English Language Eligibility FAQs

How do I provide proof of English language eligibility?

Applicants who need to submit an eligibility application must have demonstrable skills in listening, reading, writing and speaking in English that enable effective communication about medical topics with patients and colleagues, as set out in the GMC’s Good Medical Practice (2013).

 

There are three acceptable forms of evidence of English language proficiency for an eligibility application:

 

1: Dean’s Statement

 

Proof that your primary medical qualification was undertaken solely in English, with all examinations undertaken solely in English, and that at least 75% of contact with patients undertaken as part of the qualification, was undertaken in English.

 

Proof of this must be provided via the Dean’s statement, with the statement providing this information.

 

The General Medical Council (GMC) maintains a list of institutions from which they will not accept evidence of English language proficiency. Confirmation of English language proficiency on a medical school Dean’s statement will only be considered if the medical school is not on this list.

 

Please ensure you check the list before using the Dean’s statement to provide proof of English language proficiency.

 

 OR

 

2: IELTS

 

A valid general or academic IELTS certificate with a minimum score of 7.5 in each domain (speaking, listening, reading and writing).

 

If you have scored below 7.5 in any domain, your IELTS will not be accepted as proof of English language proficiency (even if your overall score is 7.5 or greater).

 

IELTS certificates must be dated two years or less before the start date of the Foundation Programme 2021.  The Foundation Programme 2021 will start on 4th August 2021, so your IELTS certificate must be dated 4th August 2019 or later.

 

OR

 

3: OET

 

Evidence of completion of the OET with a minimum score of 400 in each domain (listening, reading, writing and speaking).  These scores must have been achieved in one sitting of the OET examination.We do not accept OET results which are graded with a letter only, e.g. ‘Grade B’.

 

If you have scored below 400 in any domain, your OET will not be accepted as proof of English language proficiency (even if your overall score is 400 or greater).

 

OET certificates must be dated two years or less before the start date of the Foundation Programme 2021.  The Foundation Programme 2021 will start on 4th August 2021, so your OET certificate must be dated 4th August 2019 or later.

When do I need to provide evidence of my English language proficiency?

You must provide evidence of your English language proficiency, at the time of application and by the application deadline. You will be asked to provide this information as part of the online eligibility application form.

What is the IELTS?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) measures the English language proficiency of people who want to study or work in a country where English is used as the primary language of communication.

Please note that there are multiple types of IELTS. We accept the general and the academic IELTS, including proctored/online versions of the IELTS. We do not however accept the IELTS Indicator.

For more information please visit the IELTS website.

What is the OET?

The Occupational English Test (OET) measures the English language proficiency of people who want to work as healthcare professionals, in a country where English is used as the primary language of communication.

For more information please visit the OET website.

I have achieved the required score in the IELTS / OET, and done so in one sitting, but it has taken more than one attempt. Is my certificate still acceptable?

You do not have to attain the required score on your first attempt.

You do need to attain the required score in each domain (speaking, listening, reading and writing), and to do so in one sitting, but the successful sitting does not have to be your first sitting.

This applies equally to the IELTS and the OET.

Will the UKFPO accept IELTS or OET tests which have been sat from home/online/proctored?

The UKFPO will accept results from home/online/proctored sittings of the general/academic IELTS and the OET, so long as the required scores are met and proof provided as required in the Eligibility Guidance.

However, the UKFPO will not accept the IELTS indicator test under any circumstances.

Will the UKFPO accept the IELTS Indicator test as proof of English language proficiency?

No, the UKFPO does not accept the IELTS Indicator test. We only accept the full general or academic IELTS.

COVID-19 has disrupted the opportunities to sit the IELTS and the OET. Have you adjusted your eligibility timeline at all to account for this?

The UKFPO recognises the difficulty caused by the impact of COVID-19 on IELTS/OET sittings. We do not run either test so do not have control over any alterations to opportunities to sit these tests.

We have however altered our eligibility timeline as much as feasibly possible, to push back the relevant deadlines, compared to previous years.

We are now in a position to confirm that the deadline for applicants to provide evidence of English language proficiency has been extended to 12:00 (noon) on Wednesday 7th October 2020. You must still submit the main eligibility application by the close of the application window on Wednesday 2nd September 2020, but if you do not have evidence of English language proficiency at that time, you will have until Wednesday 7th October 2020 to send your evidence of English language proficiency evidence to helpdesk@foundationprogramme.nhs.uk.

We cannot push back the deadlines any further than we already have, as this would impact negatively on the rest of the application process. If you need to sit IELTS/OET as part of your eligibility application, but are still unable to sit the IELTS/OET within the new timeline that we have set out, then unfortunately you will not be able to submit an eligibility application.

When deciding if an IELTS/OET is valid and in date, does the UKFPO use the date of the examination or the date that the results were received by the applicant?

When deciding if an IELTS/OET certificate is valid and in date, The UKFPO uses the date that the examination was sat, not the date that the applicant received their results.

For an IELTS or OET certificate to be accepted as proof of English language proficiency, it needs to be dated on or after 4th August 2019. This means the successful sitting of the exam must have taken place on or after 4th August 2019.

For example, if the successful sitting took place before 4th August 2019, your IELTS/OET will not be accepted as proof of English language proficiency, even if the results were confirmed to you on or after 4th August 2019.

In addition, as our Eligibility Applicant Guidance explains, we use the TRF number to look up and verify IELTS/OET results, and when we do this, the exam providers only show us the date of examination sitting.