Policies & Guidance


RCGP Speciality Training Guidance 

This guidance provides a specialty specific framework for the use of directors of postgraduate GP education, and training programme directors when planning and constructing GP training programmes. It is also a reference, rather than rules, for Local Office and Deanery (both henceforth referred to as Deaneries) administrators, GP specialty trainees and the RCGP Specialist Applications (GPSA) team.  Please click HERE for further information




If you flagged during recruitment that you would like some of your previous experience to be considered towards your GP Specialty Training Programme,  then you will need to complete and return the form below. 

Please see the guidance on ATCF at https://www.rcgp.org.uk/your-career/qualifying-as-a-gp/combined-training and then complete the attached form.  Please do not complete the form if you did not flag this on your application form.

ATC & Combined Training Eligibility Form

Combined Training Video Guidance for DiTs



Deferring Start to GP Training

If you have applied for GP training and now wish to defer your start date for statutory reasons, please complete the Deferral Request Form and submit to england.gptraining.nw@nhs.net


Problems During Training

Problems During Training in Hospital Placements

During your training programme you will be allocated to a GP Educator as your Educational Supervisor.  Appraisal and feedback will occur at several points during a six month post and areas that are causing concern for both parties should be flagged up at an early stage and discussed to try and solve the problem(s).  Written records should be kept at each meeting. The Programme Director will also be in contact during each job, providing some educational sessions and support. The Programme Director will also liaise with your Clinical Supervisors whilst in the hospital placements. If a problem arises that cannot be resolved or is difficult to discuss with the department, the Programme Director should be involved. If required, an Associate Director should be involved at an early stage.

Problems During Training in GP Placements

Your trainer will provide regular appraisal and feedback during your placement.  Problems can arise within the practice and, on occasions, may be difficult to resolve (your trainer is responsible for teaching, assessing, and potentially providing references).
If the problem(s) cannot be resolved in the practice, it should be discussed with your Programme Director. Following this discussion, you will agree with the Programme Director on the best way forward. If the trainer has a concern, this will also be discussed with the Programme Director. If required, an Associate Director should be involved at an early stage.


The General Medical Council advocates that doctors refrain from treating their own illnesses. If you think that you may have a health problem, then make an appointment to have it checked out.
Do not ignore the warning signs of sub-optimal mental health. Seek guidance from your general practitioner or the BMA Wellbeing Support Services (telephone number: 0330 123 1245 email - wellbeingsupport@bma.org.uk website). This is available 24 hours a day for doctors and their families to discuss personal, emotional, and work related problems. The service is free, apart from the cost of the call, which is charged at local rates.

We strongly recommend that you register with a General Practitioner who is not part of the practice you will be placed in during your programme.

Changing a Placement on a Training Programme

The reason(s) for changing the placement must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • a change in the rota and/or clinical experience which affects the delivery of training for general practice
  • duplication of clinical experience (this should be discussed and clarified at an early stage with the Programme Director)
  • breakdown of the relationship between DiT and consultant or GP Educational Supervisor

The proposal should not compromise the integrity of the established training programme.

The proposed change must be acceptable to the Trust and GP practices concerned. This includes the order in which the placements are undertaken. The change must not contravene equal opportunities legislation.

The proposal must be discussed with the Programme Director to check that the post meets the educational requirements of the individual.

If these requirements cannot be fulfilled, the programme must be completed as originally specified.

Resignation Process

  1. Doctor in training (DiT) to meet with Training Programme Director (TPD) to discuss
  2. DiT is to notify both lead employer, The GP School and the TPD by email giving 3 months’ notice as per contract
  3. DiT will be emailed a date for the exit ARCP date from the GP School which must take place before the DiT leaves the programme

What happens if a DiT wishes to resign early?

If you are not wishing to fulfil your contractual 3 month notice period then the DiT must complete an early resignation form from the lead employer  https://leademployer.sthk.nhs.uk/policies-and-forms?policy=6

This form must be completed by the relevant people and returned back to the lead employer, copying in the GP School.

