Training and development (GP)

This page provides useful information about training pathways.

The full training programme for general practice currently lasts a minimum of three years although the RCGP plans to extend GP training by a further year. Selection takes place before entry to ST1 (after the foundation programme). Training includes 18 months as a Specialty Registrar in a range of jobs in hospital specialties such as obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, geriatric medicine, accident and emergency or psychiatry. Then you will spend an additional 18 months as a GP Specialty Registrar in General Practice. Local education and training boards (LETBs) try to facilitate requests for flexibility in training within financial and working constraints. A significant proportion of the trainees in general practice are training less than full time.

Doctors are not able to undertake GP training outside this approved training scheme. The only other route of entry is to achieve GMC approval via Article 11.

Download full image of the GP training pathway.

The approved postgraduate training programme for general practice is available from the GMC.

Trainees must also gain Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP) in order to be issued with a certificate of completion of their specialty training (CCT) in general practice by the GMC.

In order for a doctor to work as a GP in the UK there is a requirement to be on the GMC's GP register, to hold a licence to practise also granted by the GMC and to be on the NHS England Medical Performers List.

First5® is an RCGP initiative to support newly qualified GPs for the first five years following their completion of training.

GPs are expected to keep up to date after completing their initial training. The Royal College of General Practitioners uses a credit-based system for measuring continuing professional development. One hour of learning plus a reflective record equals one credit. As 250 credits are required for GP revalidation every five years it is useful for GPs to accumulate around 50 credits per year. Ways of doing this include updating essential knowledge and doing knowledge challenges via e-learning through the RCGP.

Detailed entry requirements and all essential and desirable criteria are listed in the person specification 2017 for general practice ST1.

All 2017 person specifications can be found on the NHS specialty training website. Please note that these documents are updated every year in the autumn before the recruitment round opens.

Starting from this year’s recruitment round (2017), nine new initiatives will be introduced. They are designed to make applying to GP easier, to give you greater flexibility and will streamline the process to becoming a GP.

This information is correct at the time of writing. Full and accurate details of training pathways are available from medical royal colleges, local education and training boards (LETBs) or the GMC.

Getting in tips

These tips will give you some ideas to add to your CV. Here are some suggestions for people at different stages of their career:

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