PLAB Australia. Is it an Alternative to the AMC Exam?


For many international medical graduates (IMGs) the pathway to being registered as a doctor involves the Australian Medical Council exams. But for doctors who have worked in more than one country already there are sometimes other options, lik the PLAB. But you need to be careful that you meet all the required criteria for your PLAB to be recognised.

Doctors sometimes ask whether the Professional Linguistics Assessment Board (PLAB) is accepted or recognized in Australia. The simple answer to this question is yes. The PLAB will be recognized by the Medical Board of Australia and this will mean that you are not required to sit the AMC exams. You will be able to apply for registration via the competent authority pathway. As a bonus, you will also be exempt having to prove your English language proficiency. However, it is important to check the full requirements. In particular, doctors who complete the PLAB must also complete 12 months of supervised training in the United Kingdom. If you have not completed this training your PLAB will not be accepted.

Lets dive a little deeper into the requirements of the PLAB. Why it is that the PLAB is accepted in Australia. As well as the other options for not having to undertake the AMC examinations.

What is the Purpose of the AMC Examination?

The AMC Examinations are the main route by which doctors from most other countries can apply to become registered as a doctor in Australia. Without medical registration in Australia it is illegal to work as a doctor.

The AMC exams consist of a written (multiple choice) examination and clinical examination and are set at the equivalent standard as what would be expected of an Australian medical school graduate commencing their first working year in Australia, which is called an internship.

Australia sets high standards for medical practice and therefore, with a few exceptions, we do not directly recognize the output of medical schools from many countries. So the AMC Examinations have been established as a process for testing the capability of IMGs.

So Who Needs to Sit AMC Examinations?

If you have graduated from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, Canada or the United States you are not able to sit the AMC exams. Because you are not required to do so.

If you are from any other country you are able to sit the AMC examinations. However, if you have specialist qualifications you probably want to try the specialist pathway instead.

Also, if you are not from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, Canada or the United States. But have worked in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada or the United States. You may also be able to avoid the AMC Exam process and can apply via Competent Authority.

Notice though we did not say “Republic of Ireland”. If you are an IMG who has worked in the Republic of Ireland before this does not help you avoid the AMC exams.

Read on.

The Competent Authority Pathway.

The Medical Board of Australia recognizes the medical school training systems of the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, United States of America and Canada as equivalent to the Australian medical system and therefore does not require medical graduates from these countries to sit additional examinations to prove that they are capable of working as a doctor in Australia.

New Zealand medical school graduates are treated as identical to Australian graduates. In fact New Zealand Medical Schools are accredited by the Australian Medical Council as well. New Zealand doctors can apply directly for general registration, so long as they have completed an intern year in either Australia or New Zealand.

Graduates of the UK, Rep Ireland, US and Canada can apply for registration in Australia so long as they have also completed the basic requirements for being registered as a doctor in their country. You will also need a job offer prior to applying for registration. So long as the Medical Board is satisfied that you will be provided with sufficient level of supervision for 12 months you can work under “provisional registration”. Once this period is complete and you have returned satisfactory supervisor reports you will be able to apply for general registration.

If You Are Not From the UK, US, Ireland, New Zelaand or Canada You Can Still Come Under the Competent Authority Pathway.

Some doctors work in a range of countries. Countries like the UK and Canada have similar systems to Australia for allowing IMGs to work in Australia.

So if you have completed any of the following:

  • PLAB in the UK;
  • NZREX in New Zealand;
  • USMLE in US; or
  • LMCC in Canada

You are also able to apply for registration via the competent authority pathway and can skip the AMC exams.

However, as mentioned earlier. You do need to do all the steps. One thing that can sometimes catch IMG doctors out is that they have completed all the examination steps of one of these processes BUT NOT completed the supervision steps. So, for example, have not completed a Foundation Year in the UK. Or have not completed 2 years of ACGME accredited training in the United States.

The Specialist Pathway.

The Specialist Pathway is for doctors from any country. Competent Authority or Standard Pathway. It enables a doctor to apply to be recognised as a specialist in Australia.

So its another pathway which avoids the AMC exams. Which in the case of many specialists may be quite daunting as it will have been some time since you have studied such a broad range of medicine.

Rather than going through the AMC examination process. The specialist pathway places you directly in contact with the specialist colleges. Who do a review of your training, qualifications, and experience to determine whether you are comparable or not. If you are found to be comparable. You will be offered a period of registration to demonstrate your performance and you may also have to sit further specialty examinations.

