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Supporting those who wish to return to general practice

The Induction and Refresher Scheme in England provides an opportunity for general practitioners who have previously been on the General Medical Council’s GP Register and on the NHS England National Performers List, to safely return to general practice, following a career break 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 GP experience.


We have updated the scheme that helps doctors back into general practice.

The revised Induction and Refresher scheme was launched in March 2015 to enable doctors who hold a recognised qualification in general practice and GMC registration to begin or return to practice as a GP. It is aimed at GPs who have qualified overseas and not worked in the NHS before (induction) and those who have worked as a NHS GP before but been away for over two years or more (refresher).

This scheme is one of the ways that we are working with partners to attract more GPs into practice and is one of the strands of Building the Workforce – the New Deal for General Practice.

Co-ordinated through the GP National Recruitment Office (GPNRO), candidates have a single standardised entry point to help speed up the length of time it takes to progress through the scheme.

Supervised local training placements are tailored to individual learning needs up to a maximum of six months full time equivalent in general practice, so that doctors gain the confidence, knowledge and experience to bring their skills up to the required level. Placements are held in a General Medical Council (GMC) approved training practice.

The scheme has the backing of the Royal College of General Practitioners, NHS England and the BMA General Practitioners Committee.

Further information on the system and how to apply can be found on the GPNRO website.

Targeted investment in returners

NHS England will make available additional investment to attract GPs back into practice, increasing over time.

Targeted at the areas of greatest need, the scheme will offer resources to help with both the costs of returning and the cost of employing these staff. A review of the performers list in its current state and its value will be undertaken. This scheme will be developed in collaboration with the BMA GP committee and the RCGP.

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