The Savvy IMG

Pathway B: From IMG to UK specialist (CCT route)

Step-by-step guide for IMGs who can complete internship overseas and aim to become a UK specialist through the CCT route.

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Looking for a step-by-step guide?

Subscribe to the Savvy IMG and grab your FREE 2-year roadmap to UK residency as an IMG.


This is one of the most common pathways for IMGs coming to work in the UK. It is suitable for you if you fit the following profile:

How do you know if you are overqualified?

You can download a free summary table of the experience limits for all specialties. This article also clarifies the issues surrounding experience limits.

If you think you do not fit this profile or the pathway doesn’t sound right for you, make sure to go through the pathway finder tool!

International medical graduates pathway B to become a UK recognised specialist as a GP or Consultant different steps including obtaining GMC registration applying for specialty training 4

Step 1. Obtain full registration with the GMC

You can open this account once you’ve passed your final exams. You do not need to have attended your graduation ceremony or have your certificate/diploma in hand.

Open your account here

Book PLAB 1 online through your GMC online account.

What you need to know about PLAB

If you book PLAB in the UK, you’ll need to apply for a UK Visitor Visa.

1. EPIC verification of your Primary Medical Qualification (PMQ)

Step-by-step guide on how to obtain EPIC verification of your PMQ AKA your medical diploma or certificate.

2. Certificate of good standing (CGS) if applicable

GMC requirements for the Certificate of Good Standing

Read the full list of requirements for GMC registration here.

For PLAB 2, it’s generally advisable to enrol in a prep course. These are the 15 things you should consider when looking for one.

Apply for a UK Visitor Visa.

I used Airbnb during my stay in the UK where I had a room to myself, spending around £110 a week, and 8 mins walk to a station to get to my PLAB academy. Sign up here to get £25 off your first booking.

Uber is a convenient way to get around the UK especially late at night when public transport may be closed or if travelling in groups. Get a discount when you use the code 7798ae to sign up.

This is done online through your GMC account. You may need to submit some documents by post.

All documents are valid for a certain time period only. Read about the deadlines here.

Step 2. Land your first NHS job

For most IMGs, your first job will be a non-training job. If your timing is right, your first job could be a Standalone FY2 or WAST post which are entry level posts for those who have completed internship.

Step 3. Secure a training job

You can check the experience limits in the specific specialty person specifications.

We have also compiled a list for all specialties that you can download here for free.

Or read our article all about the experience limits.

Future article

Check whether you need to present a physical portfolio in the application requirements of the specific specialty.

MSRA is required for: GP, Radiology, Ophthalmology, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Community Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (CSRH), Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), Core Psychiatry and Neurosurgery.

More information about the MSRA here.

Future article

Reviews for the different regions can be found on these websites:

Junior reviews

This is done through Oriel. You will be given a specific window period (usually 48 hours) to accept an offer or you will lose it.

Step 4. Complete training

Once you are in your training job, you simply have to complete the requirements of your specialty. This will involve compiling evidence of your skills and knowledge in your electronic portfolio, passing exams, and undergoing an Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP).

If you are in an uncoupled specialty, you will have to apply for ST3/ST4 when you are in your final year of core training. For run-through programmes, you will not have to re-apply for higher specialty training as your progression is direct.

When you reach the end of your training programme, you will be awarded a CCT. You then use this to apply for GMC Specialist Registration which will allow you to apply for Consultant jobs. Or if you complete GP training you use your CCT to apply for GMC GP Registration then you can apply for GP jobs.

Disclosure: There are some affiliate links in the article above. This means that at no additional cost to you, we may earn a commission if you make a booking or purchase by clicking on the link. We only recommend products and services that we use ourselves or have proven success amongst IMGs.

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Looking for a step-by-step guide?

Subscribe to the Savvy IMG and grab your FREE 2-year roadmap to UK residency as an IMG.


Looking for a step-by-step guide?

Subscribe to the Savvy IMG and grab your FREE 2-year roadmap to UK residency as an IMG.


27 Responses

  1. Hello Nick,
    Great work on the site.
    I have a question related to the CREST form. If someone has acceptable experience overseas in terms of foundation competencies and gets his CREST form signed, does that make him ineligible for CCT when he enrolls in specialty training?

    1. Hi Sarmad! No, CCT is based on completing the UK training programme. It does not matter whether you entered with CREST or FPCC. Hope that’s clear!

  2. Hello, thank you for wonderful site
    If someone is suitable for pathway B and IELTS score is not as high as 7.5 each subject ( I have 7 in speaking ) what is the solution for first job ? Should I register for a non-training junior doctor and after that continue for fy2 or I can skip Fy2 and after non-training job apply for speciality ?

  3. Hello Nick
    I completed my internship and I worked 28 month as GP in Iran . After that I started EM residency 3 years ago and I will graduate this September. I must work as EM Specialist for 18 month (mandatory in my country)
    Can I study EM residency again in UK??

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Meet the Team

Hi, we’re Drs Nick & Kimberly Tan, the two IMGs behind The Savvy IMG. We write comprehensive guides, create courses, and provide one-to-one guidance to help other overseas qualified doctors on their journey to the UK.
We have scoured the official guidance to put these posts together, but we can make mistakes! If you spot anything that is incorrect, please get in touch and we’ll put it right.
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