Once again, you need a job offer to complete this process.

If you are not found to be comparable you will have to either sit the AMC examinations or apply for competent authority if that option is available to you.

I Really Don't Want To Do The AMC Exams. Are There Any Other Options?

There is one final option but its not particularly popular as it is time limited, has certain restrictions and is not meant as a mechanism for making a permanent move to Australia.

This option is called the Short Term Training in a Medical Specialty Pathway. It is an option for gaining either provisional or limited registration for a period of up to 24-months to undertake additional specialty training in Australia. This registration category is generally made available to Advanced Trainees or Junior Consultants from other countries who are looking to augment their training experience.

And. Once again. You do need a job offer to apply for the registration.

Barring enrolling in medical school in Australia. There are no other options for not doing the AMC exams.

Related Questions.

Question: Do I Need to Do The Foundation Program to Complete the PLAB Requirements for Australia?


It is generally a good idea if you can successfully complete the 1st Year of the Foundation Program in the UK. Note you only need to complete one year.

However, if you are unable to do this the Medical Board of Australia will accept alternative evidence that you have worked successfully in similar posts:

This is the direct quote from the Medical Board documents:

There are two ways in which you can demonstrate that you meet the ‘12 months supervised training (internship equivalent) in the UK’ component of the eligibility criteria for category A (as per guidance initially provided in August 2015):

1. Provide evidence of ‘12 months supervised practice/training in an Approved Practice Setting in the UK’. Acceptable evidence would include:
a. confirmation in writing from the hospital(s) and/or employer(s) that you have satisfactorily completed 12 months supervised practice/training in the UK, and
b. confirmation in writing from the hospital(s) and/or employer(s) that the practice setting is an ‘Approved Practice Setting’.


2. Provide evidence of ‘a minimum of 12 months practice in the UK’2
. Acceptable evidence would include:
a. confirmation in writing and/or certificate of service from the hospital(s) and/or employer(s)that you have had a minimum of 12 months practice in the UK.

You will also need to provide evidence that you have ‘successfully completed the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test since 1975’.

Medical Board of Australia

Question: Will I Need to do an English Test?

Answer. This is a complex question. Its probably best to assume that you do. Even if you are coming from an English speaking country. Until you have established that you do not.

Generally speaking if you can prove that you have been high-schooled in English and studied Medicine in English you will be fine.

However, there are many circumstances where this has proven to not be the case. Even choosing to work for a small period in another country where English is not the first language can result in you having to sit an English test.

For doctors who have completed the PLAB and NZREX. The Medical Board will generally exempt you from the need for an English Test. This is because the PLAB and NZREX include an examination of English.

Question: Can I Count Part of My PLAB or USMLEs Towards the AMC Multiple Choice Examination?

Answer. No. The AMC will not recognize partial completion of any of these examinations as a proxy for the exam here.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on google
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Related Posts

Anthony Llewellyn

Anthony Llewellyn

FRANZCP, MHA, GAICD | Medical HR Expert and Coach. Anthony is an experienced health public sector executive, medical educationalist and coach. Anthony is an expert in Medical HR. He has reviewed numerous CVs, chaired and conducted over a thousand job interviews and provided advice to a number of employers and Colleges about selection processes. Anthony's background: Consultant Psychiatrist and Medical Manager with 20 years’ experience as a medical practitioner in public health services in a range of roles. From 2012 to 2016, Anthony was the Medical Director of the Health Education & Training Institute (HETI), involved in overseeing a number of network training programs. He is also a Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle’s School of Medicine & Public Health, and Year 5 Psychiatry Coordinator. He is currently completing a PhD in Medical Education, exploring personal learning environments in the intern training space. Anthony recently delivered for the Royal Australasian College of Physicians a Best Practice Guide for Trainee Selection into Employment Roles Anthony was born on Mouheneenner land in Hobart (Tasmania) and pays respect to the traditional owners of lands he lives and works on, and elders past and present. His two most important roles in life are proud husband and proud father of two boys.

108 thoughts on “PLAB Australia. Is it an Alternative to the AMC Exam?”

    1. Ruban Eharanga

      Thank you very much for the precise clarification.
      I have GMC registration, as I have UK recognized post graduate qualification.( MRCPCH). But I do not have uk working experience. Instead, currently I am working in Australia under short term training (visa 482) for 1 year.
      After 1 year Australian working experience can I apply general registration in Australia? Or what are the options available for to do so.
      Thank you.

