Working as a Doctor in Northern Ireland

GMC Registration and Licence to Practice

To work as a doctor in Northern Ireland you need to hold registration and a Licence to Practice with the General Medical Council (GMC).

The Licence to Practice is an indicator that a doctor continues to meet the professional standards set by the GMC and the specialist standards set by the medical Royal Colleges and Faculties. Licensed doctors must provide evidence to demonstrate how they meet these standards. The process of checking this evidence is called revalidation.


Doctors holding a GMC Licence to Practice are legally required to re-validate, usually every five years. This is supported by a regular appraisal based on the GMC’s core guidance for doctors, Good Medical Practice.

Revalidation aims to give patients confidence that all clinicians are up to date in their chosen field and able to provide a good level of care. The process also supports doctors in maintaining and developing their skills throughout their careers, ensuring they have the regular opportunity to reflect on how their practice can be changed and improved.

Every licensed doctor must have an annual appraisal. This will require you to collect supporting information about your practice so you can discuss this with your appraiser.

Admission to the GMC Specialist Register

All doctors taking up a post as a consultant in the NHS are required to be on the Specialist Register. Admission to the Register is by application, and you must meet one of three criteria:

- you have completed a period of formal specialist training in the UK

- you hold qualifications in specialized medicine by an appropriate competent authority in another Member State of the European Economic Area

- you have been found eligible following an  assessment of the specialist training undertaken and/or the specialist qualifications awarded in the UK or elsewhere.

Induction, Orientation and Mentoring

All newly appointed doctors will receive a formal, structured induction to provide essential information in relation to their professional and clinical responsibilities, as well as mandatory training within their area of work.

A named clinical supervisor will be responsible for ensuring that all induction requirements and mandatory training is completed, and that you’re therefore ready to settle in to your new role.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Each Trust is committed to helping you develop professionally and fulfil your career ambitions.

There are a wide range of CPD opportunities available, which will be discussed with you upon commencement in post and during appraisal meetings.

The Trusts will provide:

- mandatory training necessary for the safe provision of services

- education and training necessary for service developments within your clinical area

- professional development opportunities to ensure you have every opportunity for progression.

In addition, each Trust aims to identify, develop and promote best practice through clinical supervision, work-based learning and reflective practice in order to realise the full potential of individual doctors and clinical teams.

Interested in Medical roles in Northern Ireland? Contact our team below or at