or as a doctor who has recently moved to the UK, it is compulsory to hold a licence to practise medicine and to be registered with the UK's General Medical Council (GMC). These are strict and legally enforced requirements.

Registration and Licence

Obtaining a licence and becoming registered is accomplished by applying to the GMC. Following your initial application, the GMC will contact you by email and tell you which documents will be required based on the information you supplied. All submitted documents must be in English or be accompanied by an English translation and must be submitted within 90 days.

Provisional Registration

Applicants who graduated from an overseas university can apply for either provisional or full registration, and applcants who graduated from a UK university but who have not yet completed Foundation Programme year 1 can also apply for provisional registration. This is time limited and is currently set at a maximum of three years and 30 days.

Overseas Graduates

The registration requirements for overseas students depends on the country in which they graduated. To become GMC registered and granted a licence to practise medicine in the UK, your primary medical qualification needs to be acceptable, and, again depending on the country in which you graduated, you may also need to demonstrate, via a two-part test administered by the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) that you have the required knowledge of patient care demanded in all UK hospitals, clinics and general practitioners' surgeries as well as a required fluency level in English speaking, listening, reading and writing.

Primary Medical Qualifications from Overseas Medical Schools

Also of special concern to doctors who have qualified abroad is the fact that not all medical schools award primary medical qualifications that are acceptable for registration with the GMC. The GMC maintains a list of schools that fail to meet their requirements as well as some medical schools that are currently under investigation and not yet acceptable due to not having been fully assessed. Primary medical qualifications from schools under investigation will become either acceptable or be deemed unacceptable at a later date. If the medical school you graduated from has not yet been assessed, check back regularly with the GMC's list for updates.


In order to maintain your licence to practise medicine in the UK, you will be required to undergo a revalidation procedure every five years to show that you are still fully competent and up to date with medical developments in whichever field of medicine you practise. Failure to be revalidated will result in the withdrawal of your licence. An important component of revalidation is an annual appraisal of your competence. This involves your employer assessing your work based on several factors, not least of which includes patient feedback.