ST1 Guidance for Applicants

To view the guide, please expand the relevant chapters. A downloadable copy of this guidance is available in PDF format from the Resource Bank. Applicants are also strongly advised to read the 2017 NHS Medical Specialty Recruitment Applicant Handbook.

1. Introduction

The General Practice National Recruitment Office (GPNRO) co-ordinates the nationally agreed and quality assured process for recruitment to GP Specialty Training Programmes. There are three types of General Practice Training Programmes that are recruited to:

  1. Specialty Training (ST1)
  2. Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF)
  3. Global Health Fellowship (GHF)

This guidance deals particularly with the Specialty Training Programme. For information on the other recruitment episodes please see the relevant guide available from GPNRO website.

Recruitment to GP Specialty Training will take place three times a year, twice for August 2017 starts and once for February 2018 starts. Round 1 and Round 1 Re-advert cover August 2017 commencement; Round 2 covers February 2017 commencement. This guide relates to posts commencing in August 2017.

All submitted applications for GP Specialty Training will be assessed using a standard, national and consistent staged process outlined below. This is an established and well-researched selection process using modern methodologies that are fair, robust and fit for purpose. The competency based selection process allows applicants to demonstrate their abilities and suitability for GP training - applications are assessed by the demonstration of competences as outlined in the GP ST1 Person Specification.

Applicants are reminded that entry to GP Specialty Training is highly competitive. Information about competition ratios in previous rounds and the number of available vacancies in each HEE Local Office or Deanery are available on GPNRO website.

For a GP Specialty Training post an applicant will make one application for all participating HEE Local Offices or Deaneries. The short-listing method, known as the Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA), involves undertaking a computer based assessment. Following the MSRA, eligible applicants will be invited to book a place at Selection Centre at a preferred HEE Local Office or Deanery. Applicants will then be considered for appointment across the whole of the UK (based on their performance and rank). This method is known as a Single Transferable Score (STS) as applicants are not restricted to only being offered a post in the region they were interviewed. The system is designed to maximise the numbers of applicants successfully short-listed, and to maximise opportunities for successful appointment.

Note: If an applicant also wishes to apply for a Global Health Fellowship or Academic Clinical Fellowship then they must complete a separate, online application form for each training programme.

Applicants should only preference programmes in HEE Local Offices or Deaneries they are willing to work in. In making those decisions, researching the HEE Local Offices or Deaneries carefully is recommended.

There have been some significant changes to the recruitment process in recent years so you are advised to read all the following information before you begin to complete the on-line application form to familiarise yourself with the GP assessment and selection process and the essential entry requirements. You should also refer to both the Oriel Applicant User Guide (for technical help with the on-line application form) and the 2017 Medical Specialty Recruitment Applicant Handbook (for general information about the national recruitment processes administered by HEE).

2. Submitting an Application

All applications must be made via the on-line Oriel system. Late applications will NOT be considered. The dates and deadlines relating to 2017/18 recruitment activity are available on GPNRO website.

The GP application form will only ask for factual information about you and your employment history. Once your application has been submitted you are unable to make any changes, apart from to update your own contact and referee details so please ensure that you do not submit unless it is complete.

Please be aware that the Oriel system does not support internet browsers that have reached the end of their product support lifecycle.

3. GP Academic Clinical Fellowships (ACF) ST1 – England Only

Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) Programmes are available in some HEE Local Offices. To apply for an ACF post you are required to submit a separate application for the ACF vacancy.

If you do not hold an NTN in GP at the time of application you will also need to submit an application for a clinical GP ST1 training programme. Available programmes are published on GPNRO website. GP ACF posts will be advertised as a separate vacancy at the same time as the GP ST1 vacancy.

GPNRO has developed separate Applicant Guidance for applicants wishing to apply for ACF posts. It is imperative that you read and digest this guidance if you are looking to apply for ACF posts as the recruitment process is subtlety different from GP ST1 recruitment.

4. Global Health Fellowships (GHF) – England & Wales Only

Global Health Fellowship (GHF) Programmes are available in many HEE Local Offices in England and also in Wales. To apply for a GHF post you are required to submit a separate application for the GHF vacancy.

