WARD Group

Since its establishment in September 2002, the Wales Deanery funded ‘Wales Asylum seeker and Refugee Doctors’ (WARD) project has proved to be a major success.

The initial pilot project received  funding of £73,600 to assist in the implementation of a programme to address the education and training needs of refugee/asylum seeker medical doctors in Wales, and to help such doctors to meet the standards required to pass both the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board) tests. 


Since 2002, the governance of the project has rested with the Wales Deanery.

The Deanery delivers excellent and innovative postgraduate medical and dental education for Wales, providing nearly 3,000 training grade doctors and dentists across Wales with access to high quality postgraduate facilities and educational support so that they can achieve their career aspirations, whilst ensuring high quality care and patient safety in Wales.

The Deanery recognized that a number of refugees and asylum seekers, who are professionally trained as doctors have either moved to Wales or have been housed within Wales under the UK Governments’ dispersal schemes.  Furthermore, the Welsh Government recognised that facilitating the integration of refugees and asylum seeker doctors would assist in maintaining future doctors’ numbers within the NHS in Wales. 

The overall objective of the WARD programme is to ensure that doctors and dentists in Wales, who are asylum seekers or refugees, can be presented with the opportunity to revalidate their qualifications, thereby enabling them to develop and apply their skills within the NHS in Wales.

The WARD team has developed a wide range of courses. All refugee/asylum seeker doctors are able to attend a minimum programme of training consisting of the following:

IELTS preparation course and examination

PLAB1 preparation course and examination

PLAB 2 preparation course and examination

Supernumerary (FY1 level) Placements

Apply for Foundation Post or Specialty Training Post

IELTS classes are held three days a week at a dedicated Training Room at our Cardiff office on Sundays and at Butetown Community Centre on Mondays and Tuesdays.  The times of the classes are as follows:

– Sunday    10.30am to 2.30pm

– Monday    10.30am to 2.30pm

– Tuesday    10.30am to 2.30pm


We also maintain an extensive library of medical books (both PLAB and IELTS), together with a selection of medical manikins upon which doctors can practice for their PLAB examinations.

If you are either an asylum seeking or a refugee doctor or dentist and would like further information about our WARD programme, please contact:

Telephone: 029 2048 2478 / WARD@dpia.org.uk