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The UKMLA (UK Medical Licencing Assessment) will replace the PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board) exam in 2024
Comprised of two components: an Applied Knowledge Assessment (AKT) and a Clinical and Professional Skills Assessment (CPSA)
Passing UKMLA exams will be required for all UK medical students graduating in the academic year 2024-2025 onwards and will be implemented into medical degrees
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UKMLA - A Guide
The UKMLA (UK Medical Licensing Assessment) is an essential assessment for doctors who want to practise medicine in the UK from 2024. Those graduating from a UK medical school or as an international medical graduate (IMG) in or after the academic year 2024-25 will be required to take the UKMLA exam, to gain their license to practice with the GMC. The UKMLA exam will replace the former PLAB test (Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board) for IMG doctors.
Previously, the PLAB involved a written exam and a 16 station OSCE assessment testing clinical skills. Areas tested by the UKMLA assessment include clinical, practical, communication and professional skills related to skills expected of a Foundation Year doctor.
The UKMLA has been designed by the GMC to test candidates on the same knowledge areas, in a fairer way. According to the GMC, the UKMLA will set a “common threshold for safe practice”.
The UKMLA test is a two-part assessment. These are the Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) and the Clinical and Professional Skills Assessment (CPSA).
Both of these sections will assess medical graduates from the UK and overseas on their readiness to practice as a medical professional in the UK. Guidelines for the clinical and professional areas candidates will be tested on in both the UKMLA AKT and CPSA are outlined in the General Medical Council’s (GMC) MLA content map.
Note : It is worth noting that the UKMLA AKT is not to be confused with the existing applied knowledge assessment , which forms one of the three main components of UK MRCGP.
The UKMLA AKT
The UKMLA Applied Knowledge Test is thought to be similar to the PLAB 1 exam. It will be an onscreen exam with multiple choice questions.
The AKT component of the UKMLA GMC will run throughout the year, it is yet to be announced how often this exam will run. For UK medical students, it will be up to the school when they decide to test their students for the UKMLA.
UKMLA for International Medical Graduates
Before the rollout of the UKMLA test, IMGs who want to practice in the UK have been expected to pass Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) examinations to do so.
This change has been implemented in order to allow a fairer, more consistent system for UK and overseas medical graduates and to ensure everyone has met the same criteria to practise as a doctor in the UK.
This means that all IMGs graduating in or after the academic year 2024-25 will need to sit both components of the UKMLA in order to practice in the UK.