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EEA doctors

This page provides specific information for doctors from the European Economic Area (EEA) who wish to work in Britain.

Please also read the general guidance for non-UK doctors about working in Britain.

EEA countries

The EEA comprises the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Rights of EEA doctors

EEA nationals (or non-EEA nationals with EC rights) who have qualified in an EEA member state have reciprocal rights to work in any country of the EEA. Therefore, you will be treated the same as a British national when applying for posts in the UK. This may be a training post or, if you’ve achieved your Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) or equivalent, a permanent consultant post.

Registration with the General Medical Council (GMC)

You will need to register with the General Medical Council (GMC) before undertaking direct patient care. EEA nationals with qualifications from their own country (or whose qualifications have been accepted by another EEA member state) will get reciprocal full registration with the GMC. EEA nationals aren’t required to take the PLAB or other English language test.

Applying for specialty training posts in the UK

UK medical graduates must undertake the 2-year foundation programme before applying for specialty training. All doctors entering postgraduate specialty training must have completed 24 months of experience since gaining their primary medical qualification, whether in the UK or in another country, and must provide evidence of completion of foundation programme competencies.

If you’re applying from the EEA for entry into specialty training and haven’t completed the UK foundation programme in the last 3 years, you’ll need to submit alternative evidence by asking a consultant who’s supervised you for at least 3 months during the last 3 years to attest to your achievement of foundation programme competences. You’ll need to produce an ‘alternative certificate’, completed by this doctor, confirming that you have had equivalent training to the UK foundation programme.

For more information, visit the UK’s specialty training and recruitment website.

Transferring to the UK training programme

If you’re an EEA national who’s undertaken a period of recognised training towards a CCT in your own country, you can apply through open competition for transfer to the UK, and will be placed in the appropriate year of training for your experience. On completion of training, you’ll obtain a UK Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) or Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration – Combined Programme (CESR(CP)). However, please note that there are very few posts in the UK at ST3 and above and the competition is fierce.

If you’ve already obtained a CCT from an EEA country, you may apply for subspecialty training in the UK.

When applying for these positions, remember that you must have the appropriate registration documents and have already registered with the GMC to work as a doctor in the UK.

Find out more

For more information, please visit the GMC website.

Elsewhere on the site

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