Plans revealed for early GMC registration

PLANS to make medical graduates fully registered doctors have been set out by the government.

The move to bring forward registration from the end of foundation year one (F1) to the point of graduation has been identified as a priority for Health Education England (HEE) for the year beginning April 2014.

In its mandate to the training body, the government states that HEE must ensure “future medical students graduating in England who are competent and who have completed undergraduate training programmes successfully are supported to secure full registration at the point of graduation.”

The independent Shape of training review from October 2013 argued that bringing forward GMC registration would improve the management of F1 trainees by placing responsibility “clearly with postgraduate institutions.” It added that early registration should only go ahead if robust measures were in place to ensure graduates were fit to work as fully registered doctors.

However the British Medical Association have raised concerns about the proposals, believing it will lead to increased competition for UK training jobs as more European trainees are expected to apply to the already oversubscribed foundation programme.

The mandate said that HEE had been working with other organisations, including the health departments in all four devolved UK nations, to “consider options to reform the existing medical education pathway to ensure a clear and sustainable route that allows all suitable graduates to secure full GMC registration at the point of graduation from medical school.”

HEE have committed to developing an implementation plan by “June 2014 at the latest.” The move would be part of the goal to “promote greater social mobility into medical training courses… and support the education sector in making its contribution to the growth agenda by reviewing the foreign (non-European Economic Area) medical and dental student cap.”

The Shape of training review recommended moving full registration to graduation only if robust measures were in place to demonstrate graduates were fit to work as fully registered doctors.