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Introduction to Professional Qualification Requirement (PQR)

The Health Regulatory Authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) represented by:

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP), Department of Health -Abu Dhabi (DOH), Dubai Health Authority (DHA) & Sharjah Health Authority (SHA) are pleased to present the Third version of Unified Healthcare Professionals Qualification Requirements (PQR) which represents a milestone towards fulfilling the UAE strategic objectives to improve the healthcare service provision across the country. For the purpose of this document these Health Regulatory Authorities in the UAE shall be referred to as the Authorities.

This document provides a base for the Authorities to assess the documents submitted by applicants within their geographical jurisdiction to ensure safe and competent delivery of services. Moreover, it places an emphasis on educational standards, experience and licensure requirements for healthcare professionals to be licensed to practice safely in the UAE and in accordance with the UAE federal laws and benchmarked international best practices.

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pqr introduction

Licensure General Requirements

Applicants must fulfill all the following requirements in order to qualify for licensure:

Educational Qualifications

  • Educational programs must be nationally accredited.
  • Qualifications must be issued by institutions/ colleges recognized in home country.
  • At the entry level, minimum qualification requirement is high school certificate as per country specific education.
  • The Authorities will evaluate and accept qualifications in accordance to the following criteria:
    • The country and institution from which the qualification was awarded.
    • The level of national /international recognition of the qualification.
    • The duration and content of study, and the presence of clinical practice/ practical training.
    • Qualifications acquired through honorary nature, correspondence or distance learning are not counted towards the PQR requirements.
    • Post qualifications/ sub-specialty qualifications attained must be from one of the recognized countries and relevant to the Primary specialty.
    • Qualifications not mentioned in this document may be evaluated and reviewed by the Authorities joint committee who may grant the applicant with the appropriate title.
  • All physicians and dentists are required to successfully complete one (1) year internship post- graduation.
  • For physicians and dentists with no evidence of completion of internship; an additional two (2) years’ experience is required.
  • Certain programs with the internship being part of the undergraduate training. No internship post-graduation is required.
  • Nurses and allied health:
    • UAE nationals and Children of Emirati women: are not required to complete training post-graduation.
    • Non-UAE nationals: Graduates from UAE universities must complete six (6) months of training post-graduation.
    • GCC nationals must complete six (6) months of training post-graduation.
  • The applicant’s experience must be relevant to the title applied for, and must have been accomplished in an appropriate setting licensed by the health regulatory authority in the country of practice.
  • The applicant’s experience must be Hands on clinical experience gained by a licensed healthcare professional during a salaried employment/contractual period and it excludes volunteer jobs, Observership, or clinical attachment.
    • UAE nationals and Children of Emirati women: are exempted from experience requirements for the basic entry level.
    • Non UAE nationals:
      - Graduates from UAE universities: are exempted from experience post internship/training.
      - Graduates from non UAE universities: are required to fulfill experience as per relevant titles according to the PQR.
  • The applicant must have a valid professional license to practice, or registration (Where applicable) from home country and/or country of last employment.
  • The validity of the license/registration (Where applicable) should cover the minimum required experiences for the applied title.
  • The applicant shall provide Good Standing Certificate GSC that meets the following requirements:
    • Valid and not older than six (6) months at the time of application for licensure covering the minimum required experiences for the applied title.
    • Issued by the health regulatory authority in the country(s) of last employment. In countries that lack regulatory bodies GSC may be accepted if issued officially from last employer.
  • The Authorities may request more evidence or conduct investigations if deemed necessary to prove the status of good conduct of the healthcare professional.
  • The applicant must declare that he/she has never been convicted with any legal cases, medical malpractice during his/her practice of the healthcare profession or he/she is currently under investigation.
  • The documents required for licensing shall be verified directly from the original or primary source.
  • These documents include but not limited to: educational qualification(s), experience certificate(s), professional license(s) and/or any other documents deemed necessary by the Authorities.
