Intended for healthcare professionals


Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) performance of doctors who passed Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) tests compared with UK medical graduates: national data linkage study

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 22 April 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i2321

In the section on “Data sources” in this research paper (BMJ 2014;348:g2622, doi:10.1136/bmj.g2622) the sentences relating to the International English Language Test System (IELTS) and Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test results should have read:

“The IELTS scores (graded 7.0 to 9.0) were available for 10 942 of the PLAB international medical graduates in the sample. PLAB test data were available for 11 419 of the group who were recorded as having passed the exam in the period from July 2001 to October 2011.”

The original values reported in the paper for the number of international medical graduates for whom IELTS and PLAB scores were available (25 896 and 27 726, respectively) actually referred to the wider pool of data made available to the research team by the General Medical Council (GMC), not the study sample of doctors for whom at least one competency related outcome at the Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) was recorded in the study timeframe.

In addition, the original timescale of “July 2000 to the end of 2010” erroneously referred to the period when the sample of international PLAB medical graduates had passed part 1 of the PLAB test. Rather, this period should have reflected those who had passed part 2 of the PLAB, and were thus eligible for registration with the GMC.

This correction does not affect any of the results or conclusions. However, the authors originally highlighted a potential limitation in the “Strengths and potential limitations” section (“The international medical graduates who passed the PLAB after 2010 but underwent ARCPs from 2010 to 2012 would not have been included in this analysis”), which is now understood not to apply as PLAB test data from these candidates were actually available.

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