GHF posts are not available to anyone who already holds an NTN in General Practice.

As perspective applicants will not hold an NTN you will also need to submit an application for a standard GP training programme to be considered for GHF. Available programmes are published on GPNRO website. GP GHF posts will be advertised as a separate vacancy at the same time as the GP ST1 vacancy.

If you do not submit an application to ST1 via the National Recruitment process you will be unable to proceed with your application for a Global Health Fellowship.

GPNRO has developed separate Applicant Guidance for applicants wishing to apply for GHF posts. It is imperative that you read and digest this guidance if you are looking to apply for GHF posts as the recruitment process is subtlety different from GP ST1 recruitment.

5. Communications Regarding an Application

Contact regarding your GP application will be via direct messaging through Oriel. GP administrators will also send an email as a secondary form of communication. However, as emails are external to the Oriel system, delivery cannot be guaranteed and therefore this method of communication should not be relied upon.

You should also make sure that you are using an email account that you can access at any time and will not be blocked by your employer’s IT security system. If you are uncertain about this, you should check with your IT department at work.

To ensure messages from the GPNRO are not filtered by your email provider’s junk / spam filters, you are strongly advised to add and to your email whitelist.

6. Selecting a HEE Local Office or Deanery (Preferencing)

Applicants are allowed to submit ONE application for a standard GP training programme. In 2017, at the time of application, you will be asked to indicate your preference of GP Training Programmes available in HEE Local Offices or Deaneries, in preference order. Please only preference the programmes that you would be prepared to work in, including those listed with zero vacancies as posts may become available at a later date. GP Training Programmes are available at ST1 entry level only and are for 3 years duration however, Scotland also offer some 4 year programmes. This information will be shown in the preference detail.

Applicants are also advised to read the HEE Local Office or Deanery profile pages and access individual HEE Local Office or Deanery websites for more information about the opportunities available. We suggest that you research not only the types of programmes offered at each HEE Local Office or Deanery but also the geographical areas covered by each HEE Local Office or Deanery, the main Trusts in each of those areas, transport links to home and so on.

Preferencing of GP Training Programmes will be locked at point of application however you will be presented with a further window to continue preferencing GP Training Programmes. This window will span from the date of invitation to the Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment until the final day of the Selection Assessment Centre window. These dates are published on the GPNRO website for all relevant rounds.

The GP Training Programmes that you preference in your application will be used to make you an offer, subject to the successful completion of the selection process. This change means that you can now be considered for appointment across the whole of the UK, instead of just the interviewing HEE Local Office or Deanery.

6.1 Targeted Enhancement Recruitment Scheme (TERS)

This scheme is an initiative that will offer total payments of £20,000 to GP trainees committed to working in a select number of training places in England, Scotland and Wales that have been hard to recruit to for the past three years. These areas often have an extremely good track record for education, but are initially less popular simply because of their geographical location. However, those trainees that do come usually stay on after training, as they discover these locations’ hidden attractions. For more information please visit GPNRO website.

7. Flexibility in Deployment of Trainees (England, Scotland & Wales only)

From 2017, England, Scotland and Wales have introduced formalised processes to assist applicants to train in desired locations of the country.

7.1 Special Circumstances

To ensure that applicants with special circumstances and a requirement to train in a particular location are treated in a fair and consistent way, those applicants wishing to be considered for special circumstances pre allocation should ensure that they state this on their application form. If this applies to you, you will need to submit supporting evidence directly to GPNRO, by email, as soon as your application has been submitted electronically. Requests for consideration of special circumstances submitted in any other way will not be accepted.

It is important that you review the relevant section in the 2017 Medical Specialty Recruitment Applicant Handbook (pages 20-21) for details on the eligibility criteria and administrative process.

7.2 Facilitated Placements

This process aims to offer solutions to applicants who have been allocated to different regions to their partner or family.

The process is open to all applicants, except for those who are applying to academic posts, locally recruited posts or those looking to move into or out of Northern Ireland, who are not participating in the initiative.

