Skip to main content
Home

Special Instructions for Doctors Applying to Practice in the United Kingdom

Special Instructions

From 11 June 2018, applicants to the General Medical Council (GMC) of the United Kingdom for full or provisional registration will need to have their primary medical qualification independently verified by ECFMG before the GMC grants their registration. This applies if you:

  • qualified at a medical school outside of the UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland;
  • OR
  • are an international medical graduate with a European medical qualification (not including UK qualifications)
  • AND
  • do not already hold provisional registration.

Important Note: There are several factors that contribute to the length of the verification process, including the time it takes for the medical school to verify your qualification(s). We strongly recommend starting the verification process well in advance of submitting your application to the GMC, as the GMC will close your application after 90 days.

Before you start the verification process, it is very important that you:

  • Check your registration route. Visit Apply for registration on the GMC’s website. Only those with primary medical qualifications awarded outside of the UK and EU, and those who are not EU nationals but hold a primary medical qualification from the EU (but not the UK), need to use EPIC.
  • Create a GMC online account if you haven't already and check whether the GMC accepts your primary medical qualification and/or postgraduate qualification. The GMC cannot grant registration if your primary medical qualification does not meet their criteria, even if it has been verified by ECFMG.

If your medical school is:

  • on the GMC’s list of qualifications that are not acceptable
  • on the GMC’s list of qualifications that may be acceptable
  • not in the list of medical schools on GMC Online

you should contact the GMC before starting the verification process.

If you hold refugee status in the UK and are applying to the GMC for registration with a license to practice medicine in the UK, you may be able to get help with your EPIC fees. Please contact the GMC before using EPIC.

For additional information on the GMC’s requirement to have your qualifications primary-source verified, see Primary source verification for international medical graduates.

To have your qualification(s) verified through EPIC, complete the following steps:

  • Step 1 – Read all applicable registration information on the GMC website and check which qualifications you need to have primary-source verified.

    Primary Medical Qualification (Final Medical Diploma in EPIC):

    Most applicants will only need to have their primary medical qualification (PMQ) verified through EPIC. The primary medical qualification that the GMC requires is your Final Medical Diploma. The Final Medical Diploma is issued by your medical school or university after you have completed all necessary requirements and have been awarded your medical degree. The Final Medical Diploma may also be referred to as the Primary Medical Qualification, Carton Degree, Conferral Certificate, Decorative Degree, or Diploma that is used for framing and wall-hanging purposes.

    If you do not have the Final Medical Diploma as defined above, you must contact the GMC prior to submitting your documents to EPIC.

    Acceptable Postgraduate Qualification (Specialist Qualification or Postgraduate Medical Education Credential in EPIC):

    If you are applying through the acceptable postgraduate qualification route, you will need to have both your PMQ and your postgraduate qualification verified. See Acceptable postgraduate qualifications on the GMC website for information on which qualifications are acceptable.

    • If your qualification was issued by a medical school, university, hospital, or other institution confirming your completion of a clinical medical training program begun after you obtained your medical degree, please upload as a Postgraduate Medical Education Credential in EPIC.
    • If your qualification is a specialty board certification, board registration as a specialist, membership/fellowship of a specialist college, or diplomate certificate, please upload as a Specialist Qualification in EPIC.

    If you require assistance with uploading your postgraduate qualification, please contact us at info@ecfmgepic.org or +1 (215) 966-3900. Telephone service is available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Eastern Time in the United States.

    These are the only documents that need to be verified through EPIC. The GMC does not require you to have medical school transcripts, evidence of pregraduate internships, or alternate graduation documents verified in support of your application. In particular, you should not submit a Certificate of Good Standing through EPIC; this should be sent directly to the GMC.
  • Step 2 – Set up an on-line account (EPIC Account).

    For information on setting up your account, see Getting Started. Setting up your account will include confirming your identity with ECFMG. Once your EPIC Account has been fully set up, you will be able to upload the required qualification(s) for verification.
  • Step 3 – Log in to your EPIC Account and upload the required qualification(s) for verification. As you upload each qualification, select the General Medical Council to receive an EPIC Report for that qualification. This will ensure that the GMC is updated once the qualification has been verified.

    When you upload a qualification to EPIC, it will first be checked by ECFMG. If the qualification is acceptable, ECFMG will send it to the issuing institution for verification. ECFMG will also send you an e-mail confirming that the qualification has been sent. You can monitor your EPIC Account throughout the verification process to check the status of your qualification(s). Once your qualification has been sent for verification, you may proceed to Step 4.

    Important Notes

    Make sure you select the General Medical Council as you upload each qualification. By doing so, the GMC will automatically receive an update when your qualification has been verified. If you don’t do this, it could cause a delay.