The time of notice and your end date must be realistic to be able to have a completed full ESR, Form R and an ARCP panel please be aware that a non standard ARCP outcome may be awarded which may have an affect on any future training positions you wish to apply for.


Gold Guide 4.41

iv.           Where a trainee has resigned from a training programme (and dependent on the timing of this resignation), they should be informed that an ARCP panel will review their progress between their last ARCP and the point of resignation (unless the effective exit from the programme occurred within three months of the last ARCP).22 The trainee will need to complete Form R (GG9 Appendix 1) or the Scottish Online Appraisal Resource (SOAR) for the purposes of informing the revalidation process. The ARCP panel should document any relevant capabilities that have been achieved by the trainee; however, no outcome will be awarded, and the N21 and N22 codes should be utilised (GG9 Appendix 3 i) It is expected that trainees will engage in this process.

Any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Useful contacts

GP School england.gptraining.nw@nhs.net

Lead Employer lead.employer@sthk.nhs.uk

TPD Contacts https://nwpgmd.nhs.uk/general-practice/contacts#_Training_Programme_Directors



Transferring Training to Another LETB

If you have any queries, please read the DiT Guide to Inter Deanery Transfer and visit the IDT FAQs on the PGMDE Support Portal. If your query remains unanswered, please contact the team using an IDT query form on the portal. 

The IDT Team strongly encourages all those who apply to read the new guide prior to making an application, as well as referencing it while completing the online form.

The National Inter Deanery Transfer (IDT) process has been established to support DiTs who have had an unforeseen and significant change in their personal circumstances since the commencement of their current training programme which requires a move to a different region. The process is managed by the National IDT team (Health Education South London) on behalf of the Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans (COPMeD), Health Education England (HEE), and all UK regions.

In order to provide a consistent, transparent and robust process for all DiTs, the National IDT team will make all decisions on eligibility and allocations in accordance with the published guidelines and criteria. You can read these guidelines and criteria as well as find out much more about the process by visiting the National IDT webpages, which have been migrated to a new home on HEE’s specialty training website - https://specialtytraining.hee.nhs.uk/nationalIDT

All of the required documentation, supporting documents, and applicant guides are hosted on the specialty training website, and that applications will now be made via the Post Graduate Medical and Dental Education (PGMDE) Support Portal. All FAQs are now hosted on the PGMDE website which can be accessed via https://lasepgmdesupport.hee.nhs.uk/support/home

As part of the application process, all DiTs will be required to submit a ‘Deanery Document'. This form can be found on the National IDT website above and should be sent to your current region’s administrative team for completion. For GP DiT applications, this should be sent to nw.idt@hee.nhs.uk.

If you have any queries relating to the National Inter Deanery Transfer (IDT) process, please review the IDT Applicant guide and the frequently asked questions (FAQs) articles on the specialty training website: http://specialtytraining.hee.nhs.uk/National-IDT/Application-Portal  in the first instance. If you do not find an FAQ that has answered your question, you can submit an enquiry form to the National IDT team via the PGMDE support portal. The PGMDE support portal can be accessed at the following link; https://lasepgmdesupport.hee.nhs.uk/support/home.


Transferring within HENW (Intra LETB Transfer)

The HENW GP School Intra LETB Transfer (NWGPILT) process is set up to support GP Specialty DiTs who are required to relocate because they have had an unforeseen, significant change in personal circumstances enabling consideration to be given to a transfer to another Programme within HENW.


Spaces available for transfer are very limited and are therefore only available to DiTs with a demonstrable need. This need must be based on a significant unforeseen change in personal circumstances that have occurred since the current programme was accepted. The change must also require the DiT to relocate from their current address.

You are advised to read the policy document carefully before making an application.  Please click HERE to download.  

