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

The Dean statement must confirm: 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.

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.

OR

2: IELTS

A valid IELTS certificate with a minimum score of 7.5 in each domain and achieved in one sitting (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 training programme. 

Please note that there are multiple types of IELTS:

For entry to UKFP 2024: The UKFPO will accept the following versions of the IELTS test: Academic, General Training, and UKVI.

For entry to UKFP 2025 onwards: Prospective applicants for the UKFP should be aware that the UKFPO will only accept IELTS Academic for applications to UKFP 2025 onwards.

The UKFPO does not accept the IELTS indicator.

For more information please visit the IELTS website.

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 training programme. For more information please visit the OET website.

IMPORTANT: You must share your OET results with the UKFPO. If your results are not shared, the UKFPO will be unable to verify your result and your application may be marked as ineligible. Instructions on how to share your results through your OET online account can be found here.

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.

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

No. The required score for IELTS is 7.5 in each domain in one sitting. The required score for OET is 400 in each domain in one sitting. You cannot combine sittings to achieve the required score.

For entry to UKFP 2024: The UKFPO will accept the following versions of the IELTS test: Academic, General Training, and UKVI.

For entry to UKFP 2025 onwards: Prospective applicants for the UKFP should be aware that the UKFPO will only accept IELTS Academic and UKVI for applications to UKFP 2025 onwards.

Please note the required scores must be met and proof provided as required in the Eligibility Guidance.

We do not accept the IELTS Indicator.

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

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

For entry to UKFP 2024: The UKFPO will accept the following versions of the IELTS test: Academic, General Training, and UKVI.

For entry to UKFP 2025 onwards: Prospective applicants for the UKFP should be aware that the UKFPO will only accept IELTS Academic for applications to UKFP 2025 onwards.

We do not accept the IELTS Indicator.

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

No, the UKFPO does not accept the IELTS Indicator test.

For entry to UKFP 2024: The UKFPO will accept the following versions of the IELTS test: Academic, General Training, and UKVI.

For entry to UKFP 2025 onwards: Prospective applicants for the UKFP should be aware that the UKFPO will only accept IELTS Academic for applications to UKFP 2025 onwards.

Will the UKFPO accept any other evidence of English language proficiency?

No. There are three acceptable forms of evidence of English language proficiency for an eligibility application – a Dean’s Statement, IELTS and OET.

Are there any exceptions or exemptions from providing English language proficiency?

No exceptions or exemptions can be made under any circumstances.

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 of the examination, not the date that the applicant received their results.

IELTS and OET certificates must be dated no earlier than two years prior to the start of the programme to which you are applying (please see the applicant handbook for the exact date, which will alter each year).

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.

The UKFPO’s requirements for the English language proficiency are different than the GMC’s, will the UKFPO accept the score GMC require?

No. The UKFPO and the GMC are not the same organisation and thus are not obliged to have the same standards for English language proficiency.  

The UKFPO has set the level for English language proficiency to be in line with the expectations of a doctor operating at F1 level and to meet the national F1 person specification.

I have taken the IELTS/OET examination on more than one occasion; can I use either examination? 

Applicants are required to provide one form of evidence only. For IELTS, this is one TRF (Test Report Form) number, and for OET this is the Candidate Number. The evidence can be from any examinations they have taken; however, the onus is on the applicant to ensure that the certificates used are dated no earlier than two years prior to the start of the programme to which you are applying.