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GMC - Changes to the Registration Process

Changes to our registration processes

From 1 January 2021 changes to the Medical Act will come into effect as a result of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

We’ve updated our Brexit webpage to give an overview of what this means for doctors’ registration. It explains how:

  • there will be no change in the registration status for EEA doctors who currently hold provisional or full registration after the transition period
  • the application route for EEA doctors will change to one based on their EEA qualification rather than nationality
  • Swiss doctors will continue to have automatic recognition on the basis of their nationality for up to four years.  This is because the UK and Swiss government have signed a Swiss Citizens Rights Agreement.


We’re publishing this information now to provide reassurance to current registrants and applicants, and to give clarity for those who may want to join our register from the new year. We’ll share our Brexit webpage through our e-bulletins and are contacting doctors who may be affected by these changes about the options available to them.


Maintaining and supporting our medical workforce


We value the expertise and important contribution that doctors from the EEA and around the world make to our health services. 

Our annual data report shows a steady growth of EEA doctors working across our healthcare systems, with a rise in the number joining our register and fewer leaving. But, given the report only records figures up to the end of June this year, it may be that we won’t see the true impact of Brexit, and the pandemic, on the mobility of doctors for some time. We’ll therefore continue to work closely with the UK health departments to do all we can to support the retention and flow of doctors into the UK.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Best wishes


Nicola Cotter

Head of GMC Scotland

General Medical Council


The Tun, 4 Jacksons Entry, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8PJ

Direct: 0131 525 8715

Mobile: 07753 567498

Email: nicola.cotter@gmc-uk.org



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