Please note we follow the IDT National window for applications IDT Application Window

The Application Form and supporting documents must be completed in FULL.  Please ensure that you make your application under the appropriate criteria and submit the correct paperwork. Incorrect or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Documents (for INTRA LETB Transfers only) -
Application Form
Supporting Document A
Supporting Document B
Supporting Document C
Supporting Document D

If you have any questions about this process please e-mail 

Travel Expenses Other Than for Educational Purposes

Travel expenses may also be claimed for travel during a general practice post, for purposes other than study, in accordance with the guidance. Information on this process can be found on the Lead Employer websites -

Lead Employer Shared Services Expenses

Revalidation for GP Specialty DiTs

Revalidation for all doctors is regular practice. Doctors in training will revalidate every 5 years and at CCT. The GMC recognises that supervision of DiTs is already to a high standard. As a DiT, you will be asked to complete an enhanced form R each year which enables you to make a positive statement of your fitness to practice. As part of revalidation you also need to ensure that you keep a record in your e-portfolio of any significant incidents or complaints you are involved in.

For more information see the section on revalidation on the website

Higher Professional Education

GP Specialty training is only the start of the education that you will require as a general practitioner and the time spent as a registrar in practice can seem insufficient to cover many of the skills you will need.  

HPE Foundation Course

Five study days held over the course of the year based on small group work where you can explore and learn about management skills and your own development.  Participants are expected to attend most or all of the days.

Less Than Full Time Training

All DiTs can apply for less than full-time training, further details can be located HERE


LTFT Champion 

If you have any queries regarding LTFT, please contact your Training Programme Director   


LTFT in a Hospital Placement

Please follow this link and complete the online eligibility form

LTFT in a GP placement (this includes ITPs and GP+ posts)

If you are applying to train less than full time in a GP based post (including GP+ and ITP posts), please complete the timetable template below in conjunction with your Programme Director, Educational Supervisor and GP Trainer and return to Helen Dykstra via e-mail (england.gptraining.nw@nhs.net).  Guidance on calculating hours and completing the timetable is also below.

Less Than Full time Training in a GP Post - Guidance

LTFT Timetable

DiTs that are applying for less than full time training are strongly advised to discuss their plans with their Training Programme Director at an early stage.  Please note any changes in percentages require a 16 week notice period.

Once your eligibility for less than full time training has been confirmed you should contact both your Clinical and Educational Supervisors prior to each post to plan accordingly.

In particular, all DiTs who are in less than full time training should familiarise themselves with the minimum assessment requirements for each review period as they are not pro-rata to full time requirements. Summary guidelines can be found via the hyperlink below.

All queries regarding LTFTT in a GP Programme should be directed e-mail: ltft.nw@hee.nhs.uk




Out of Programme

There are a number of circumstances in which DiTs may wish to take time out of their GP specialty training programme.  There may be educational benefits to DiTs in doing this but it poses problems for the GP School and GPSTs in ensuring continuity of service and of training for all DiTs. As a consequence taking time out of programme is a privilege that can only be granted to a minority of DiTs and therefore will only be granted when clear need is demonstrated.

When considering OOP for whatever reason you should be aware that you need to apply at least 6 months in advance of the date you would wish the OOP to commence.  This is applied very strictly and applications made within a shorter timescale will not be considered unless there are significant exceptional circumstances which cannot be met by other means. Supporting evidence will need to be submitted for all applications.

All applications for OOP should be discussed in advance with your Programme Director and lead employer where appropriate.

The Gold Guide outlines the circumstances under which DiTs are able to apply for time out of programme:

Guidance can be found HERE

Application Form can be found HERE

Please submit the GP OOP application form to Rebecca Smith at england.gptraining.nw@nhs.net.

Any queries regarding the OOP process for GPSTs should be directed to england.gptraining.nw@nhs.net.


Undertaking Additional Work During Training


DiTs may undertake locum or other work outside of their employed training programme provided certain conditions are met. Please see the Policy document for guidance and contact the GP School for clarification if required.

