GP Return to Practice Scheme (2021)

GP Return to Practice Programme (2021)

***An animation is coming soon***

The NHS GP Return to Practice (RtP) programme provides a safe, supported pathway for qualified GPs to return to NHS General Practice after an absence of more than 2 years.

It is designed for GPs who have previously been on the GMC GP Register and NHS England’s  Medical Performers List (MPL) and would like to return to work in general practice after a career break, raising a family or time spent working abroad.

All GPs are required to be on NHS England’s Medical Performers List before they can practice. The RtP programme must be completed before GPs can be approved for full inclusion on to the Medical Performers List and to work as an independent GP.

For doctor’s who have not been in practise for more than 2 years but have remained on the Medical Performers List, please contact your local NHS Medical Director (or delegated officer). In these instances, you may be able to apply for the MPL refresher route in which case the initial application should to be made by the local NHS England medical team on your behalf.

The UK is made up of four countries and you will need to click on one of the following links for information on their schemes if you plan to work in one of these regions:

RCGP link

Any doctor with NHS E&I medical performers list or GMC conditions/ undertakings who is required to complete a remedial training plan imposed by NHS England and is considering a return to NHS general practice should contact their NHS England regional team to discuss their circumstances and level of support. 


In the RtP programme there are two different pathways:

1. Return via Learning Needs Assessments Route

a. For GPs who have previously worked in the NHS as a GP but have not been working for 2 years or more

b. An MCQ consisting of two papers, a Clinical Problem Solving MCQ and a Professional Dilemma’s MCQ (also known as the Situational Judgement Test)

c. Followed by a Simulated Surgery unless the doctor attains a by-pass score in the MCQ’s

d. Followed by a tailored Clinical Placement of up to 6 months

2. Return via Portfolio Route

a. For GPs who have previously worked in the NHS as a GP but have not worked in the UK for 2 to 10 years but instead have been working in an equivalent Primary Care role elsewhere

b. Evidence of current clinical work is submitted in a Portfolio to the RCGP panel for review

c. Followed by a one-month re-orientation in a GP placement

3. Return via MPL Refresher Route

a. Programme to assist NHS England Medical Directors with access to the existing tools to support GPs who for whatever reason have remained on the Medical Performers List but who have not worked in an NHS primary medical care setting in the preceding twenty-four months and the GP and the Medical Director have agreed that the GP needs to access the programme tools to enable them to return safely back to NHS primary medical services.

Once you have decided which pathway is appropriate to you, please click on the following link to complete the registration form.

Features of the RtP Programme include:

Access to a dedicated account manager to help guide you through the entire process and provide support and advice with:

  • completing relevant paperwork
  • arranging occupational health assessments
  • arranging indemnity
  • coordinating assessments and placements


Financial support is available and this includes:

  • help with indemnity costs
  • help towards the costs of child or social care
  • a monthly clinical placement bursary of up to £3,500
  • help with visa costs and sponsorship for UK-qualified, non-EEA clinicians
  • information regarding help with funding can be found here


More information about the programme can be found on this website by watching our short film, reading our step by step guide and FAQs.

Useful Links –