UKMLA - All You Need to Know

UKMLA - All You Need to Know
UKMLA - All You Need to Know

UKMLA is just around the corner and raising a lot of apprehension in International Medical Graduates regarding their plans of medical practice in the UK. Worry not, for all you seek is addressed here.

What is UKMLA?

UKMLA is the new two-part assessment being introduced by the GMC to act as a common threshold for safe medical practice in the UK. All doctors will need to sit for this assessment  before being registered with GMC.

It will replace PLAB for international medical graduates.

Why is UKMLA being introduced?

UKMLA is being introduced to have similar standards for all medical graduates practicing in the UK, irrespective of where they have graduated from. It means even those who graduate from within the UK will sit for this assessment. As of now, only international medical graduates are subjected to PLAB as a prerequisite for registration while those graduating from the UK get registered on getting into FY2 in a training programme. It intends to offer greater confidence to patients in all doctors practising in the UK, no matter where they have trained.

When is UKMLA expected?

UKMLA has been announced by the GMC to commence in 2024- the exact dates are yet to be announced.

What does UKMLA involve?

It involves two steps:

  • AKT(Applied Knowledge Test)

Multiple choice exam testing application of medical knowledge, similar to PLAB1. It is expected to be held 4 times a year globally.

  • CPSA(Clinical and Professional Skills Assessment)

Objective structured clinical exam(OSCE) involving simulations that reflect mock consultations/ wards, similar to PLAB2.

AKT will be a prerequisite to sit for CPSA.

What does UKMLA cover?

Both steps of UKMLA shall be derived from the MLA content map shared by the GMC. It has 3 overarching themes and 6 sections:


  • Readiness for safe practice
  • Managing uncertainty
  • Delivering person-centered care


  • Areas of clinical practice
  • Areas of professional knowledge
  • Clinical and professional capabilities
  • Practical skills and procedures
  • Patient presentations
  • Conditions (pathological diseases or clinical diagnosis)

The MLA content map is expected to be regularly updated to reflect current medical practice.

What does it mean for me as an IMG?

The transition of PLAB to UKMLA is significant but expected to be seamless for IMGs, meaning that you don’t need to rush if you are already in the middle of your PLAB journey. PLAB results will be honoured (within eligibility period) even after UKMLA comes into effect.

If you have cleared both steps of PLAB- you will be eligible to register

If you have attempted PLAB1, not passed- you will be eligible to sit for AKT(PLAB1 attempts will count towards maximum attempts)

If you have cleared PLAB1, but not attempted PLAB2- you will be eligible for CPSA

If you have cleared PLAB1, attempted PLAB2(not passed)- you won’t need to sit for AKT and will be eligible for CPSA(PLAB2 attempts will count towards maximum attempts)

Keep watching this space, we will be sharing more information as it comes in. If you have further questions, feel free to comment and ask and we’ll make sure to respond!

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