Guidance Document

Leave Arrangements for GP Trainees

Who to tell

If you are absent from training for any reason, or planning to be absent (i.e. maternity/paternity leave):

  • Let the Host Employer know
  • Let your practice / hospital education provider know
  • Let your Training Programme Director know

Remember if the sum total of the time you are way is more than 2 weeks per ST year you will need to make this time up before progressing to the next ST year which needs to be planned (it will not automatically be arranged) so please ensure you notify GP Training should you exceed the 14 day allowance - england.gptraining.nw@nhs.net.


Maternity Leave

Prior to going on maternity leave please ensure that you have your ESR completed at least 2 weeks but no sooner than 8 weeks before your ARCP panel date as well as your Form R uploaded onto your portfolio.  Your panel date will be visible on your portfolio. 


For those with only three months or less remaining of their GP training it is particularly important to consider the length of time off. If leave goes over 12 months with 3 months or less remaining an extension will be required.


Link to form R for ease HERE 

How to upload your Form R HERE 


Please also ensure that you have contacted your TPD to meet to discusss your leave.  You must also ensure that at least 12 weeks prior to your returm  you contact your TPD to plan your return to training.  You can find your TPDs contact details HERE


Suspension of Portfolio whilst on maternity leave 

DiTs are advised against suspending their RCGP e-portfolio during maternity leave. Please see the advice below: 

When a DiT plans to go on maternity leave they should let their employer know (hospital trust or GP Practice) as well as their Educational Supervisor, local GP Training Patch Office, and GP School team who can then advise on the various administrative steps that need to take place.

As soon as the Educational Supervisor is informed about a DiT’s proposed maternity leave, they should contact the DiT and arrange a date for an Educational Supervisor (ES) Review to be performed just before the leave commences. This review allows the ES to write a report on the DiT’s progress since the previous ES report up until the date of starting maternity leave.

Before starting Maternity leave the DiT must make sure that they continue to record their educational activity (assessments, learning log entries, etc.) even though this might be the last thing on their mind. If the DiT is leaving for maternity leave after only a few months of, for example, a hospital post it is essential that the DiT does some assessments and records their learning even in these months.

The RCGP is very careful to make sure that all periods of time in GP Training counts for educational purposes as well as service provision. If there is no evidence of any learning i.e. no log entries and no assessments, the RCGP certification department may regard this time as having no educational value at all to the DiT and ask that the GP School give the DiT an extension to compensate for this lost time.

Prior to Maternity leave Learning Log and PDP entries should be recorded at the usual rate appropriate for the DiT’s phase of training (ST1,2 or 3) and the number of assessments that need to be done for the ES review is pro-rata for the duration of the Educational Review period.


Keep in Touch Days - KIT Days

When DiTs go on maternity leave they are regarded as being “Out of Post” (OOP) and as such, there is no legal obligation for the DiT to maintain their e-Portfolio or do any work towards passing the WPBA part of the MRCGP. However, they can take the CSA and/or the AKT parts of the MRCGP. If they so wish to do so, the DiT must sit the examination during a “Keep in touch”(KIT) day.

A DiT may work for up to a maximum of 10 KIT days during her maternity leave. The work does not have to be consecutive and can include training or other activities that enable the employee to keep in touch with the workplace. These keeping in touch days do not normally count towards the 36 months training requirement. It should be noted that there is no central funding or reimbursements to support KIT days.

Although there is no obligation to maintain the e-portfolio it is considered beneficial if some entries are added – reading, professional conversations from KIT days, etc – this would demonstrate ongoing engagement in the learning process, whatever decision the DiT makes about their future.



Return to Training Guidance

We now run a Support Return to Training Programme. It was designed to improve the experience for all post graduate doctors who have been out of training for 3 months or more. 

DiTs who have been off work for more than 3 months will be required to attend a Return To Training meeting with their Training Programme Director and Educational Supervisor.  The policy is attached below.

Return to Training Guidance Document

Further details can be found below:

Supported Return to Training (SuppoRTT)


Dyslexia screening 

If you or your educators feel that you may have dyslexia, you need to contact the Lead Employer. 

Please refer to this link:  https://leademployer.sthk.nhs.uk/disability-support