Note: Applicants deferring their commencement in training will not be permitted to apply for a facilitated placement.

It is important that you review the relevant section in the 2017 Medical Specialty Recruitment Applicant Handbook (pages 22-24) for details on the eligibility criteria and administrative process.

7.3 Step On, Step Off (SST) Policy

Deferment to GP ST1 training in the UK is different in each country and is detailed on GPNRO website.

Applicants who wish defer will need to highlight this in their application and will be required to undertake the full selection process. Successful applicants will be able to defer for up to 12 months and will be able to “bank” their accepted GP training programme.

Applicants who will require a Tier 2 Visa to undertake GP training should seek immigration advice to ensure they are eligible for deferment.

7.4 Adjustments under the Equality Act 2010

All HEE Local Offices and Deaneries are aware of the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and in this regard will make reasonable adjustments to accommodate applicants at the assessment and selection centres provided these are made known in advance. Applicants who require adjustments (e.g. wheelchair access, extra time, nursing mothers) must inform their first preference HEE Local Office or Deanery of any special requirements, evidenced by supporting documentation, at the earliest possible opportunity and by no later than the application closing date. Adjustments cannot be guaranteed if contact is made after the specified deadline and no adjustments can be made on the day of the assessment.

In some instances, in order to satisfy requests for adjustments, it may be necessary to schedule an Assessment/Selection Centre place at a specific time or a specific location.

8. Application process for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) without Right of Residence

Applicants without right of residence will be able to apply in all rounds of GP recruitment. Applicants without right of residence will not be rejected solely due to their immigration status and, should they be successful, will be considered for an offer in this round. In order for these applicants to be appointed, the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) will need to be satisfied.

It is strongly suggested that you read the 2017 Medical Specialty Recruitment Applicant Handbook, in order to familiarise yourself with the immigration information contained within.

8.1 Tier 4 Visa Applicants

Applicants with a Tier 4 visa, currently in a UK Foundation Programme who have graduated from a UK Medical school without a break between graduation and commencement of Foundation Programme will be eligible for consideration and will not be required to satisfy the Resident Labour Market Test.

9. Evidence of English Language Skills

All applicants will need to provide evidence of their English language skills at any interview attended in line with the acceptable evidence detailed in the GP ST1 Person Specification.

9.1 Evidence of Communication Skills for Medical Performers’ Lists

Eligibility for entry onto a UK Medical Performers’ List is an essential criterion and therefore, applicants must also ensure their evidence of communication skills complies with the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) or Guidance issued by the relevant Primary Care Organisations (PCOs) responsible for maintaining a medical performers’ list in each of the four countries.

PCOs are NHS England in England, Health and Social Services Boards in Northern Ireland, Local Health Boards in Wales, and primary care divisions within area health boards in Scotland.

10. Evidence of Foundation Competences

All applicants to ST1 posts are required to provide evidence of achievement of Foundation Competence within the 3 years prior to the intended commencement date for the advertised post(s). Foundation competency can be demonstrated in any of the following ways:

  • Currently on a Foundation Programme - Applicants currently undertaking a recognised foundation programme in the UK which is due to finish in August 2017, will need to confirm the name of their Foundation School but do not need to submit any other evidence at the point of application. Any offer of a training programme will be conditional upon successful completion of the Foundation Programme and being awarded a Foundation Programme Certificate of Completion (FPCC) before August 2017. Those applying who will require a delayed start date due to illness or maternity, will be permitted to apply and defer in order to allow them to complete their Foundation Programme.

  • Already completed a Foundation Programme - Applicants who have successfully completed the UK Foundation Programme no earlier than 1 January 2014 are required to upload their FACD 5.2 (FPCCs will be issued to Foundation doctors on completion of training from 2017) to their application form, at the time of application submission.

  • Currently on a Specialty Training Programme - Applicants currently in active clinical or clinical and academic practice in a UK educationally approved training post (CT/ST/LAT or equivalent), holding either a National Training Number (NTN) or Deanery Reference Number (DRN) will be considered as having had their foundation competences assessed on entry to their current post and do not need to demonstrate these again, regardless of when foundation competences were signed off.

