GP Induction & Refresher Scheme Fact Sheet 2015
NHS England and Health Education England in 2015 reviewed and revised the UK GP
Induction and Refresher Scheme. Below are a set of FAQs for doctors interested in the
scheme and guidance for Medical Directors / Responsible Officers and LETB I&R leads who
will be involved in the scheme.
Key changes to the policy
1. There is now one national policy which covers the whole of England.
2. The scheme offers bursaries for the period of time that the doctor is in supervised
3. Doctors who go on to work in the NHS can claim back some assessment fees.
4. The scheme is co-ordinated by the GP National Recruitment Office (NRO).
5. The scheme application process can now be started overseas including the ability to
sit the multiple choice question (MCQ) learning needs assessment.
6. There is recognition of a rapid return possible for qualified and experienced GPs
working in Primary Care outside the UK.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Who is eligible for the scheme?
Only qualified GPs who have not worked in NHS general practice in England for
more than two years and wish to return to work in England need to apply for the
Q2: I am a doctor who trained abroad and have no UK experience. Am I able to apply
for the scheme?
Any qualified GP who has been granted a CEGPR and is on the GMC GP Register
(in good standing) with a Licence to Practice is eligible to apply for the scheme.
Q3: How much money is the bursary?
The I&R bursary can be claimed by the I&R doctor through the NRO and will be paid
directly to the candidate.
The scheme will provide each I&R doctor with a monthly bursary, claimed in arrears,
of £2,300 (in 2015) for a full time placement (37.5 hours, per week) or pro-rata if part
time, up to a maximum of 6 months full time or the equivalent if part time.
Q4: How do I apply for the scheme?
You will be directed to the NRO website (http://gprecruitment.hee.nhs.u.....nRefresher)
which will contain information to guide you through the I&R Scheme and
the application process.
High quality care for all, now and for future generations
If eligible to apply for the scheme you will be able to download the application form to
complete and send to the NRO.
Q5: What approvals or qualifications and certificates do I need to work as a GP in
be medically qualified and have completed formal training as a general
practitioner in the UK (CCT), or hold a CEGPR (Certificate of Eligibility for GP
be on the GMC GP Register, in good standing and hold a current Licence to
Practice as a GP.
have the right to work or hold a visa that permits you to work in the UK.
be granted application by the NHS England to the National Performers List (NPL)
with conditions that permit you to enter the GP I&R Scheme.
Q6: How long is the scheme for?
Each doctor will have a formal review of their qualifications and work experience by
the I&R Lead and may be invited to undertake the formal learning needs
assessments (MCQ) which will help to inform the duration of their supervised
The supervised practice may vary from a short placement of only one or two weeks
up to a maximum of no more than six months.
The scheme may be completed either as a full time placement or as a longer part
time placement over the full time equivalent placement period.
Q7: If I am on a short scheme (MCQ Band 5 outcomes) what additional assessments
will be required?
You will be expected to have completed the e-learning programme module on "An
Introduction to working as a GP in the NHS" and your Educational Supervisor will
complete a short formal report that is submitted to the Responsible Officer
(RO)/Medical Director (MD) confirming your clinical competence and global skills as
a competent GP. Where English is not your primary language, confirmation of your
communication skills will be required.
Q8: What support will I get when I am on the scheme?
You will be placed with a GP educator approved by the LETB and on the GMC
Training Register who will provide clinical supervision, regular reviews and feedback
to you during your placement. In some areas you will be able to attend formal I&R
support groups or local CPD activities.
Q9: How much money is available for the scheme in total?
In addition to the bursary of £2,300 per month (full time), the scheme will allow the
I&R doctor to claim reimbursement for one attempt of the entry learning needs
assessments and the Simulated Surgery assessment (where relevant) on successful
completion of the I&R placement.
High quality care for all, now and for future generations
The GP Educational Supervisor’s practice will be paid a monthly placement or
supervision fee which is the equivalent of £7,751 per annum (paid at £645.92 per
Q10: How many years will the scheme be in place?
There have been schemes in existence since 2002. The new funded and revised
scheme, launched in March 2015 has been established to run until 2018 but will be
reviewed as required on an annual basis with a full formal review in 2017.
Q11: What happens if I do not complete my supervised practice placement?
You will not be able to work as an independent GP in England without NPL
continuing conditions agreed by the local RO/MD of NHS England.
Q12: Do I have to sit exams?
At entry to the I&R Scheme, you are required to undergo an educational and career
review with the LETB I&R Lead. If formal learning needs assessments are required
then you will need to take the two MCQ assessments (Clinical Problem Solving
(CPS) and Situational Judgement Test (SJT)) and dependant on the outcome of
these, you may also need to do a Simulated Surgery assessment.
