International GP Recruitment Programme

As part of the GP Forward View (GPFV), NHS England aims to recruit 2,000 GPs from overseas by 2020 in order to increase capacity in general practices and help to address GP workload issues.

These GPs will receive training and support in order for them to be able to practice independently and settle both professionally and personally.

NHS England, Health Education England (HEE), CCGs and other partners will be working closely with interested practices to ensure that support is in place to allow them to support GPs and ensure the successful delivery of this programme.

If you have any further queries about the programme or would like to have a meeting to discuss further please email: england.nottsderbyigpr@nhs.net


Recruitment information and how it works

A recruitment company has been appointed to provide recruitment and relocation services to interested GPs, initially focusing its efforts on Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Spain. We are hopeful, however, that the scope of the programme will soon be extended to non-EEA countries.

The recruitment companies will carry out initial checks and a first interview will be held over Skype in the candidate’s home country to determine their suitability for the programme. This Skype interview will also feature representatives from health bodies in this country.

If successful, the candidate will then travel to the area for two days for an event which will be designed by HEE and organised by NHS England. As part of this there will be a second interview and a chance for interested practices to meet with candidates – we are currently working on how this will take place, but it could be in the form of practice visits, mini interviews or a speed-dating style event, depending on the number of candidates.

Following this, successful applicants will be sent an offer of a place on the programme and confirmation of the practice where they will be based.

Relocation Arrangements

NHS England is commissioning relocation services on a national basis and will fund travel and removal costs and provide support with essentials such as bank accounts, utilities, GP registration and schools.
The NHS England regional team will work alongside practices to ensure that GPs are welcomed to the area and helped to settle in, and a budget exists to aid with retention of these GPs once they are in the country.

Employment and Training Arrangements

On moving to England, the GP will initially complete around three months of an acclimatisation process in the employing practice to prepare for the Induction & Refresher (I&R) assessments and improve their English language skills. The GP will then spend around six months treating patients with supervision and support from a senior GP whilst continuing to meet their educational needs.

The international GP will sign a contract that will last for three years and commence prior to the acclimatisation phase. The contract of employment will be between the GP and the employing practice, but NHS England will cover all employment costs throughout the training process until the GP is able to practice independently. At that point the practice will become responsible for paying the GP.

The precise length of these placements will depend on an assessment by HEE of the GP’s competency and English language proficiency. HEE will work with the GP through these two placements to provide the training they need. A three way learning agreement will be signed between the recruiting practice, NHS England and the GP and will cover salary levels, contract length and penalties or claw back measures for GPs that exit the programme.

Further information on the training package available to international GPs and supervision arrangements can be provided by the NHS England regional team, whose details are at the end of this document.


Programme costs are fully met by NHS England, including recruitment, relocation and training costs. Funding will be provided to STPs/CCGs to fund local integration and retention measures for recruited GPs and GPs’ incomes during the induction/training phase will be reimbursed to practices via CCGs.

Observation Stage

  • Net pay to candidate: £3000 per month
  • Practice on-costs reimbursed
  • During observation stage the candidate will be out of the practice training for two days per week with HEE and English language provider.

Supervised Placement (up to six months)

  • Net pay to candidate: £3,500 per month
  • Practice on-costs reimbursed

Supervisors will receive payment for the work carried out and practices will receive a payment of £678 per month for each international GP being trained in their practice during the two placement phases.

Overview of IGP Process

The Learning Agreement

  • ‘Clinical Supervisor’: The GP trained within the employing organisation, who supports the educational and clinical development of the participant, according to HEE guidance.
  • ‘Employing Organisation’: The approved GP practice or organisation through which the participant is employed for the duration of the three year IGPR Programme.
  • HEE local office’: The NHS regional organisation responsible for postgraduate medical and dental training within the NHS in England.
  • IGPR Programme’: The three year International GP Recruitment Programme which is delivered by NHS England in partnership with a number of organisations such as Health Education England (HEE) and the General Medical Council (GMC). This includes a preparatory phase, completion of the Induction and Refresher (I&R) scheme and period of employment for the remainder of the programme as a qualified GP.
  • IGPR Programme Team’: The team within NHS England responsible for the development and delivery of the IGPR Programme, in collaboration with partnership organisations, contracted service provides (their global organisations and subcontractors).
  • ‘Induction and Refresher scheme period’ or ‘I&R scheme period’: The period during which the participant is completing the Induction and Refresher (I&R) scheme
  • ‘International GP training salary’: The net salary the participant receives during the preparatory phase and the I&R scheme period after any deductions for income tax and National Insurance contributions. The employing organisation will receive a payment from NHS England to cover this cost.
  • ‘Post Induction and Refresher scheme period’ or ‘post I&R scheme period’: Denotes the period of employment as a salaried GP for the remaining term of the three year programme, following successful completion of both the preparatory phase and I&R scheme period, once the Participant holds full registration and a licence to practise with the General Medical Council (GMC) and has met the requirements for entry onto the National Medical Performers List (NPL) and can therefore practise as an independent GP within England.
  • ‘Preparatory phase’: Denotes the period prior to completion of the I&R scheme period, where participants are working within the GP practice, observing activities. This may include shadowing and training, learning about practice processes and procedures and familiarisation with the wider NHS and interdependent organisations and functions. This is a key requirement of the IGPR Programme and must be completed for participants to gain successful completion of the IGPR Programme.


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