  • Anybody who is not covered by the above - Applicants who do not fall into any of the above categories will be required to submit a 2017 Alternative Certificate of Foundation Competence signed by a consultant who has supervised them for at least 3 months (whole time equivalent and continuous period) since 1st August 2014. Forms from previous recruitment years will not be accepted.

    In addition, applicants are also required to have 12 months experience after achieving full registration with the GMC, or equivalent medical regulatory body, by the start date for the post they are applying for.

You may submit more than one Alternative Certificate from different posts in order to show evidence of achievement of all outcomes but all certificates must relate to posts undertaken for at least 3 continuous months (whole time equivalent) since 1st August 2014. You should ideally attach scanned copies of the certificate(s) to your application form, however if this is not possible you will have until Friday 28th April 2017 to submit the completed Alternative Certificate.

Please note:

  • This extended period for the submission of the 2017 Alternative Certificate is applicable to GP applicants only.
  • If you are required to satisfy the Resident Labour Market Test you will have until Friday 3rd March 2017 to submit a completed Alternative Certificate

Applicants who fail to provide a 2017 Alternative Certificate at the time of application will not be longlisted out but any subsequent GP offer received will be conditional upon the original document/s being seen by the above date. If you are not able to provide a 2017 Alternative Certificate at the time of submitting your application then you will need to ensure you answer ‘No’ to the question regarding achievement of foundation competences. The system will then ask you to justify why you feel you are exempt. You will be required to provide information justifying why you believe you will have it by the date specified above. It is strongly suggested you complete your application form as early on as possible in the application window if this applies to you.

11. Fitness to Practise

If you answer yes to any of the Fitness to Practise questions on the application form, you will be required to send information about this declaration to your first preference HEE Local Office or Deanery by the application closing date. Appropriate contact details for Fitness to Practise Declarations can be found in Annex C of the 2017 Medical Specialty Recruitment Applicant Handbook.

Failure to provide this evidence by the application closing date will result in your application not being processed any further in the recruitment round.

12. Accreditation of Transferable Competences Framework (ATCF)

Many core competences are common across some, but not all, specialty curricula. When moving from one approved training programme to another, competences gained in core, specialty or general practice training should not have to be repeated if already achieved.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has developed the Accreditation of Transferable Competences Framework (ATCF) to assist trainee doctors in transferring competences achieved in one core, specialty or general practice training programme, where appropriate and valid, to another training programme.

Trainees who decide to change career path could transfer competences achieved in another training programme and reduce the length of their new training programme.

The ATCF applies only to those moving between periods of GMC approved training and is aimed at the early years of training. The time to be recognised within the ATCF will need to be reviewed at the trainee’s first Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP), if appointed.

Applicants wishing to be considered for accreditation of transferable competences should indicate this on their application form.

Further information on the ATCF is available from COGPED website.

13. Reapplication to Specialty Training

Specialty training posts and programmes are not normally available to any doctor who has previously relinquished or been released or removed from that training post/programme. However:

13.1 Support for Reapplication to Specialty

If you have previously resigned or been removed from a GP training programme, you will need to provide full details of the resignation/release/removal. This must be provided on the Support for Reapplication to a Specialty Training Programme form and approved by both the Head of School/Training Programme Director and Postgraduate Dean in the HEE Local Office or Deanery where training was previously undertaken. This evidence will need to be uploaded to your Oriel account via the Document Upload dashboard as Supporting evidence and attached to your application at the point of application.

Any applications from excluded trainees without submitted evidence will not progress any further in the recruitment process.

13.2 Support for Reapplication to Specialty Training in a Different Region

Trainees currently working in General Practice, applying to continue their training in another HEE Local Office or Deanery, without a break in service, will need to provide information relating to this. You must gain support from your current HEE Local Office or Deanery by completing the Support for Reapplication of Specialty Training in a Different Region form. This evidence will need to be uploaded to your Oriel account via the Document Upload dashboard as Supporting evidence and attached to your application at the point of application.

Any applications without submitted evidence will not progress any further in the recruitment process.

