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GP return to practice programme

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 a UK 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 or in another specialty. Those GPs with GMC and/or MPL conditions should contact the local Primary Care Associate Medical Director in the first instance. 

All GPs are required to be on the MPL before they can practise. The RtP programme must be completed before GPs can be approved for full inclusion onto the MPL and to work as an independent GP.

Once you have decided which programme is appropriate to you, please click on the following link to complete the registration form. (Please note, the application process is administered by the GP NRO and this link will take you to pages hosted by Health Education England).

The RtP programme has two pathways detailed below:

  1. Return via Learning Needs Assessment
    • For GPS who have previously worked in the NHS as a GP but have not been working for 2 years or more
    • You are required to undertake the Learning Needs Assessments:
      • The Multiple Choice Questionnaire (MCQ) consists of two papers, a Clinical Problem Solving MCQ and a Professional Dilemma’s MCQ
      • Followed by a Simulated Surgery unless you attain a high enough score to bypass this stage
    • This is followed by a tailored clinical placement of up to 6 months (whole time equivalent)
  2. Return via Portfolio Route
    • 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
    • Evidence of current clinical work is submitted in a Portfolio to the RCGP panel for review
    • Followed by a re-orientation placement of up to 3 months

More information on the RCGP portfolio route process