    If you did not select the GMC to receive an EPIC Report when you uploaded your qualification, you will need to log in to your EPIC Account and request an EPIC Report for the GMC after your qualification has been verified.

    Also, please note that your verification report will not be processed by the GMC until after you submit your application for registration to the GMC and supply your EPIC ID to the GMC (Step 4 below).

Note on Qualifications Previously Verified by ECFMG

If a qualification has already been verified by ECFMG through EPIC for a purpose other than applying to the GMC, you will not need to have that qualification verified again. Log in to your EPIC Account and request an EPIC Report for the GMC; then proceed to Step 4 below.

If your qualification has already been primary-source verified by ECFMG for ECFMG Certification, or through ECFMG’s International Credentials Services (EICS) for the purpose of applying to another medical regulator, you will still need to establish an EPIC Account. You will not need to upload qualifications that were previously verified by ECFMG; they will be added to your EPIC Portfolio at no cost. Simply provide ECFMG with your ECFMG/USMLE ID and/or EICS ID when you establish your EPIC Account. ECFMG will review your file typically within 10 business days; if your file is acceptable, ECFMG will add your previously verified qualifications to your EPIC Portfolio. After your qualification is added to your EPIC Account, log in to your account and request an EPIC Report for the GMC; then proceed to Step 4.


  • Step 4 – Submit your application for registration to the GMC and provide your EPIC ID to the GMC.

    You won’t be able to submit your application to the GMC until you have confirmation that your PMQ has been sent for verification. ECFMG will send you confirmation via e-mail. You can also check the status by logging in to your EPIC Account. If you prefer, you can wait until after the qualification has been verified to submit your application, as it can take some time for the verification to be completed.

    Your EPIC ID can be found in e-mails that you receive from ECFMG. It is also on the right-hand side in your EPIC Account, just underneath the main menu bar. You can also find it if you click on the "My Profile" tab and then the "Biographics" tab.

    Once verification of a qualification has been received from the issuing institution and ECFMG has confirmed that the qualification is authentic, ECFMG will confirm this with the GMC. ECFMG will also notify you by e-mail that your qualification has been verified.

Questions? Don’t Hesitate to Contact Us!

If you have any questions regarding EPIC and the EPIC verification process, please contact EPIC at info@ecfmgepic.org or +1 (215) 966-3900. Telephone assistance is available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time in the United States).

If you have questions regarding the GMC’s application process, please contact the GMC.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please also read the general Frequently Asked Questions in the For Physicians section of the website.

About Applying to the General Medical Council (GMC)

I am applying to the GMC for registration with a license to practice; do I need to get my qualifications verified?

From 11 June 2018, if you are an applicant for full or provisional registration, you will need to have your primary medical qualification independently verified by ECFMG before the GMC grants your registration. This applies if you:

  • qualified at a medical school outside of the UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland;
  • OR
  • are an international medical graduate with a European medical qualification (not including UK qualifications)
  • AND
  • do not already hold provisional registration.

Which qualifications do I need to get verified?

Primary Medical Qualification (Final Medical Diploma in EPIC):

Most applicants will only need to have their primary medical qualification (PMQ) verified through EPIC. The primary medical qualification that the GMC requires is your Final Medical Diploma. The Final Medical Diploma is issued by your medical school or university after you have completed all necessary requirements and have been awarded your medical degree. The Final Medical Diploma may also be referred to as the Primary Medical Qualification, Carton Degree, Conferral Certificate, Decorative Degree, or Diploma that is used for framing and wall-hanging purposes.

If you do not have the Final Medical Diploma as defined above, you must contact the GMC prior to submitting your documents to EPIC.

Acceptable Postgraduate Qualification (Specialist Qualification or Postgraduate Medical Education Credential in EPIC):

If you are applying through the acceptable postgraduate qualification route, you will need to have both your PMQ and your postgraduate qualification verified. See Acceptable postgraduate qualifications on the GMC website for information on which qualifications are acceptable.

  • If your qualification was issued by a medical school, university, hospital, or other institution confirming your completion of a clinical medical training program begun after you obtained your medical degree, please upload as a Postgraduate Medical Education Credential in EPIC.
  • If your qualification is a specialty board certification, board registration as a specialist, membership/fellowship of a specialist college, or diplomate certificate, please upload as a Specialist Qualification in EPIC.

If you require assistance with uploading your postgraduate qualification, please contact us at info@ecfmgepic.org or +1 (215) 966-3900. Telephone service is available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Eastern Time in the United States.

