The GMC has approved a proposal from UK medical schools to collaborate on a national, university-led applied knowledge test (AKT).  The test will form one component of the new MLA (Medical Licensing Assessment) for students at UK medical schools and will need to comply with the requirements published by the GMC in March.

All students graduating from UK medical schools from 2024–25 onwards will be required to pass the MLA as part of their degree before they can join the medical register. It will have two components: the AKT and the clinical and professional skills assessment (CPSA). For students at UK medical schools, the AKT will be set and administered by medical schools working together, through the MSC, with their work overseen and regulated by the GMC.

From 2024, the MLA will also replace the GMC’s Professional and Linguistics Assessment Board (PLAB) tests for international medical graduates who want to work in the UK. The GMC will deliver the MLA for this cohort.

Professor Colin Melville, the GMC’s Medical Director and Director of Education and Standards, said:

‘The MLA will create a common threshold for safe practice across UK medical schools, improve the focus on readiness for practice and provide an opportunity to better understand and tackle attainment gaps. Our Council’s approval of the university-led AKT is an important milestone in the onward journey of the MLA. Members recognised and appreciated the hard work that went into the proposal, which evidently drew on the wide range of expertise within the medical school community.

‘In our regulatory oversight role, we look forward to working with medical schools and the Medical Schools Council to ensure a robust, fair and high-quality assessment of which we can all be proud.’

Medical schools can now begin to pilot the university-led AKT, subject to the directions made by the GMC’s Council as part of its approval.

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