  • UAE nationals and Children of Emirati women are exempted from the Authority examinations, conditions may apply in accordance to Authority standards
  • Healthcare Professionals are required to pass the Authority’s assessment in order to obtain the professional license in the UAE.
  • The mode of assessment shall depend on the healthcare professional's title and may include but not limited to: written, oral, OSCE, etc.
  • While applying for the assessment, applicant needs to consider the following:
    • All assessments will be conducted in English language and no translator is allowed to attend the oral assessment.
    • Oral assessment consist of minimum five (5) different scenarios/questions in areas related to the specialty or as deemed necessary by the examining panel.
  • The applicant is granted a total of three (3) attempts to pass the assessment across the Authorities.
  • The applicant is allowed to reapply if additional Recognized Certificate/qualification as per the published unified PQR stipulated herein is obtained.
  • After the third attempt the applicant is not allowed to apply for a lower or equivalent title.
  • The applicant must declare the number of assessment attempts he/she has undertaken across the Authorities.
  • The applicant may be granted one (1) last attempt in a different Authority after failing three (3) attempts with another Authority
  • Healthcare professionals who successfully completed certain international examinations and/or hold an active registration/license to practice with certain regulatory bodies will be exempted from the assessment required to obtain the professional license (Exam Equivalency Criteria).
  • In case of assessment exemption, the scope of exemption is limited to assessment requirements and does not apply to any other requirements for licensure such as credentialing, experience, PSV, etc.
  • Healthcare professionals who have an interruption of clinical practice exceeding two (2) years and opting to be licensed in the UAE must follow the CME/CPD requirements below.
  • All CME/CPD credits must be related to practice specialty of the healthcare professional, and according to the CME/CPD specific requirements of the Authorities.
  • All applicants are required to complete a clinical training program accredited by Regulatory Authority in the specialty field.
  • All clinical training programs shall be carried out in an approved practice setting by the Authorities.
  • After completion of CME/CPD credits and clinical training programs within the related profession (Apart from UAE nationals and Children of Emirati Women), all applicants are then required to pass the Authorities licensure assessment to obtain the license to practice. Healthcare professionals with Exam Equivalency proof according to the Exam Equivalency Criteria chapter in case they have a gap of practice exceeding two (2) years will be required to pass the Authority exams.
  • In general Non UAE nationals will not be able to apply for a license if they have a gap of clinical practice for more than 5 years (and more than 10 years for UAE nationals and Children of Emirati women)
Gap of Practice Physician/Dentist Nurse Allied Health/Pharmacist TCAM
From Two to less than Three years 40 CME/CPD credits
4 months of training
20 CME/CPD credits
4 months of training
10 CME/CPD credits
4 months of training
10 CME/CPD credits
4 months of training
From Three to less than Four years 80 CME/CPD credits
6 months of training
40 CME/CPD credits
6 months of training
20 CME/CPD credits
6 months of training
20 CME/CPD credits
6 months of training
From Four to less than Five years 120 CME/CPD credits
8 months of training
60 CME/CPD credits
8 months of training
30 CME/CPD credits
8 months of training
30 CME/CPD credits
8 months of training
From Five to Ten years (UAE nationals and Children of Emirati women ONLY) 200 CME/CPD credits
12 months of training
100 CME/CPD credits
12 months of training
50 CME/CPD credits
12 months of training
50 CME/CPD credits
12 months of training

Licensure Recognition among the Authorities

License recognition applies to healthcare professionals fulfilling the below requirements.

  • Fulfill the Authorities licensure requirements stipulated in this PQR per Authority applying to for licensure.
  • Hold a valid license of any of the Authorities.
  • Present a valid GSC as well as full PSV report as requested by the Authority.
  • The applicant shall be granted the same title if it is listed in this PQR. He/she cannot apply for a higher or lower title unless the requirements of the PQR are fulfilled.
  • In case the license is expired/cancelled it must not exceed six (6) months of expiry at the time of application.
  • Internal licensing processes are subject to local policies and procedures for each Authority.
pqr introduction

Renewal of Licenses

• Physicians and dentists in surgical specialties should provide Logbook (s) as a prerequisite for renewing.
• All professionals should provide the below minimum annual CME/CPD requirements relevant to the field of the specialty

See Complete Definitions and Acronyms Details

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Last updated: 07 Feb 2023

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