14. Document Upload

As you progress through your application it may become apparent that you will be required to upload some form of documentation to allow GPNRO to assess your eligibility.

If you are required to do this, in order to help GPNRO you are required to:

  • Ensure that the document is uploaded as a whole and not in separate pages
  • Ensure that the document is appropriately labelled to allow GPNRO to understand what it is they will be opening
  • Ensure that the document is uploaded in to the correct document section

GPNRO reserve the right to request re-submission of documentation if the above rules are not followed.

15. Longlisting – Eligibility Requirements

All applications will be assessed against the essential criteria outlined in the national GP ST1 Person Specification.

16. Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA)

All eligible applicants (i.e. those who have been assessed as demonstrating evidence of eligibility as outlined above) will be invited to attend the next stage of the recruitment and selection process. The MSRA is a computer based assessment which forms the short-listing process. The assessment has been fully researched and evaluated and has been shown to have high predictive validity.

GPNRO lead on delivery of the MSRA and has developed a separate guide which provides GP applicants with information about the whole MSRA process (e.g. registering to sit the test, centre locations, format of the assessment, etc.).

All applicants are expected to read this document in full in order to develop an understanding of this stage of the recruitment process and what is expected of applicants. It is available from GPNRO website.

17. Direct Pathway to Offers

All applicants who achieve a combined total score of 575 in the MSRA will qualify for a streamlined route which does not require them to attend a face-to-face assessment at Selection Centre. If you qualify for this route, you will be ranked first, before those who were deemed appointable via Selection Centre, increasing your chance of receiving an offer of training at a programme in one of your more preferred programmes/locations.

If you qualify for this direct route but are subject to the Resident Labour Market Test, you will only be offered a post after all UK/EU/EEA applicants have been offered, including those who underwent an assessment at Selection Centre.

18. Invitation to Selection Centre

On completion of the Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA) process, applicants that have met the minimum required standard will be considered for Selection Centre, with the exception of those that qualify for the Direct Pathway to Offers.

Applicants that are successful at the MSRA will be able to choose where they would like to attend Selection Centre. Applicants are no longer allocated to a specific HEE Local Office or Deanery. Applicants will only be invited to attend one Selection Centre and will now be considered for appointment to a GP training programme in all HEE Local Office or Deaneries they have preferenced.

Applicants will be notified if they are invited to Selection Centre via Oriel and will be able to book their Selection Centre place using the on-line self-service system in Oriel. It is important to note that interview slots are booked on a first come first serve basis.

19. Selection Centre

The Selection Centre involves applicants completing a number of exercises which are observed and assessed by trained assessors. This competency based selection process has been researched and evaluated. We are confident that it is fair, robust and fit for purpose.

On the day of the Selection Centre, please ensure that you allow yourself plenty of time to get to the Selection Centre venue to allow for applicant registration and evaluation of essential entry criteria, e.g. documented proof of identity, immigration status, confirmation of award of medical degree, foundation competences etc.

Once you have registered and had your documentation collected and/or checked, you will have your photograph taken. This is simply to ensure that the assessors can identify you during the selection process.

If you are booked to attend Selection Centre and are unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances or an emergency, you must contact the organising HEE Local Office or Deanery directly to ascertain whether alternative arrangements can be made. Alternative arrangements cannot be guaranteed.

All HEE Local Offices and Deaneries are aware of the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 as detailed in Section 7.4. Extra time is only available for the written assessment. If you feel that there are any particular issues related to a disability need you may have, you MUST discuss these with the HEE Local Office or Deanery before the assessment as no adjustment can be made for any applicant afterwards.

Applicants should note that children are not permitted at Selection Centre.

Important: On arrival at Selection Centre, if you find you have a conflict of interest with a panel member, for example you are already familiar with them and you are not comfortable in being assessed by them; it is your responsibility to inform a member of the recruitment team at your earliest opportunity so that alternative arrangements can be made, such as being interviewed by a neutral panel member.