There are no formal exit exams.
During the placement the Educational Supervisor will provide regular feedback and
document this in the Workplace Based Assessment (WBA) Logbook.
If English is not your primary (or your qualifying medical degree) language you will
also receive formal feedback on your language and communication skills to help
inform your I&R placement learning plan.
Q13: What happens if I fail any of the assessments?
Guidance on your options and advice on further learning opportunities and timing for
future applications to the scheme will be given by the I&R Lead.
Applicants are permitted no more than four attempts at entry to the I&R Scheme.
The GMC will be informed of the outcome of all assessment attempts.
Q14: Are there jobs available if I do complete the scheme?
Once the RO/MD has approved your entry to the NPL without conditions you will be
able work as a locum GP or to apply for formal GP salaried posts or partnerships in
England. There are many areas of England where there are GP vacancies and
these are frequently advertised in the medical press.
Q15: Will you pay for my indemnity cover?
No, the scheme does not provide medical indemnity cover funds. Scheme members
should ensure that they are appropriately indemnified for their work. Some training
practices will have group cover, which can result in substantial benefits at discounted
High quality care for all, now and for future generations
Questions for NHS England Regional Teams and HEE LETBs
Q16: What do I do if a query regarding the I&R Scheme is raised within my LETB/
Direct all queries to the GP National Recruitment Office.
The NRO will process all queries and applications regarding the GP I&R Scheme.
They will liaise directly with the I&R lead in the relevant LETB and the NHS England
regarding the candidate’s placement, therefore linking all the relevant teams to
support the candidate through the I&R process.
Q17: How are LETB’s and NHS England notified of new candidates?
The NRO will communicate through the identified leads for LETB’s and Regional
Q18: Is there further information regarding the GP I&R Scheme?
Yes, there is detailed information on the I&R Scheme website:
The website explains every phase of the process and has copies of all the relevant
Q19: How do candidates receive their bursaries?
The NRO will authorise the formal claim of the monthly bursary payments (pro-rata if
part time) by all I&R doctors which will be paid directly to them by NHSE.
The I&R doctor will be required to notify HMRC of all payments and hold
responsibility for any Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions due on
Q20: How do Educational Supervisors receive any payment?
This will be funded directly through the LETB and overseen by the I&R Lead within
the LETB. An agreement will be signed by the practice and the LETB.
LETBs will provide funding directly to the identified educational practice.
Q21: When a candidate has completed the scheme, how are all the involved parties
The I&R Lead will submit a formal report (WBA Logbook and any additional
evidence) for review by the local RO/MD of NHS England who will confirm to
candidates if they have successfully completed the scheme and that a
recommendation for a change in the NPL conditions has been agreed.
Q22: Who will track general interest and applications to the scheme?
The NRO will monitor progression through the I&R Scheme and keep a
comprehensive database regarding all applicants and interest shown in the scheme.
This will be reported on a quarterly basis to NHSE, HEE, RCGP and the GPC.
High quality care for all, now and for future generations
Please note that these are illustrative and every actual case will be individual and will be
dealt with as such.
1. I did my GP specialty training in England and have been on a career break for
more than two years.
Only if you have not worked in NHS General Practice in England for more than two
years will you need to apply for the scheme. The amount of time you would spend in
the scheme depends on the length of time you have been out of practice. If it is not
much more than two years you may be able to enter the NPL directly without needing
to enter the scheme, and doing only a short e-learning course. This will be the
decision of the RO/MD.
2. I am an experienced UK trained GP who has been working overseas for more than
two years in an active clinical role.
Your current clinical experience will be recognised but in line with current UK
appraisal requirements for practicing GPs. You would normally be expected to
demonstrate sufficient levels of competence at the educational assessment stage of
the process. Your current fitness to practise will need to be reviewed prior to your
return to the UK. You will need to apply for the I&R Scheme and the length of time
you have been abroad, and your experience and evidence presented will determine
the length of time you will need to be in the scheme- or if you can enter the NPL
directly without needing to enter the scheme, doing only a short e-learning course.
Much of this process can be done prior to giving up your overseas job and arriving in
3. I am an experienced family doctor who has trained and been working overseas.
You will not be eligible to apply for the scheme until you are on the GMC GP
Register. In order to get onto this Register, you will need to apply for a CEGPR which
will provide you with a certificate which is equivalent to a UK CCT
(http://www.rcgp.org.uk/trainin.....rview.aspx) Once you
have a CEGPR, you can apply for this scheme to allow you entry to the NPL.