      1. Anthony Llewellyn

        Hi Ruban. No. You would probably have to apply via the Standard Pathway and do the AMC exams. It sounds like you are on a Short Term Specialist Training Registration which is time-limited and cannot convert over to other forms of registration.

  1. Alireza Farsani

    Hi Anthony
    question is that how can I secure FY1 placement in England ,after passinng OET,and PLAB? and the next question is that If I work in hospital here in Australia as RMO and meanwhile grab PLAB certificate ,am I exmempted from AMC Clinical?

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi Alireza I’m an expert on Australian doctor employment so I can’t really tell you how to get an FY1 placement in the UK. I understand its a similar process to here in Australia in that occasional gaps in the FY program emerge and they accept IMGs for these posts. I’m assuming from your question you already have AMC Part 1. If you had the full PLAB certificate yes you would be able to apply via competent authority. But I’m curious as to why you wouldn’t just attempt the Clinical here. It would be quicker.

      1. Hi
        I’ve full gmc registration and working in NHS as a registrar.
        If I complete 12 months, am I eligible for AMC registration??

  2. Hi Anthony
    I have completed MBBS from Bangladesh; moreover, I passed MRCS from The Royal College of Surgeons of England. I am eligible for GMC registration after clearing oet/ielts. Is it possible to exempt AMC exam without any further training? In which pathway I should proceed?

    Dr MRK

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hello MRK thanks for the question. You would either need to complete the full requirements of the PLAB, including the supervised placement requirements OR go on to complete a Certificate of Completion (of Specialist) Training. Passing UK College exams has no relevance in Australia unless this is part of the CCT.


    Hi Anthony,
    Is it possible for one that has provisional GMC licence and PLAB certificate to do a twelve-month foundational programme and continue the medical practice in Australia?

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi Evangeline. Yes. if you do the FY1 in the UK. Then you are eligible for the Competent Authority pathway in Australia. You still need to find a job here though.

      1. oshadhi manchanayake

        Hi Anthony

        If I do a two year residency in Russia will it consider as an internship an australia? I am currentlu planning to take Internal medicine for my residency.

        1. Hello Anthony,
          If I pass both PLAB 1 and PLAB 2 and I work for 12 months in the UK in a non-training job would I be able to start working in Australia then?

      2. Hello
        I have completed plab and acquired GMC registration. In the UK there are training posts and non training equivalents. For example fy2 training job and fy2 non training job. So am i eligible if i do one year of fy2 non training job in UK. ? And also otherwise, is one year of internship back in India sufficient to show as experience?

        1. Anthony Llewellyn

          Hello Kundan one year of internship in India would be enough for standard pathway. But not for competent authority. The official wording from the Medical Board of Australia is as follows:

          “There are two ways in which you can demonstrate that you meet the ‘12 months supervised training (internship equivalent) in the UK’ component of the eligibility criteria for category A (as per guidance initially provided in August 2015):
          1. Provide evidence of ‘12 months supervised practice/training in an Approved Practice Setting in the
          Acceptable evidence would include:
          a. confirmation in writing from the hospital(s) and/or employer(s) that you have satisfactorily completed 12 months supervised practice/training in the UK, and
          b. confirmation in writing from the hospital(s) and/or employer(s) that the practice setting is an ‘Approved Practice Setting’


          2. Provide evidence of ‘a minimum of 12 months practice in the UK’.
          Acceptable evidence would include:
          a. confirmation in writing and/or certificate of service from the hospital(s) and/or employer(s) that you have had a minimum of 12 months practice in the UK.

          You will also need to provide evidence that you have ‘successfully completed the Professional and
          Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test since 1975’.”

  4. Hi there!
    Would passing all parts of MRCP help in any way to get licensed in Australia?
    Thanks in advance!

      1. Dear Anthony
        I have graduated from Sudan
        And currently working as a GP in the UAE.
        I have passed all my MRCPCH exams and OET so I am qualified for full GMC Registration.
        Is there any pathway to practice and start training in Australia just with this?
        From previous answers, I understood I may need CCT.
        What is that and where will I obtain it from and how many years worth of traning and where will a case like mine need in order to obtain a CCT.

        1. Anthony Llewellyn

          A CCT is a Certificate of Completion Training which is issued by the GMC in the UK when you complete specialist training. I would definitely advise you to get this if you can.

