GMC to be handed power to test doctors' language skills

The GMC believes it is 'highly likely' to be handed powers to test the English language ability of doctors from the European Economic Area (EEA) who want to work in the UK.

Prof Rubin: GMC will be able to test language skills in future
Prof Rubin: GMC will be able to test language skills in future

Professor Peter Rubin, chairman of the GMC, said it is now clear that it is UK legislation, not European legislation, that will need to change to allow the GMC to take responsibility for language testing.

‘Over the past three or four months we have taken a clear and public stand about the issue of language testing,' he said.

Legal advice sought by the GMC revealed 'that it is a consequence of UK legislation not the European legislation that we are currently unable to test the language skills of EEA medical graduates', Professor Rubin said.

As a result, it is ‘highly likely' that the GMC will be able to test the language skills in the future, he added.

Professor Rubin also said the GMC was ‘very pleased' that the issue of language testing of EEA doctors was included in the new government's coalition.

‘There will need to be a change in legislation, but our understanding is that the new government places a high priority on this,' he said.

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