The medical licensing assessment in the UK: Knowledge, attitudes and preparedness of medical schools

Shihab E. Khogali (Lead / Corresponding author), Bonnie Lynch

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From academic year 2024/25, medical graduates who wish to practice in the United Kingdom must pass the new Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA). This exam has been introduced to ensure a common standard of practice for all graduating doctors, and UK medical schools have a major role to play in its development and implementation and in preparing their students to pass it. This study explores knowledge, attitudes and preparedness of medical school staff with respect to the MLA.

Members of staff, who are involved with MBBS/MBChB programmes, at medical schools across the UK were invited by email to complete a 35-item anonymous online questionnaire. Four items asked about the respondent’s professional role and time in post; 10 asked about knowledge of the MLA; 20 asked about perceptions of the MLA; and a single item asked about the school’s preparedness to help its students pass the MLA.

A total of 75 responses were received from 16 UK medical schools. Staff knowledge levels of the MLA were high, with an average of 67% correct answers for the 10 knowledge items, and higher scores for those whose roles directly related to assessment. Attitudes tended to be negative, particularly with regard to concerns about increased workload and inter-school competition associated with the introduction of the MLA. Positive aspects were also recognised, particularly regarding standardisation for entry into the UK medical register. Despite their misgivings, respondents were optimistic about their schools’ preparedness to help their students pass the MLA.

UK medical schools may benefit from reinforcing positive attitudes and taking steps to mitigate the negative attitudes of staff to help ensure a smooth transition to the new licensing assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number289
Number of pages11
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Nov 2023


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