  5. Deepsha Agrawal

    I’m currently in the 6th month of my FY2 placement in the UK. Can I still apply for jobs and get a registration in Australia towards the completion of my 12 months of supervised training. Also, are there any benefits of starting placement in Australia in jan/feb as the academic sessions rolls from Jan to Jan?
    Thanks in anticipation.

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi Deepsha, you only need to have successfully completed FY1 to apply for competent authority. I’d recommend aiming for jobs out of sync with the academic calendar here as you will find it easier to interest employers. Most of the Jan to Jan jobs go to local doctors.

  6. Hi
    I am emergency trainee in UK currently. I graduated in Slovenia(EU), so do not have PLAB.
    I will not finish specialty training in UK as moving to Australia.
    Do I need AMC exams or would I be eligible for competent pathway as have been working in UK for the past 3 years?
    Thank you

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi Lana, yes you will need to do the AMC exams. You required the full PLAB for an exemption from this.

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Australia has been slowly expanding its medical graduate output. This has probably made it tighter for certain categories of IMGs. It’s hard to get a good idea of the prospects. I would say that the number of positions being advertised that will take IMGs is probably a little bit less than it was 5 or 10 years ago.

  7. Hi Tony, I have 4 years experience in Australia and I can’t seem to het over the AMC clinical. Will the australian experience count towards the PLAB if I start the PLAB exams now in order to apply for the competent authority pathway?

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi Daniela, it is possible that your supervised practice in Australia could be counted as part of the PLAB -> competent authority process.

  8. Hi Anthony, I just came across your post. really helpful and thank you. my question is are you able to help one get a job over there in Australia since most of the registration process getting through involves having a job first?

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi Bless thanks for your kind words. I do work directly with doctors to maximise their chances of getting a job in Australia. As you say it really does come down to whether you have a job offer or not.

  9. Hi Anthony,
    Thanks for all the help you are offering to everyone.
    I am a post graduate in radiology from India, now 5 years post MD.
    I have done one year fellowship in neuroradiology from Mumbai, India, and another 6 month fellowship in MSK radiology from NUH, Singapore. I am planning to get GMC registration via PLAB soon. I am interested in working in Australia for long term in radiology. How to go about it ?

      1. Sindhu Sankaran

        Hello sir,
        Thank you for that lovely post!
        I’m currently doing my internship after mbbs in India and also side by side finishing plab! After that I plan to do fy2 for 1 year in UK after GMC registration.
        How to I apply for a general surgery or ENT training in Australia after that? What is the specialist training process in Australia after registering as a doctor?

        1. Anthony Llewellyn

          Hi Sindhu, If you successfully complete the PLAB and do one year supervised in the UK you would apply for a role here and if successful obtain registration via the competent authority path. Once that is complete you will be able to obtain general registration. You will also need to obtain permanent residency as RACS makes this a requirement for joining surgical training.

  10. Hello sir, sorry for asking a long question but i need some guidance. I am a final year medical school student in INDIA and I wanna go to AUS for further carrer, i came to know about AMC exam that is required to obtain a license, but i read somewhere that its not easy to get a job as an IMG after that exam, so better go for specialist pathway. And then I came to know that PLAB can also be used as competent pathway for specialist pathway in AUS, so if I pass my PLAB exam and obtain the GMC license, but then the problem is there are very few FY 1/2 jobs in UK for IMG, so now my question is can i undergo a non training job for a year to obtain competency, or do i need to go through coretraining training job (CT 1)? please advise me on this or any other way which might be good for me

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hello Manish if you are going the PLAB route to Australian competent authority then you need at least one year in a supervised role in the UK. Preferably this is part of a training program.

  11. Hi Anthony does passing MRCS (UK) give any advantage for migration to it helpful to apply for competent pathway..??

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hello Gaurav the MRCS (UK) has limited application to Australia. Its only really helpful as part of completing specialist recognition in the UK, in which case you can apply for registration via specialist pathway. It will not help you with competent authority.

  12. Hi there. I am looking to complete my medical studies in Poland. This allows me to do internship in Ireland. If I do the PLAB along side the supervised internship in Ireland does it count as Category A?

    Best Wishes

  13. Hi Anthony,
    Im a medical graduate from Bangladesh , with my internship completed.
    Ive got my LMCC but i do not have any work experience in Canada
    Can i skip the AMC examinations or do i need work experience in Canada too to skip AMC just like PLAB ?
    Can i get through Competent Authority pathway ?

