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FOI request about PLAB 1 Candidates from Pakistan

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Dear General Medical Council,

I would like to make the following Freedom of Information request please:

PLAB 1 tests are held twice a year overseas; I would like to request the following information regarding applicants for PLAB 1 test from Pakistan in the last 3 years 2015-2017. The tests are held in Islamabad and Karachi, please give a breakdown by test centres.

Please give the result (Pass or Fail) and also give the City or Town information for each applicant who took the test; the information is collected as part of their registered address.

Please also give the PMQ awarding body name of each applicant.

Please give the information in the excel sheet format with the following columns:
Test Date; Test Venue, Applicant City or Town (Registered Address), Applicant PMQ Awarding Body, Result (Pass or Fail).

Please note that none of the information sought above will breach the DPA as no personal identifying information is being asked for.

Yours faithfully,

A Nasir

FOI, General Medical Council

Thank you for getting in touch. Please note this is an automated email.

 

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can with a further acknowledgement.
You’ll usually hear from us on the next working day, but it might take a
little longer during busy periods.

 

In the meantime, if you want any further information about the GMC, please
visit our website.

 

 

Thank you

 

Information access team

General Medical Council

Email: [GMC request email]

Telephone: 0161 923 6365

Working with doctors Working for patients

The General Medical Council helps to protect patients and improve medical
education and practice in the UK by setting standards for students and
doctors. We support them in achieving (and exceeding) those standards, and
take action when they are not met.

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Jenny Davis (0161 240 8178), General Medical Council

Dear Mr Nasir

 

Your information request – F17/8938/SJ

Thank you for your email dated 16 June 2017, in which you ask for
information about applicants for PLAB 1 test from Pakistan in the last 3
years.

 

How we will consider your request

 

You’ve asked that we  consider your request under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (FOIA). The FOIA gives us 20 working days to respond,
but we’ll come back to you as soon as we can.

 

Who to contact

 

Sadie Jones will be handling your request. If you have any questions you
can call her on 0161 250 6889 or her at email [1][email address].

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Jenny Davis

Information Access Assistant

[2][email address]

0161 240 8178

 

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street

Manchester

M3 3AW

 

Working with doctors Working for patients

The General Medical Council helps to protect patients and improve medical
education and practice in the UK by setting standards for students and
doctors. We support them in achieving (and exceeding) those standards, and
take action when they are not met.

show quoted sections

Sadie Jones (0161 250 6889), General Medical Council

Dear A Nasir

 

Your information access request – F17/8938/SJ

 

Thank you for your email dated 16 June asking for information regarding
applicants for the PLAB 1 assessment in Pakistan. I’ve considered your
request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

 

My Response 

 

Within your request, you have specified that you require the: ‘Test Date;
Test Venue, Applicant City or Town (Registered Address), Applicant PMQ
Awarding Body, Result (Pass or Fail).’

 

If I were to provide you with a table including all of the requested
information, it would make each applicant identifiable, and therefore we
believe this would breach the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) to provide
this information to you. The link between the university, whether the
applicant passed or failed and information concerning their address could
potentially provide you with identifiable information about an individual
applicant. I have given details of the exemption below.

 

The exemption

 

Section 40(2), by virtue of section 40(3)(a)(i)

 

This exemption applies where the information is the personal data of a
third party and where releasing the information would breach any principle
of the DPA. In this instance disclosure would breach the first principle
of the DPA, which requires the processing of information to be 'fair and
lawful'. I believe the conditions in Schedule 2 of the DPA, which are
about the processing of personal information, are not met and therefore
giving you the information would be unlawful.

 

Your right to appeal

 

I'm sorry I couldn’t provide the information you requested. You can appeal
against this decision to Julian Graves, Information Access Manager.  If
you want to appeal, please set out your reasons and write to him at the
above address or email [1][email address].  You can also appeal
to the Information Commissioner, the regulator of the FOIA and DPA – we
can provide more details about this if you need them.

 

Advice and assistance

 

We have considered what information we could provide to you where it would
be no longer identifiable. We believe that we would be able to provide you
with 2 separate tables, breaking down the information. The first table
would provide you with the number of applicants who took the PLAB 1
assessment, from each university, at each of the PLAB assessment centres
and the date of the assessment. The second table would show the number of
applicants who passed or failed the PLAB 1 assessment, at which PLAB
assessment centre and the date of the assessment. Please let me know if
you would wish to be provided with this information.

 

Yours sincerely

Sadie Jones

Information Access Officer

[2][email address]

0161 250 6889

 

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street

Manchester

M3 3AW

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Dear Sadie Jones (0161 250 6889),

Thank you for your response.

I believe that what I requested would not make any candidate identifiable for example just providing the city field for the residence of an applicant can not enable anyone to identify the individual; however if you feel that is the case then I am happy for you to provide the information as per your suggestion with just one addition please.

You said "We have considered what information we could provide to you where it would be no longer identifiable. We believe that we would be able to provide you with 2 separate tables, breaking down the information. The first table would provide you with the number of applicants who took the PLAB 1
assessment, from each university, at each of the PLAB assessment centres and the date of the assessment. The second table would shows the number of applicants who passed or failed the PLAB 1 assessment, at which PLAB assessment centre and the date of the assessment."

In the first or second table add the number of applicants from each city or town; where the number of applicants is more than 5. For example it could be:

Applicants Registered address Town or City; Number of applicants
Karachi; 54
Lahore; 68
Jhelum; 9

Yours sincerely,

A Nasir

Sadie Jones (0161 250 6889), General Medical Council

Dear A Nasir

Thank you for your email, confirming you would like me to provide you with
the information that I have suggested.

 

I’ll look into this for you and get back to you as soon as I can.

 

Yours sincerely

Sadie Jones

Information Access Officer

[1][email address]

0161 250 6889

 

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street

Manchester

M3 3AW

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Sadie Jones (0161 250 6889), General Medical Council

1 Attachment

Dear A Nasir

 

Your information request – F17/9004/SJ

 

Thank you for your email. I have now had chance to look into your request.

 

I have attached a table with the number of applicants who took the PLAB 1
assessment, from each university, at each of the PLAB assessment centres
and the date of the assessment.

 

Also, please see the below table which provides the number of candidates
that passed or failed the exam, the date of the exam and the location of
the exam.

 

PLAB Assessment 1 Number of Number of
- Date candidates who candidates
Location passed who failed
12 March 2015 Islamabad 95 38
Karachi 20 11
05 November 2015 Islamabad 148 49
Karachi 27 9
15 March 2016 Islamabad 160 34
Karachi 29 9
15 November 2016 Islamabad 167 41
Karachi 38 10
16 November 2017 Islamabad 155 82
Karachi 23 15

 

Unfortunately, we do not hold information about doctors registered address
at the time of their PLAB 1 assessment. We may be able to provide you with
information regarding current registered addresses, however, we would not
be able to link them to the information that I have provided to you, this
is because we think that this would potentially provide you with
identifiable information about an individual  applicant.

 

I hope that you find this information useful.

 

Yours sincerely

Sadie Jones

Information Access Officer

[1][email address]

0161 250 6889

 

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street

Manchester

M3 3AW

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