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23 September 2020 (updated: 08 October 2021)
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Am I eligible for the Trainee Division of the Irish Medical Council register?

The NCHD contract requires all junior doctors participating in a structured training programme to hold trainee specialist division registration. Given the Training Bodies' role in the selection of trainees to training programmes and the subsequent proposal of such trainees to employment positions within the health service, it is required that all applicants to training programmes would either hold or be eligible to hold registration on the trainee specialist division.

Following amendments to the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 in 2020, all doctors who are eligible for registration in the General Division are now also eligible for registration in the Trainee Specialist Division.

The Medical Council (IMC) have advised that the following candidates (A-E) can be automatically considered eligible for the trainee specialist division:

Criteria Required Supporting Documentation to support TSR
A. Doctors who have graduated from an Irish Medical School and have successfully completed their internship in Ireland  Certificate of experience from IMC or a copy of previous IMC intern registration certificate 
B. Doctors who have graduated from an Irish Medical School and will complete their internship in Ireland by July 2022 Certificate of registration from Medical Council indicating intern registration & Irish Medical Degree
C. Doctors who are currently registered with the IMC in the General or Trainee Specialist Divisions Current IMC registration certificate
D. Doctors who were previously registered with the IMC in the General or Trainee Specialist Divisions Previous IMC registration certificate
E. Doctors who have successful completed their medical Qualification in one of the following EU countries – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Switzerland or Slovak Republic  Medical Degree from one of the listed EU Countries.
Applicants that do not meet any of the criteria A - E must contact the IMC directly for confirmation of eligibility for registration in the General Division of the register. The ICGP cannot advise on eligibility outside the parameters as outlined.  
F. Applicants that do not meet Criteria A-E e.g. -EU applicants not listed in option E-Non-EU applicants, including UK applicants  Email/letter confirmation from the IMC

 

Note: Doctors who qualified in an EU member state other than one of the above will be required to provide, inaddition to their medical degree, any additional documentation stated in the EU Directive 2005/36/EC, in order to establish eligibility for registration. Example, a doctor who qualifies in Poland will be asked to provide a LEK in addition to his/her medical degree when applying for registration.

All other candidates must provide proof of their eligibility to the general/trainee division at time of application to the IMC.

Doctors who have qualified outside the EU must pass or be exempt from the pre-registration exam, the PRES, to establish eligibility for General and/ or Trainee Specialist registration.

Equivalent Internship exemption

The Medical Council recognises internships undertaken in the following countries as equivalent and applicants for registration who have completed one of these internships will be exempt from the PRES:

  • UK (Foundation Year 1)
  • Australia
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Pakistan where the internship was commenced after 31st December 2008 (note: the rotations must meet the standards of an Irish internship)
  • Sudan 
  • South Africa where the internship was commenced after 1st July 2006
  • Malta


Higher qualification exemption
Exemptions from the PRES can be granted to applicants who hold a listed higher qualification and have either undertaken an internship of at least twelve months which comprised of a minimum of three months in medicine in general and three months in surgery in general OR have completed a minimum of three years in an accredited training programme. Visit www.MedicalCouncil.ie for further information

  • First time applicants for registration who have qualified in the EU should submit their application for registration 8 weeks in advance of their commencement date.
  • Non-EU qualified doctors should apply at least 12- 16 weeks in advance.

Please note the Medical Council cannot confirm a doctor's eligibility for trainee specialist registration until anapplication for registration has been submitted to the Council and assessed. Note that it will take between 4 to 6 weeks before an application is fully examined and confirmation of a doctor's eligibility for trainee specialist registration cannot be provided before that time. Candidates are advised to apply to the Medical Council for registration and following submission of an application contact the Medical Council to seek an email confirming eligibility to the trainee division. This email confirming eligibility must be submitted with your application.


Applicants who have qualified outside the EU must pass or be exempt from the PRES to establish eligibility for registration in the Trainee Specialist Division. They must also have completed an internship which is recognised by the Medical Council as equivalent to an Irish internship.

The Medical Council recognises internships undertaken in the following countries as equivalent:

  • Australia
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Pakistan where the internship was commenced after 31st December 2008 (note: the rotations must meet the standards of an Irish internship)• Sudan• South Africa where the internship was commenced after 1st July 2006
  • UK
  • Malta