Applying for GP Speciality Training

All applicants are now required to go through the national recruitment process - this is accessible on-line at The National Recruitment Office for General Practice Training (known as the NRO) website. 

In brief this is a three-stage process:-

STAGE 1 - Determination of Eligibility

For your application to be accepted you need:

  • To hold a recognised primary medical qualification
  • To be fully registered with the UK GMC at the time of application OR passed both parts of PLAB and be eligible for full UK GMC registration at time of application
  • To have recently achieved Foundation Competency
  • To be able to demonstrate proficiency in English language
  • To be able to legally work in the UK

STAGE 2 - Assessment 1

Computer Based Test in a designated Pearson Vue Test centre.  There are centres throughout the UK. There are two papers:

  • Professional Dilemmas (120 mins)
  • Clinical Problem Solving (90 mins)

STAGE 3 - Assessment 2 (SAC)

SAC stands for "Selection Assessment Centre". Again, these are taken at designated centres and consist of two separate assessments.

  • Patient Simulation Exercises
  • Written Exercise


STAGE 4 - Allocation & Offer

Quote from the NRO: "Programmes will be allocated to successful candidates depending upon performance at the SAC, the training programme required and availability of a suitable vacancy.

The three-year training programme:

There are eighteen vacancies each year for the three-year programmes starting in August. These will be advertised centrally by the Eastern Region Deanery with advertisements appearing in the BMJ in January/February for the August posts each year.

Stand-Alone ST posts:

These are often available in specialities appropriate to training for General Practice, and can be particularly valuable for those doctors who have completed several ST posts. These will be advertised by the Hospital. These STs are very welcome to attend the GPVTS release courses and are often able to arrange cover to do so.

The Registrar Year in General Practice:

These posts are rarely available in West Essex, as most of the Registrar posts in General Practice are attached to the three-year programme. These posts will be advertised centrally twice a year in the same way as three- year posts. 
Formal application will need to be made to the East of England Multi-Professional Deanery, but you are welcome to contact the Programme Directors or the individual trainers for details about the practices.