Publication date: 25 March 2015
A new programme to get doctors into General Practice has been launched today with the backing of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), NHS England, Health Education England and the BMA. The Induction and Refresher scheme is designed to support GPs who have previously been in practice to introduce them back into the workforce.
It will provide an opportunity for GPs who have previously been on the GMC Register and on the NHS England National Performers List (NPL), to safely return to General Practice after a career break, raising a family or time spent working abroad. It also supports the safe introduction of overseas GPs who have qualified outside the UK and have no previous NHS experience.
The new scheme will standardise pre-existing schemes providing a consistent single point of contact, via the GP National Recruitment Office, to guide doctors through the system. Doctors will also be able to apply from overseas, before they either return or come to the UK. The scheme will offer a bursary of £2,300 per month and participants will be given a supervised placement in general practice. The placements will be tailored to the needs of doctors to ensure they have the confidence and knowledge needed to be a GP.
Professor Wendy Reid, Medical Director and Director of Education and Quality for Health Education England, said: “The GP Workforce 10 point plan sets out what we aim to achieve to ensure improvements in general practice to deliver a better service for patients.
“We are pleased to announce this first step from the plan, working collaboratively with our partners, to make it simpler for GPs to return to practice.
“This programme removes some of the barriers seen before for doctors, who have had a career break or worked overseas to be supported to return to work in general practice.
“The scheme aims to bridge the gap between the skills and experience that doctors have had, and those that are required for safe and effective primary care practice in the NHS in England. It also recognises the different learning needs of those returning from work overseas over those from a career break, and those who are seeking orientation and adjustment to English primary care.
This scheme will mean a more equitable and easier career route within a highly rewarding part of the NHS.”
Rosamond Roughton, Director for NHS Commissioning at NHS England said: “We need a strong GP workforce to achieve the vision for primary care set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View and this new scheme will be a key element of that.
"It will mean that doctors returning to practice, after working abroad, taking a career break or having a family will now have a clearer route and support to do so.”
Dr Maureen Baker, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “It costs nearly £250,000 to train a GP so it is an absolute travesty for patients and a huge waste of public money if we then lose them to the profession as a result of red tape and outdated regulations.
“Getting skilled and experienced GPs back into the profession as quickly and seamlessly as possible after a career break has long been a priority for the College and for me personally, so the proposals announced today are very encouraging.
“GPs take career breaks for a number of reasons, perhaps to work abroad or to raise their family, and in many cases they want to return to general practice in the UK - but they are deterred by the red tape and bureaucratic hoops that they have to jump through.
“We are confident that if people know that the process is to be simplified and streamlined across the country, there will be many more trained GPs who would consider returning to frontline patient care in the UK, helping to ease the intense workforce and workload pressures currently facing general practice.
“Over 90% of patient contacts within the NHS are dealt with in general practice and GPs across the UK are working harder than ever to manage increasing patient demand with decreasing resources – including a severe shortage of GPs.
“We urgently need to make it easier for trained GPs who have taken a career break – or been practising abroad - to return to providing patient care.
“The RCGP estimates that we need 10,000 more GPs across the UK by 2020 to cope with the growing demand of an ageing and growing population. We need to do whatever we can to deliver the 3Rs - „recruit, retain and return‟ – and attract as many GPs as possible, so we have a workforce that can deliver the care our patients need and deserve now and in the future.
“Today's announcement is a welcome step in the right direction.”
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA GP committee chair, said:
“The announcement of a new, properly funded induction and refresher scheme is a positive step forward that will be good news for doctors who are seeking a route back into full time or part time work as a GP.
"It will be helpful to those who have had to take career breaks, particularly those who have taken time away to raise a family or decided to gain experience by working abroad. With a workforce that is increasingly looking for flexibility, this has the potential to be extremely beneficial and will hopefully overcome the huge bureaucratic and time consuming obstacles that currently prevent perfectly competent GPs from returning to work in the UK
“At a time when there is undoubted evidence of a significant shortage of GPs and problems with recruitment and retention, it is encouraging that NHSE has worked with the BMA‟s GPs committee, Health Education England and RCGP to put this new scheme in place.”
The new scheme is part of the GP workforce 10 point action plan, launched by Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), NHS England, Health Education England and the BMA in January this year to expand the GP workforce. It included £10million NHS England funding to kick start the initiatives in the plan and builds on existing work by Health Education England alongside NHS England and the RCGP to get an additional 4,900 trained GPs by 2020 (compared with 2012).
Most Users Ever Online: 98
Currently Browsing this Page:
Guest Posters: 347
Administrators: admin: 73