§ Mr. Nicholas Bennett
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give the following information concerning the tests held under the auspices of the Professional and Linguistics Assessment Board:(a) how many/often the tests are held, (b) what is the average time taken from application for a test until the results are made available to districts health authorities and (c) how many places are available for each test; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Newton
Information obtained from the General Medical Council, which is the independent statutory body responsible for controlling the tests, shows that in 1987 there were 11 test sessions involving 1,734 candidates. Test sessions are held at approximately monthly intervals at different locations. No figures are available regarding the average time taken from application for a test to the results being made available, although because of the demand for places candidates are advised to apply six months in advance. The availability of places for each test is limited by the seating accommodation at each test location which 1 understand varies from about 110 to 200 places.