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi here is the direct words from the Medical Board:

      Successful completion of the licentiate examinations of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC)
      since 1992, AND:
      • 12 months postgraduate education or residency training in Canada, or
      • 12 months supervised training (internship equivalent) completed in another Board approved
      competent authority country, approved by that competent authority.
      NOTE: This period of practice can be undertaken as part of the LMCC, or separately.

      So if you are able to get a year’s supervised training in say the UK and get that approved then this would be another option.

  14. Dear Anthony,

    I came through these great posts.Thank you for your generous , helpful replies.

    A question if you don’t mind, if i cleared all steps of PLAB plus a year or two in a specialist job in UK , can I target the competent authority pathway?

  15. Zainab shahbaz

    Hello ,
    I am graduate from pakistan i wanted to ask that if i complete plab but hve 1 year training in my homeland would it be acceptable by Amc with plab or i need to do 1 year training in UK as well ??? Your help would be appreciated

  16. Great info, probably one of the most informative posts i have read so far.
    I am an American citizen with MD from Dominican Republic, currently studying Functional Medicine. No usmle or other residency though.
    I am currently in QLD on 651 visitor visa and am exploring 407 trainee visa, dont seem to have other options to stay in Australia while i study and take AMC exams. Is it a viable option in your opinion? I also have two primary school age kids who would need to attend school.
    You suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi Quest thanks for your positive feedback. I don’t promote myself as an expert on visas. So I can’t really comment on that aspect of your question. That being said many IMGs have found that enrolling in higher ed degrees here gives them the type of visa and time to also sit for AMCs. Some of the major financial issues you will face will be around paying for schooling for your children and having to take out health insurance for your family whilst here. Hope this helps.

  17. Hi there. Thank you for providing this information. I am a doctor in South Africa – I completed my two years of internship and am completing my one year of community service currently. Unfortunately for some reason South Africa is not recognized so I would have to go through the standard pathway. I have a potential job offer set up for next year; would I just need to complete the MCQ prior to starting or the clinical as well? As far as I am aware there are no facilities in SA that offer the exams remotely which means I would have to come over to Aus to write. From your write-up above, I presume my writing PLAB would not help (as this is offered remotely in SA)

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi Nikita thanks for your question. Yes. The PLAB written will not count and you would need to pass the AMC MCQ. You should also check that your job offer will be ok from a supervisory point of view. You would be able to sit the AMC Clinical whilst working. I would also check your English language eligibility as well. Its unlikely to be an issue but worth checking just in case.

  18. Dr.Fakrul Ahsan

    Hi. I am a Bangladeshi doctor. I had passed my OET and preparing for my plab exam. My concern is, i had passed in 2008 and had worked in different fields of medical science. If i can explain GMC after registration that all reasons are valid and i work in an UK hospital for one year is that enough to exempt from language test and AMC exam? With my OET and PLAB and 1 year work experience in uk can i apply for job as a doctor in Australi? Or i had to wait for another one year supervised trainin?

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hello Fakrul if you can show you have completed all aspects of PLAB and at least one year’s supervised training in UK you would be able to apply via competent authority. In relation to English Language, it would depend if you have been working solely in English since 2008. I suspect you may end up finding that you need to resit the OET or another similar test.

  19. madeha khalid

    Hi I am doing residency in Qatar in medicine, i am taking my mrcp side by side. after finishing the residency and completing 3 steps of mrcp, what pathway can i apply for. I have Australian PR . Thanks

  20. Hi Anthony , I am now going to the UK as Registrar. Would I be able to come to Australia after one year completion here?

    1. Hi Anthony, I graduated and trained overseas before I moved to Australia 2008 on spouse visa. Tried the AMC MCQ test once with no success. I was then advised by a friend that it would be better to wait to attain an Australian permanent residency or Citizenship before proceeding with the registration process and that things will get a lot easier then in terms of passing the test and getting a job! Story short, I started my family and got really busy with life and family over the years. Iam now preparing to sit the AMC/MCQ test again and was just wondering how good are my chances of going back on track given my history of several years of dormancy? And which of the Australian states do you recommend to have better opportunities in my case? I currently reside in Melbourne.
      Your support would be very much appreciated.