19.1 Dress Code

Recruitment and selection may involve contact with simulated patients who should be treated as if they were patients, for clinical communication and assessment of clinical performance. Conventionally in the UK, formal professional practice between doctors and patients is appropriately marked by a certain formality of dress. The same dress code will apply for selection centre as it does for day to day clinical practice/contact with patients; this means that forms of dress should not constrain the applicants’ ability to demonstrate recognised skills. All doctors should ensure their appearance does not impede their professional roles and responsibilities; including communication with patients, relatives, carers and other staff. Inappropriately revealing styles such as low-cut necklines and mini-skirts, dangling jewellery/accessories should be avoided. Equally, forms of dress that cover the face will normally be deemed inappropriate in such consultations.

19.2 Selection Centre Format

At the Selection Centre each applicant will have a number of opportunities to demonstrate some of the competences outlined in the GP ST1 Person Specification. Each of these competences will be assessed more than once in a number of exercises which are observed and assessed by trained assessors.

There are no interviews and assessors do not have access to your application form, your CV or any other biographical information.

The competences that are assessed at Selection Centre are:

  • Communication Skills
  • Empathy & Sensitivity
  • Conceptual Thinking & Problem Solving
  • Professional Integrity

Please refer to the GP ST1 Person Specification for more information about these.

There will be a briefing session at the start of your Selection Centre session and an opportunity for questions at the end of it; this is NOT a feedback session. Feedback on your performance will be given later and will be after the offers have been made.

19.2.1 Simulation Exercises

These will involve simulators and 3 different situations:

  • A consultation with a patient
  • A consultation with a relative or carer
  • A consultation with a non-medical colleague

They do not involve a physical examination and clinical expertise is not specifically assessed. The time allowed for each is 10 minutes.

19.2.2 Written Exercise

The written exercise will require some prioritisation or ranking of issues and a justification of your responses. The time allowed for the written exercise is 30 minutes.

All exercises will have specific and individual written instructions, with advice to spend time reading and being familiar with the requirements of the exercise. You can download example Selection Centre Scenarios from GPNRO website.

19.3 Preparation hints

  • Be yourself and be natural. Do NOT “act”
  • Listen and read carefully all instructions given on the day about the exercises
  • Be honest
  • Trust the process which has always had excellent applicant evaluation; specifically the evaluation says the process is fair, even from those who are not successful first time
  • Practice the example scenarios with your colleagues by all means but we do NOT recommend that you to book commercial courses or purchase advice and guidance books specifically aimed at doctors undertaking the GP Selection Centre. None of the GP assessors take part in or endorse any preparation courses or books

    • We understand that applicants may wish to revise and prepare for Selection Centre with each other in small groups and would encourage this. However, sharing information about the actual Selection Centre is unacceptable and is viewed as unprofessional behaviour. Assessments at Selection Centre are competency based and there is published evidence demonstrating that prior knowledge of the content and context of assessment does not positively affect performance. We would counsel applicants against altering their behaviour based on the advice of other applicants. We also remind applicants that entry to GP Specialty Training is competitive.

20. References

You are required to give details of your last three clinical or educational supervisors from your current post, your previous post and the post before that. You will be able to amend referee details on Oriel up until the point the reference has been submitted.

Referees are required to submit references electronically, using an on-line referee portal in Oriel, once offers have been released. You will be advised, via your Oriel portal, when your referee has submitted their reference.

All offers made will be on the condition of the HEE Local Office or Deanery receiving three satisfactory references. Obtaining references is an applicant’s responsibility. The HEE Local Office or Deanery will NOT chase your referees.

In rare cases there may be a need for your reference to be provided on paper. We will instruct you if this is necessary. You can download a Structured National Reference Form from the Oriel Resource Bank.

21. Offers

All offers will be made via Oriel by GPNRO. Offers received in any other way will be deemed invalid. If you are made an offer, you will need to respond to this on Oriel.

Applicants will be ranked in a single list nationally based on their performance throughout the selection process. Applicants who qualified for the Direct Pathway to Offers will be ranked first, above those who were deemed appointable via the Selection Centre. Offers are made in rank order based on this national ranking.

Initial offers will be released by close of business on the first offer date published for the current round (see the GPNRO website). Please do not contact GPNRO about offers prior to this date, as it could delay the release.

