Step-by-Step Guide

Step-by-Step Guide to the Return to Practice Programme

Once you have registered with the GP National Recruitment Office (GPNRO) for the programme, you will be linked to the HEE programme lead for the area you wish to move too and also have help from a dedicated account manager from the NHS England Cheshire & Mersey team who will guide you through the Medical Performers List (MPL) application process when required and help you secure any financial and practical support you need.

As described on this website, there are a few steps you will need to undertake to be able to register and work as a GP in the NHS.

Please Note - From 1 January 2021, all EEA nationals (except Irish citizens) and international doctors will require a Health and Care Worker visa to work in the UK. For details on Visa applications and support from NHS England and NHS Improvement when applying please follow this link (Health and Care Worker Visa requirements for non UK citizens).

Register for the programme

Apply for the Return to Practice programme as soon as you know you want to join or need advice about it. Information about the programme can be found on this website or you can go straight to the application form here.

GMC registrations and obtain licences

Qualified GPs with previous GP experience will need to renew their GMC registration and Licence to Practise (LtP) for the programme. You will also be required to have a face to face document check in London or Manchester.

We will start assessing your learning needs

Once your registration for the RtP programme has been processed, your details will be passed to an HEE lead in the area you intend to practise. They will arrange an appointment to review your previous training and experience and advise on the next steps.

Prior to the appointment, you will be given access to complete the Self-Assessment

This appointment can be done face-to-face, or by phone or Skype if you are living overseas. You will also be given a dedicated HEE Programme Manager to help guide you through the programme process. Once you’ve been accepted onto the scheme the HEE lead will guide you through the learning needs assessment and arrange access to the on-line learning resources.

The HEE local team can arrange short observational placements before you sit and pass the Learning Needs Assessments (LNA) and commence a clinical RtP placement to help familiarise yourself with the role of a current NHS GP.

To practise as an NHS GP in the UK you have apply to be on the Medical Performers List, (MPL) your application will be managed by the North West NHS E/I team.

If you are returning to practice after two years or more, you must complete the RtP programme to be included as an independent practitioner on the Medical Performers List.

If you are undertaking the learning needs assessment pathway you should only book to take the multiple-choice questions (MCQ) when you are ready. This may be deferred for up to 12 months from date of initial registration to allow you time to prepare for the assessments. The GPNRO will review with you your plans at 6 and 12 months to check if you still plan to enter the RtP programme.

There is now one NHS England team, based in Liverpool, to help you manage your initial application for the Medical Performers List. Once you have completed all the assessments required, your Medical Performers List registration will be passed to the local NHS England team.

Please click on this link for further detailed information on the step by step guidelines for each RtP pathway.

Eligibility for the programme does not guarantee acceptance onto the programme which is dependent on funding and availability of willing practices for placements.

To apply for the scheme, please complete the RtP registration form and email this with the required supporting information to

Don’t forget you can also read our FAQs.