      1. Anthony Llewellyn

        Hello, Seetha if you have your registration in another country and are able to pass the MCQ you should have a better chance with being a permanent resident. A lack of recency of practice will be a strong issue for you, however. I’d recommend that you look into options for regaining some experience.

    2. Hey.
      I’m in the process of writing PLAB. As you said after a year of training, I’ll be exempt from the AMC exam to practise in Australia and the competent pathway is the way to go. My question is, what’s the pathway after that to pursue post grad or specialisation ?

      1. Anthony Llewellyn

        Hi there is no “pathway” after this. At least in the sense that competent authority and standard pathways are pathways to registration. You gain your general registration after a year of successful working in a post and then you can apply for most college training programs.

  21. Hi Anthony,
    Thanks for detail explanation. I have done PLAB more then 3 years ago. Also done PRES Irish registration exam. And I have more then 2 years work experience in Ireland. Will I be eligible for exemption from AMC

      1. Hi Anthony,

        Thank you very much for your posts and replies of the comments..i was reading halfway but decided to ask my question to make sure.

        I may have the opportunity to apply for UKFPO as a IMG and after completing PLAB 1 and 2, would be expected to commence FY1.

        So based on the competent authority pathway, I only need to complete FY1 before I can apply to Australia and avoid the AMC examinations. Of course like you say I need a job offer what are the prospects for applicants for the competent authority pathway?

        Is it better to complete FY2 too while waiting for jobs to be offered?

        I am a bit confused about non-trained work. Is FY1 considered trained in this case.

        Lastly, after being accepted to Australia and completing 12 months supervision, will we be considered to have full registration with AHPRA and does it mean we are registered to work in NZ too?

        Thank you for your input and helping us understand this better.


        1. Anthony Llewellyn

          Hi Matthew. CA IMGs are generally preferred over SP IMGs, particularly IMGs who only have AMC Part 1. You could start applying in your FY2 but the more UK experience the more likely you are to land a job here. Once you complete your 12 months supervision you are recommended for general registration. So yes. You could also then work in New Zealand. Again if you can find a job.

          1. Alright thanks a lot for the quick reply! wished I saw this post earlier as the deadline to be absorbed for UK foundation programme is soon approaching..hope I have the time to do so.

  22. Hi Anthony is Matthew again,

    Just want to know some of the prospects or chances of getting a job in Aus after FY1 via the CA IMGs pathway, vs other applicants from say, Monash Malaysia who are accredited by the AMC and does not need any extra exams to work in Aus.

    Does it come down to years of experience then? would one have a better chance of getting a job in Aus if they apply for rural health eg: rural gp?

    Thanks again.


    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi Matthew so in both cases, a UK medical school graduate and a Monash Malaysia graduate. You don’t need to do any extra exams to be able to register in Australia. A Monash Malaysia graduate actually faces a tough task if they want to work in Australia as they need to apply for an internship and tend to be last on the list or near to last on the list for these. A UK graduate who has completed FY1 will generally find that they can find an RMO post somewhere in Australia. Hope this helps.

      1. Thanks again Anthony for the quick reply.

        I guess it means the CA IMGs will be better at securing a job. I heard rural health is always on demand thus was wondering if an applicant should apply for that area to increase the chance.

        Oh yes one last question. As graduates from Monash Malaysia would find it hard to get internship in Australia, once they have finished the 2 years internship in Malaysia, can they apply for jobs and if accepted, need to have 12 months supervision right? Will those jobs be general and non-training positions?

        In addition, graduates from Malaysian universities who have done 2 years internship in Malaysia will need to take the AMC MCQ and clinical exams to be the “same” level playing field as graduates from Monash Malaysia…is this correct?

        Sorry for all these questions as I’m trying to work out a pathway that would be suitable for me in the long run.

        Thanks so much for your replies!


      2. Hi Anthony,

        Thank you for unconditional help.

        I want to settled in Australia by any how. So would you please suggest me which pathway will be more connivent for me.
        Plab or Amc?
        Which one will give me more priority or security in getting job.

        I am doing my internship in Bangladesh.
        Thank you again. Love.

  23. Hi again Anthony,

    In additon to the above questions, I have 2 more questions:

    1) According to a statr at NZ medical council, an IMG is required to have taken AMC exams or workbased assessement even if a doctor has gotten full registration through the Competent Authority Pathway, which in this case is that possible? (cause they don’t actually require it)

    2) My friend who is working in Australia mentioned about doctors having conditional offers, yet have not passed the AMC exams. How and what would this involve?

