GP ST3 (Combined programme) Surrey, previously Core Surgery
I completed my Core Surgery training in London before applying for GP. I’d heard that several of my surgical colleagues up and down the country had managed to complete their training in 2.5 years rather than 3 and was keen to see if my previous experience would count. For me this was a huge incentive to switch to general practice.
When I looked into it, I found that there were essentially two different routes to apply to which could enable me to complete training in less than three years via the Accreditation of Transferable Competencies Framework (ATCF) or Certificate of Eligibility for GP Registration (CEGPR) Combined Programme. Since I applied, these are now known as ATC and CCT(CP) pathways under Combined Training.
It transpired that the ATCF pathway allowed 6-months to contribute to a CCT qualification for the following specialities only: medicine, paediatrics, obs and gynae, psychiatry and anaesthetics. This cannot be applied for retrospectively and needs to be requested on the Oriel GP specialty training application form. Changes have been made and now you can apply with experience from any relevant specialty, and not just those listed above.
I applied for the CEGPR (combined programme) pathway, as that was the only route open to me at the time, coming from a surgical background. I contacted the Specialist Application team at the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) who were extremely helpful and guided me through the process. I submitted several pieces of evidence (e.g. previous work-based assessments, reflections and ARCP reports) which were reviewed before my training programme could be amended.
The 6-months of previous experience was credited to the last 6 months of my GPST2 year. I was able to sit down with the GP Education Assistant at my hospital to structure my rotations so that I covered all the specialities that I had limited experience in.
You’ll need to apply for Combined Training as soon as you have access to your trainee portfolio within the first month of training so that your application can be reviewed at the first ARCP, which takes place after 6 months. I’d recommend contacting your programme director and RCGP well in advance to arrange all of this.
Overall, I found it difficult to find the information I wanted - probably like many of you reading this but when I finally liaised with the RCGP about the process it was very straight forward and quick.
Lastly, good luck to anyone applying for GP and especially those making the move from higher specialty training as I know first-hand this can be very daunting to start off with!