These are the only documents that need to be verified through EPIC. The GMC does not require you to have medical school transcripts, evidence of pregraduate internships, or alternate graduation documents verified in support of your application. In particular, you should not submit a Certificate of Good Standing through EPIC; this should be sent directly to the GMC.

How far in advance of applying for registration do I need to upload my qualifications to EPIC?

There are several factors that contribute to the length of the verification process, including the time it takes for the issuing institution to verify your qualification(s). We strongly recommend starting the EPIC verification process well in advance of submitting your application to the GMC, as applications are closed after 90 days.

What happens if ECFMG is unable to verify my qualifications?

It is rare that ECFMG is unable to verify a qualification, although occasionally it can take a long time for some medical schools to respond. For this reason, you should start the verification process with ECFMG well in advance of submitting your application to the GMC, as applications are closed after 90 days.

In the event that ECFMG is unable to verify your qualification, the GMC will need to understand the reasons why before deciding how to proceed.

About Using EPIC

Will I have access to my medical qualifications after I apply to the GMC?

Yes. The qualifications that you upload to EPIC remain available to you as part of your EPIC Portfolio. You can use EPIC to send copies of these qualifications along with reports verifying their authenticity to organizations worldwide at any time throughout your career.

Will qualifications that I upload to EPIC be sent to the GMC automatically?

You will need to select the GMC when you upload your qualification to EPIC. If you do this, a notification will be sent to the GMC when the qualification is sent for verification, and the GMC will automatically receive a report once the qualification has been verified by the institution (both updates will include copies of the qualification).

If you don’t select the GMC when you upload your qualification, it will cause delays.

Also, please note that your verification report will not be processed by the GMC until after you submit your application to the GMC.

If your qualification was previously verified by ECFMG for a purpose other than applying to the GMC, see Note on Qualifications Previously Verified by ECFMG.

Will the GMC have access to my EPIC Portfolio?

No. The GMC will not have direct access to your EPIC Portfolio. The GMC will have access only to the qualifications, status updates, and verification reports that you make available to them through EPIC.

Once my qualification has been verified, how do I know if the GMC received an EPIC verification report and a copy of my qualification?

If you selected the GMC to receive an EPIC Report for a qualification and provided your EPIC ID to the GMC, ECFMG will automatically confirm this with the GMC.

If you did not select the GMC to receive an EPIC Report when you uploaded your qualification, you will need to log in to your EPIC Account and request an EPIC Report for the GMC after your qualification has been verified. You will also need to provide your EPIC ID to the GMC if you have not yet done so for the GMC to receive the report.

Please note that your verification report will not be processed by the GMC until after you submit your application to the GMC.

Do I need to use EPIC when applying to the GMC if my qualification has already been verified by ECFMG?

If a qualification has already been verified by ECFMG through EPIC for a purpose other than applying to the GMC, you will not need to have that qualification verified again. Log in to your EPIC Account and request an EPIC Report for the GMC; then proceed to Step 4 in the Special Instructions above.

If your qualification has already been primary-source verified by ECFMG for ECFMG Certification, or through ECFMG’s International Credentials Services (EICS) for the purpose of applying to another medical regulator, you will still need to establish an EPIC Account. You will not need to upload qualifications that were previously verified by ECFMG; they will be added to your EPIC Portfolio at no cost. Simply provide ECFMG with your ECFMG/USMLE ID and/or EICS ID when you establish your EPIC Account. ECFMG will review your file typically within 10 business days; if your file is acceptable, ECFMG will add your previously verified qualifications to your EPIC Portfolio. After your qualification is added to your EPIC Account, log in to your account and request an EPIC Report for the GMC; then proceed to Step 4 in the Special Instructions above.

What information is shared between the GMC and ECFMG?

By providing your EPIC ID to the GMC, you authorize ECFMG to share your personal information with the GMC to confirm your identity, and to share information with the GMC about your submitted qualification(s), including the type of qualification submitted, whether the qualification was sent for verification, and its status throughout the verification process. Providing your EPIC ID to the GMC authorizes the GMC to provide information to ECFMG regarding the status of your application for registration, and to verify the authenticity of your submitted qualification(s). Please see the ECFMG Privacy Policy for additional information.

If I have questions or problems regarding EPIC, should I contact EPIC or the GMC?

If you have questions regarding EPIC’s services—such as creating an EPIC Account, uploading your qualifications, managing your portfolio, the verification process, sending verification reports, or fees—please contact EPIC at info@ecfmgepic.org or +1 (215) 966-3900. Telephone assistance is available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time in the United States.

If you have questions regarding applying to the GMC—such as the necessary documents, required qualifications, or assessment pathways—please contact the GMC.

Last updated October 31, 2018