    Thank you again for your time.


  24. Hi I have a GMC accredited UK primary medical qualification (PMQ), but obtained this at an international branch campus of an UK University (Similar set up to Monash Malaysia MBBS). I have now completed foundation year 1 and 2 in the UK. Am I eligible for the CA pathway B?

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      I would think the answer is yes. But if you want me to look into your situation in more depth let me know and we can sort out a coaching session.

  25. Hello Anthony,
    I have the following situation: I am a romanian citizen, I graduated medical school in Romania 2 years ago. Since then I started in my country a residency in neurology (i will have completed 2 years out of 5 at the end of 2019).
    I can register into GMC without having to take Plab exam after passing IELTS.

    Can I try the competent authority pathway and avoid AMC exams if i register in GMC ?
    Do these 2 years of residency in my country count as internship experience in Australia ?
    In case not, what path is more straight for my position in order to do my training in Australia?

    Thank you in advance,

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hello Mihaela you need to complete the PLAB process to be able to apply for competent authority.
      Your 2 years of residency will be acceptable for internship equivalence.
      You are best off looking at the AMC / Standard Pathway process.

  26. Hi Anthony,
    Thank you for your efforts, really appreciated.

    I am a Pakistani national and have completed the PLAB examination. My GMC registration is underway.
    My husband and I have Australian PR. Please advise if I work for a period of 12+ months in the UK, would I still be required to pass the AMC exam to complete the AMC registration.
    As our final plan is to settle down in Australia.

    Thank you
    Dr. Ayesha Shah

  27. Hi Anthony,
    Your efforts are really appreciated to ease IMGs.

    I have a query, I am holding Australian PR and currently in the process of getting a job in the UK after PLAB examinations and GMC registration. Please advise, will I be able to get registered in AMC without AMC exam if I worked in the UK for 12+ months.
    My plan is to finally settle down in Australia.


    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi Ayesha

      As the article indicates you would be able to go via competent authority if you have fully completed the PLAB.

    2. Hi Anthony
      I want to clear one thing if i cleared plab and complete 1 year internship in uk than I’ll be eligible to work in Australia and Canada without any exam?

      1. Anthony Llewellyn

        I don’t know about Canada. But as long as that 1 year’s experience is signed off as some form of supervised placement it will generally count for Australia.

  28. Hi Anthony,

    I am Malaysian and an Irish medical school graduate (2019). May i ask, would i be able to avoid the AMC exam if i graduated from medical school in Ireland however did my 2 year housemanship (internship) in Malaysia?

    Thanks for your time.

    Kind regards,

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hello Rachel unfortunately you are probably going to have to do AMC. The information stated by the Medical Board is as follows: “Graduate of a Medical School in Ireland accredited by the Medical Council of Ireland, AND
      Successful completion of an internship in Ireland (Certificate of experience) or another Board approved competent authority country”, Malaysia is not a competent authority country.

  29. Hi Anthony,
    i think there is a recent change that if we have Australian experience, then it can compensate for post-exam experience in UK. For example: If we have PLAB 1 and 2, AMC MCQ, OET and PESCI, and we work in Australia, and no work experience in UK, we can still get general registration via competent authority pathway. This is according to the medical board of Australia. Can you please confirm this.

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Yes. That is correct. There is this very confusing statement on the Medical Board website that says that a competent authority can recognise experience in another competent authority country. Obviously Australia is a competent authority country. So in this scenario, if you could get your GMC registration you could then feasibly bypass the need for the AMC Part 2.

      1. Note: Australian clinical experience can be substituted for post-examination or post training experience for the purposes of meeting the criteria for eligibility for the Competent Authority pathway.

        This period of practice in Australia may also be accepted as meeting the requirements for the 12 month period of supervised practice which is required to gain general registration via the Competent Authority pathway. According to the above note can I sit for PLAB 1 ,PLAB 2 and get the GMC registration and straight away do the required 12 months supervised practice in Australia instead of Uk? Then I don’t need to do again another one more year in Australia before getting the full registration in Australia.

        1. Anthony Llewellyn

          Hi Fathima can you tell me why you are trying to overcomplicate matters and not just apply for the AMC exams?

          The problem with the above is you won’t be able to get registered to work the 12-month supervised post as you have not fully completed the UK Competent Authority requirements.

