Resize Text: |

Conditional Registration

Allows an international medical graduate to work only in an SMC-approved healthcare institution, under the supervision of a fully registered medical practitioner.

Eligibility requirements:

  • holds a basic1 medical degree from a university / medical school listed in the Second Schedule of the Medical Registration Act; or
  • has a postgraduate qualification recognised by SMC; or
  • accredited by the Specialists Accreditation Board Singapore as a specialist; and
  • has been selected for employment in an SMC-approved healthcare institution; and
  • holds a certificate of experience or equivalent as proof of satisfactory completion of housemanship, or PGY1 or the internship year; and
  • is currently in active clinical practice2; and
  • has passed such national licensing examination as required in the country where the basic medical degree was conferred (if applicable); and
  • has been certified to be in good standing by the overseas regulatory body or medical council equivalent; and
  • fulfils English Language requirements of SMC if the medium of instruction for the basic medical qualification is not in the English Language

1 Medical degree obtained via a 'twinning programme' would be considered only if the clinical training years and final examinations are done and completed at the medical school or university listed in the Second Schedule and in the country where the medical school or university in the Second Schedule is situated.

2The doctor should be in active clinical practice for the 3 years preceding the application for medical registration (the minimum requirement is that the doctor must work an average of 168 hours per year during the 3 years prior to the application for registration). 

All conditionally registered doctors must engage in clinical practice under the supervision of an appropriate supervisor approved by SMC. Their clinical work cannot include aesthetic practice. General health screening services should not exceed 20% of their clinical caseload.

Conditionally registered doctors may be considered for full registration among other SMC prevailing criteria (e.g. performance, professional conduct and professionalism, fitness to practise) after they have fulfilled the conditions and periods of supervised practice as in Table 1.

Table 1 – Period of Supervised Practice for a Conditional Registrant to be considered for Full Registration

Non-Specialist/Family Physician3
Singapore Citizen Non-Singapore Citizen & Singapore PR
Singapore Citizen Non-Singapore Citizen & Singapore PR
Minimum period of supervised practice with consistently satisfactory performancefor consideration for Full registration5

Note: The period of supervised practice is based on full-time practice (the lowest threshold for full-time practice is 40 practice hours per week.)
2 years
2 years
2 years
4 years
Place of Practice Mandated to work in an approved healthcare institution unless doctor satisfies condition (A) below
Mandated to work in an approved healthcare institution unless doctor satisfies condition (B) below
Supervisory Framework

Explanatory Notes

The minimum period of supervised practice would be based on the conditions imposed at the point of getting conditional registration and does not vary with any change of status or circumstance during the period of supervision.

4Have obtained consistently satisfactory assessment and multi-rater reports for the doctor’s performance during the period of his conditional registration.

5Period for consideration for full registration is based on full-time practice of at least 40 hours per week. Doctors who work less than 40 hours per week are considered as working part-time and must practise at least 20 hours per week before it can be accepted as eligible for part-time supervised practice. Part-time supervised practice i.e. 20 hours to less than 40 hours a week will count as half of full-time practice. Non-clinical or administrative postings would not be considered or counted as part of the minimum period for full registration. Doctors who are in predominately non-clinical residency programmes (e.g. Preventive Medicine residency programme) may be considered for full registration if they fulfil the required period of clinical practice during training, or are accredited and registered as a specialist.


Practice in the private sector

New foreign-trained doctors who apply to join the private sector directly must fulfil the criteria in Table 2 below.

Existing doctors may join a private practice if they have progressed to Level 3 (L3) supervision under SMC’s Supervisory Framework.

Table 2 - Criteria for direct entry into private practice



Foreign-trained (except European-trained) specialists can practise under supervision of an appropriate specialist in a private specialist practice IF they have 5 years* or more of related specialist clinical experience after obtaining an exit specialty qualification recognised by the Specialists Accreditation Board (SAB). They must be accredited by the SAB and registered with SMC as Specialists before they can practise as specialists in Singapore.


Foreign-trained non-specialists can practise in non-institutional or private Family Medicine practice or other private group practice IF they have at least 5 years* of practice in Family Medicine after obtaining any of the following Family Physician qualifications:

- Member of the Royal College of General Practitioners, MRCGP (UK)
- Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, FRACGP (Australia only)
- American Board Certification in Family Medicine, USA
- Fellow of the Hong Kong College of Family Physicians (FHKCFP)

*the 5 years is counted based on full-time practice of at least 40 hours per week.

Cancellation of Conditional Registration:

The SMC may consider cancellation of the doctor’s conditional registration if the doctor:

- has breached the conditions of his medical registration; or
- has ceased practice at the approved place of supervision; or
- has not performed satisfactorily by SMC's assessment or performed to the standard that SMC requires; or
- has ceased practice without prior approval from SMC including taking No-Pay leave without SMC’s approval.

The doctor’s practising certificate will be deemed cancelled in the event that his registration has been cancelled by the SMC.

Request for No-Pay Leave:

The conditionally registered doctor is considered to have failed to comply with the conditions specified in the grant of his medical registration, and his conditional registration will be cancelled, if he goes on No-Pay leave (NPL) without SMC’s approval.

The employing institution must submit an online application for the doctor to remain on the register should he wish to go on NPL. All reasons for the application will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

The online application should be submitted to Council at least 4 weeks before the doctor embarks on / continues with his NPL. The outcome will be made known to the employer 2 weeks after the receipt of the application.

The doctor’s medical registration will be cancelled if the request is not approved by the Medical Council and he still proceeds with his NPL. If he returns to employment in Singapore, he must re-apply for medical registration by submitting a fresh application and the prescribed fees.

NPL periods will be taken into account when the doctor applies for conversion to full registration.

Last updated: 08 Oct 2018 15:05