You will be given 48 hours (exclusive of weekends) to respond to an offer and have the option to accept, decline or hold. Only one offer can be held at any one time, across all specialty applications in a round. If you fail to respond to an offer within the 48 hour window you will be deemed to have declined the offer.

If you are holding an offer and try to hold another, the original held post will be automatically declined by the system.

Once you have accepted a post, you will not receive any further offers from any other specialty in this round (i.e. it will withdraw you from all other applications you have in the recruitment round).

Offers that are declined will be reoffered in rank order to other applicants.

If you choose to hold an offer, you can keep this offer held up until the hold deadline published for the current round (see the GPNRO website). Before this deadline, you will be required to go back into Oriel and make a final decision on the offer. Any offers still held when the deadline is reached will be deemed to have been declined and the system will automatically change your status to show that you have declined the post.

After the hold deadline has passed, any offers made will only have the option of accept or decline.

Please note:

  • Applicants whose immigration status would require an employer to obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship can only be made an offer if there are no remaining suitable UK/EEA applicants.
  • Applicants who let their offer expire (and are withdrawn from the recruitment process) can be reinstated if they contact the GPNRO; however, their original offer cannot and will not be guaranteed.
22. Upgrading of Offers

If you rank highly enough to be made an offer, this will be made to the highest ranked Training Programme preference that is available when your interview rank is reached. If this Training Programme offer is suitable for you and you do not want to be considered for any other preferences you have ranked higher, you can choose to simply accept it.

However, applicants do have the option of getting one of their higher ranked GP Training programme preferences, should they become available, by opting into upgrading. The upgrading option is available to all offers that have been held or accepted, but not where an offer has been declined. An applicant who has accepted or held an offer can opt in or out of upgrading at any time during the window which runs until the upgrade deadline published for the current round (see the GPNRO website). Please be aware that due to the ranking of your GP Training Programme preferences you may move into a different HEE Local Office or Deanery if you are upgraded.

If you opt into upgrading and a higher preferenced offer becomes available, the upgrade will be automatic. You will be placed in the higher preferenced post without GPNRO making any further contact with you and you will not be given 48 hours to decide whether you wish to accept or decline the new post. If an upgrade is made, the previously held or accepted post will be released and will be reoffered to another applicant.

Once you have been upgraded you will be sent an automated message through Oriel to inform you of this. Details of the upgrade made will be available in the relevant section on Oriel.

Once the upgrading deadline has passed, no further upgrades will be offered, even if one of your higher preferenced GP Training Programme becomes available at a later date.

Please note:

  • There is NO facility to downgrade an offer for an applicant who has been automatically upgraded in to a higher ranker preference.
23. Further Preferencing within Offered Training Programme

Once you have accepted an offer of training at a HEE Local Office or Deanery and the upgrade deadline has passed, you will be asked, by the offered HEE Local Office or Deanery, to indicate your preferred geography and/or rotational posts from those that are available within the Training Programme that you have accepted.

Information regarding these further preferences will be published on individual HEE Local Office or Deanery web sites.

GPNRO does not have any involvement in this process. Any queries relating to this should be sent to the region where the training offer was received.

23.1 Allocation of Trainees within Local Training Programmes

Once offered a Training Programme within a HEE Local Office or Deanery it is expected that further preferences will be based on individual ranking and achievement over the exercises involved in the selection process, i.e. higher performing applicants are offered a higher preference from the pool of local training programmes/rotations on offer.

There is, however, a risk associated with the lower level of allocations to programme level if done purely by choice. Therefore, each HEE Local Office or Deanery has developed its own allocation policy to mitigate risk. You should visit the website of the relevant HEE Local Office or Deanery for further information on this.

24. Clearing and Other Opportunities for GP Training

Using the Single Transferable Score model in GP recruitment there will be no option for clearing. Therefore, if you do not receive an offer in this round of recruitment it will be for one of two reasons:

  1. All of your GP Training Programme preferences being accepted before your rank is reached (this could happen even if you are considered appointable in the process).
  2. You were unsuccessful at a certain part of the recruitment process (you will be notified if this is the case).