          You would still need to pass the AMC 1 to be able to apply for a post here.

  30. Hi
    My daughter has dual nationality (French/ Australian). She was born in and lived all her life in Australia up until now. If she was to do medicine in France, would she need to do AMC exam in order to work here? Could she avoid this by working in the UK for a period after graduation?

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi Jane its hard to predict that far into the future. However, under the current rules, your daughter would still need to do the AMC as EU doctors do not have to sit the equivalent process in the UK, the PLAB. This might change with the fallout of Brexit however.

  31. Hi Anthony,

    Thank you for unconditional help.

    I want to settled in Australia by any how. So would you please suggest me which pathway will be more connivent for me.
    Plab or Amc?
    Which one will give me more priority or security in getting job.

    I am doing my internship in Bangladesh.
    Thank you again. Love.

  32. Dr Anthony, I want to know about entering psychiatry in Australia through PLAB + 1 year of a non training work experience in UK. Could you please explain this? Kindly help.

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi Samriddhi, in some cases you may be able to still get this year of work approved as meeting the supervision requirements. It all depends on the post and what your supervisors have to say.

  33. Hi. My name is Jeremiah. I passed my plab 1 and 2 exams in the UK. I also Completed my 12 months of internship in Nigeria. I have over 3 years of experience post internship. Do I still need to do the AMC exams? And what are my options?

  34. Hello Anthony,
    Thank you for providing guidance to IMGs, it’s hard to find well-explained information.

    I read the previous questions and helped me to solve a lot of questions I had.

    I’m a GP with 4-year experience in Mexico, currently taking the PLAB pathway to UK (my fiancé is English, not a physician), but the weather in the UK is a downside for me, our aim is to move to Australia and I want to be able to work as a GP, so far, my plan is to complete the WAST year of training (to my understanding is in the same category as FY2) right after finishing that year of training, could I apply to Australia? or should I skip the path in the UK applying directly to Australia (due that is my end goal)? If that is the case, which pathway will suit me better? Which path would speed up the process?

    Thank you in advance, Saludos!

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi Sofia if you are that close to finishing all the required steps for PLAB then you are probably best off doing that. As it will mean you can skip past the AMC exams and apply directly for competent authority registration (dependent on securing a job offer of course).

  35. Hi Anthony,
    I am an IMG who will be working as FY2 in a NHS Hospital in the next few weeks. Supposing I complete my checklist of FY2 competency all the while gaining experience in the UK for a full year, would I then be eligible for the “competency pathway”? Also are doctors coming to Australia through this pathway subject to any additional exams (e.g. skill assessment/aptitude test) from any professional body??
    Kindly enlighten me on these issues plz.

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hello, Aung if you complete the FY2 then you will have worked the required supervised period. Assuming you also have your PLAB then you would be eligible for competent authority. Apart from finding a job, there are no other “tests” to work as a resident or even unaccredited trainee.

  36. Hi Anthony
    I am a General Surgeon in India with 6 years of experience..i was told that it is very difficult to work as general surgeon in Australia even if i try the specialist pathway…is there any way that i may work as GP in Australia..thanks

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi Rahul

      You are correct surgery specialties are more difficult to crack. The college assessment outcomes are on the relatively low side (but still most Specialist IMGs to get through). However obtaining a suitable post after this can be a battle.

      If you wanted to work as a GP it would firstly depend on whether you have relevant primary care training and experience as general practice is a specialty in its own right in Australia.

  37. Hi Anthony,
    hope you are doing good. I am an IMG from India. Have cleared my LMCC exam in canada. I can not practice as a doctor in canada without doing my residency here. as you have mentioned in earlier posts that for competent pathway AMC registration they require 1 year of additional training after PLAB, which i cant get without doing any residency in canada. So my question is am i eligible to go through competent pathway without writing any AMC exams?

  38. Hi Anthony,
    First of all, thank you for all your amazing work! I would be grateful if you could help me with my question.
    If I graduate from a EU medical school (Malta), take my PLAB, however, do the internship in the Republic of Ireland and not the UK; would that suffice for Competent Pathway A? (the third bullet point states ‘or another competent authority’s.
    Kindest regards,

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi Sebastian. Yes, this probably would work. The period of internship would need to be approved as satisfactory by the GMC.

Leave a Reply to Matthew Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
subscribe to AdvanceMed


5,000+ subscribers already enjoy our regular Newsletters with Bonus Content and Special Offers.