Support and resources for the IMC registration process

18 July 2023

By Chloe Ryan, Case Manager, Medical Protection Ireland.

If you are a doctor in the Republic of Ireland and wish to practise medicine, you must be registered with the Irish Medical Council.  

The Irish Medical Council is an independent regulatory body for doctors practising medicine in Ireland, and has the final say as to whether you are eligible for registration or not.  There are over 19,000 doctors currently registered. Practising medicine within the State while unregistered is an offence, except for when administering first aid or for visiting European Economic Area (EEA) registered doctors attending in an emergency.

How you apply for registration with the Irish Medical Council will differ depending on where you trained and gained your experience. Each doctor is responsible for ensuring that their registration is up to date and appropriate for their individual working circumstances.

To apply for registration, applicants are required to create an online account on the Irish Medical Council’s website. When you set up your account you will be given a temporary number which you can refer to in your correspondence with the registration team. You must submit a fully completed application form, with all supporting documentation required, and the appropriate fee. It is important to ensure the application is carefully completed in its entirety, as any omissions will result in a delay in your registration. Please note that all documents not written in English must be translated and notarised by an official notary.

All doctors will need to refer to the Irish Medical Council’s eligibility criteria to determine their application route. There are four main categories of applicant recognised by the Irish Medical Council, depending on whether you graduated in Ireland, in the EEA, or in a non-EU/EEA member state.

The four main categories are:

- Graduates of Irish medical schools.

- EU citizens who graduated in an EU medical school and/or have qualifications that are recognised under EU directives.

- Non-EU citizens who graduated in an EU medical school and/or have qualifications that would be recognised under EU directives if they were EU citizens.

- Doctors who do not come under any of the above categories. If you fall into this category, you can only complete registration by passing the Pre-Registration Examination System also known as "PRES”, unless exempt. Information regarding these exemptions can be found here.

Timeframes to obtain registration with the Irish Medical Council vary. If you are an EU-qualified doctor, it can take 6-10 weeks from the time of submitting the application to obtaining registration. For non-EU qualified doctors, the registration can take 6-9 months. It is important to note that if you do not complete this process correctly, your documents will be returned to you, and you will go to the bottom of the queue again in terms of having your documents examined and authorised by a member of the registration team.

The Irish Medical Council registry has several divisions:

- Trainee Specialist Division (including Internship Registration)
- Specialist Division
- General Division
- Visiting EEA Practitioners Division

Irish Medical Council fees will differ, depending on the division in which you are registering. To learn more about registration fees and registration process, please check the IMC website here.