For any applicants that fall into one of these two categories GPNRO will signpost you to further opportunities that you may be interested in to assist you in fulfilling your pursuit of a career in General Practice. We will send this information out to you at the time you are withdrawn from this recruitment process so please ensure you regularly check your messages throughout the recruitment window.

24.1 Preparation for Specialty Training (PST GP) – England only

PST GP is an opportunity to work for a year in one area of the country whilst receiving regular teaching and clinical exposure that will improve the skills required for admission to Specialty Training through the national selection process.

Applicants who have demonstrated Foundation Competences but have not successfully achieved the required standard at GP ST1 MSRA or Selection Centre will be eligible for consideration for this programme.

This scheme is coordinated by Health Education England working across the East Midlands. For further information, please contact

24.2 GP Foundation Year 2 (GPFY2) Pilot – England only

GP FY2 is a pilot programme in England which will be available to GP ST1 applicants who have been unable to demonstrate Foundation Competences in the set timescale and therefore unable to proceed through selection.

The aim of the programme is to support and assist future applications to GP training for any applicants who experience difficulty in demonstrating suitable evidence of Foundation Competences. On satisfactorily completion of the programme, you will be able to obtain a certificate of equivalent foundation experience.

This scheme is coordinated by the GPNRO on behalf of Health Education England. If you are interested, please submit an expression of interest as soon as possible to

25. Feedback

Applicants will be given feedback throughout the recruitment process and will not need to make a formal request to receive it.

Applicants that are rejected at the longlisting stage will be advised of the reason why their application was rejected; Applicants that are rejected following MSRA will be advised of their total scores, and the scores needed to be invited to Selection Centre; Selection Centre feedback will be released up to seven days after the initial offer date.

Applicants who wish to request feedback above and beyond the standard feedback that is provided (i.e. their actual score sheets) can do so by making a request to their interviewing region, not GPNRO. Please ensure you contact the region where you were interviewed directly and explain in the email that you wish to receive anonymised score sheets.

GPNRO expect the score sheets to be sent back to applicants within 20 working days however applicants must understand that in busy periods this could take longer to receive.

There is no further feedback that can be provided after score sheets have been requested.

26. Remaining vacancies

Any vacancies that are left unfilled at the end of this process will be re-advertised in a subsequent national process.

27. Offers of Employment & Pre-Employment Checks

The offer and allocation of a Training Programme referred to above is NOT an offer of employment. An employment contract detailing the terms and conditions of employment will be issued by the responsible employing organisation and is made subject to satisfactory pre-employment checks. Your offer of employment will include the name of your employer, the start date and length of the period of employment, the location, the hours, the minimum rate of remuneration and the notice period applicable.

Information regarding pay, hours, sick pay and annual leave entitlements, notice period, study leave, pension scheme etc. are set out in the national terms and conditions available from NHS Employers. A framework for a written contract of employment for GP specialty registrars is also available from the BMA. Individual HEE Local Office or Deanery websites may also provide additional local information and links to individual employer websites.

The employing organisation carry out a number of pre-employment checks before an offer of employment can be confirmed. These will include verification of identity, registration and qualifications, right to work (immigration), employment history and employment reference checks (these are different from the clinical reference checks that the HEE Local Office or Deanery needs), a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and an occupational health check. Some of these (verification of identify, registration and qualifications and right to work for example) may also be undertaken by the HEE Local Office or Deanery during the recruitment process.

28. Applicant Interview Expenses

Any claims for expenses incurred in travelling to a Selection Centre should be made to the region that interviewed you, not the GPNRO. This should normally be a venue close to your residence or place of work. You will be expected to explain why this is not the case if you appear to have excessive expenses.

Please contact the organising HEE Local Office or Deanery for further guidance on their expenses policy.

29. Application Numbers Update - Round 1, 2017

Below are the UK wide GP recruitment application numbers for Round 1, August commencement as they currently stand compared to last year; application numbers are not indicative of final fill rates.

Round Total Application Nunbers
Round 1, August 2016 4863
Round 1, August 2017 5096
Difference +233