Learning Needs Pathway

Learning Needs Assessment Pathway for the Return to Practice Programme

The GP Return to Practice (RtP) programme includes a number of elements which help us advise on the best support programme for you - tailored to meet your individual learning needs, experience and personal commitments. These are:

Educational Review (ER): Once you have registered your intention to enter a RtP programme, the NRO will link you to an HEE Training Programme Director (TPD) in the area you plan to live who will review your training and experience to help guide your formal application and plan your learning needs.

Self-Assessment 2021: There are three 100 MCQ question banks to help you self-assess your own current knowledge and help plan your individual learning needs with the HEE contact during the initial educational review. Although not mandatory, when completed prior to the educational review (ESR) and shared with the Training Programme Director, the results from the Self-Assessment can aid discussion during the review. 

The Self-Test (ST) modules as of April 26th have been updated and revised.  They have been renamed as the Self-Assessmernt 2021 (SA 1-3) modules to help oidentify the 2 different versions.  Please see this letter explaining the changes that have been made and what assessments you should undertake (link to letter)

On-Line Learning Resources: Following on from the ER, the NRO will arrange access to all the on-line resources to allow you to start refreshing your current clinical knowledge.

Mandatory E-learning modules: These are designed to help you understand the current structure and function of the NHS. It also includes modules which are required for your Medical Performers List (MPL) application.

Observational placements: These are short placements which allow you to spend time with a GP to learn about their role and work of an NHS GP in todays’ rapidly changing service. The ‘host’ GP practice will receive a small payment to support the cost of their time.

The Learning Needs Assessment Pathway consists of the following Assessments -

Multiple choice questions (MCQ) This is completed on-line and there are two parts to the assessment:

  • a clinical problem-solving paper (CPS)
  • a professional dilemma’s paper (PD) (This is a situational judgement paper).


There are eight sittings a year in venues across the UK and in approved sites worldwide. Which means if you are working overseas you can complete this part of the programmee without moving to England. The schedule of sittings can be found here. Detailed information is available in the MCQ learning needs assessment guidance document.

Guidelines on Learning Needs Assessment Attempts 

Workplace based assessments (WPBA) You will have regular workplace-based assessments during your supervised placement at a GP surgery. These assessments include teamwork, clinical and communication skills based around observed consultations, case-based discussions and clinical procedure observations. It also includes 360-degree feedback from patients (patient satisfaction questionnaires, PSQ) and colleagues (multi-source feedback, MSF). Results are recorded in the NHS RtP logbook. The WPBA report is then submitted to the NHS Medical Performers List to allow sign off upon satisfactory completion of your placement.