TRAB/PLAB candidate numbers, pass rates and IMG registrations 1975-1997

A.Pillai made this Freedom of Information request to General Medical Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear General Medical Council,

I am writing to you to request some information under the Freedom of Information Act. My query is about the Professional and Linguistic Assessment examination, commonly called PLAB and its predecessor, the TRAB (Temporary Registration Assessments Board) test conducted
by the GMC to assess International Medical Graduates( IMGs) for eligibility to practice in the United Kingdom.

I understand that the TRAB test was first introduced in 1975 , that the name was changed to PLAB in 1978 and further that the PLAB was initially a single assessment but was changed to a two part system in 1998
My queries are:

1.For the years 1975, 1976, and 1977, can I please know a) the number of candidates who took the TRAB test for each year b). The number of candidates who passed the TRAB test each year , with the pass percentage and c). The number of IMGs who registered for the first time as new doctors with the GMC for each of these years.
2. For the years 1978-1997, I would like to know the following information for each year:
a The number of candidates who took PLAB each year and passed each year ,with the pass percentage.
b. The number of IMGs who registered for the first time as new doctors with the GMC for each year

Yours faithfully,
Anjay Pillai

FOI, General Medical Council

Dear Mr Pillai

Your information request F14/6213/LG

Thank you for your email asking for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

We will consider your request and give you the information as soon as we
can, normally within the 20 working-day limit set by the FOIA.  

Please note that there may be some information which we cannot release to
you under the FOIA. If this is the case, we will let you know why and
state the relevant exemptions given in the FOIA. We will also give you
information about how to appeal our decision. 

I have allocated your request to Louise Gormley. If you have any
questions, please contact her on 0161 923 6311 or email
[1][email address]. 

Yours sincerely 

Miss Sadie Jones

Information Assistant

[2][email address]

0161 250 6889


General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street


M3 3AW


show quoted sections

Louise Gormley (0161 923 6311), General Medical Council

Our reference: F14/6213/LG


Dear Mr Pillai


Thank you for your email dated 3 April 2014 in which you request
information about the TRAB/PLAB test and IMG doctors registering with us.


In response to your request please find below a breakdown of the TRAB/PLAB


Year Candidates Pass Pass%
1975 787 278 35%
1976 1516 510 34%
1977 1663 532 32%
1978 1828 770 42%
1979 1940 717 37%
1980 2710 1160 43%
1981 1852 760 41%
1982 1787 715 40%
1983 2259 742 33%
1984 2175 554 25%
1985 1984 418 21%
1986 1876 428 23%
1987 1734 435 25%
1988 2088 628 30%
1989 2190 733 33%
1990 2209 549 25%
1991 2313 800 35%
1992 1018 299 29%
1993 799 168 21%
1994 818 89 11%
1995 813 116 14%
1996 1507 231 15%
1997 2538 707 28%
1998 1025 257 25%


As to information about IMG doctors registering for the period 1978 –
1997, this information is available from our annual medical registers,
which can be found in most large libraries in the UK. As such I believe
this information is exempt from disclosure, the exemption I believe
applies is:


Section 21 of the FOIA – Information reasonably accessible by other means

If you wish to appeal against the refusal aspect of this decision, please
set out your grounds in writing and send to Julian Graves, Information
Access Manager at [1][email address]

You also have the right of appeal to the Information Commissioner, the
independent regulator of the FOIA. If appropriate, Mr Graves will provide
the relevant details.

Kind regards


Louise Gormley

Information Access Officer
Resources and Quality Assurance Directorate
Direct Line: 0161 923 6311
Email:        [2][email address]
Website:    [3]
Address:    Information Access Team
                 General Medical Council
                 3 Hardman Street


                 M3 3AW


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