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Consultation response: GMC Consultation on the Medical Licensing Assessment

The Royal College of Physicians' (RCP's) submission to the General Medical Council's (GMC’s) consultation on the Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA) calls for the GMC to use this opportunity to ensure communication skills and culturally appropriate practice (sensitivity, delivery, empathy, and person-centred care) are embedded in the assessment. 

These are important skills that doctors must rely on throughout their careers and it is important that they are embedded in doctors' training. The MLA may also provide an opportunity to improve standards in training for undergraduates, especially defining competencies for subjects like pharmacology and pathology. 


The RCP supports the principle behind the introduction of the MLA and welcomes the GMC’s mission to enhance patient safety through greater consistency. The RCP supports the introduction of an MLA as long as it delivers on the primary purpose of ensuring that doctors entering the NHS are safe and fit to practise through the demonstration of core knowledge, clinical skills and professionalism. 

The RCP would also welcome greater clarity in the following areas:

  • Point of registration - The RCP would welcome greater clarity on what stage doctors would achieve full registration and what opportunities will be available for doctors to gain experience of working in real life clinical settings prior to full registration.
  • Implications for UK medical training - While the RCP fully supports the drive to reduce variability and improve consistency of medical training, this must not impact on the quality of training available in the UK.
  • Potential cost of new exam
  • International doctors - The MLA may act as a disincentive for more senior experienced specialist doctors, whose skills may be more specialised than those being tested in the MLA, wanting to come and work in the UK.


For more information please contact Adam Reid, RCP public affairs manager: adam.reid@rcplondon.ac.uk.