International GP Recruitment Programme

NHS England welcome applications from established family doctors from overseas and international medical graduates looking to train as a GP in England.

The main route available to you as an established doctor is the GP International Induction Programme, which provides a safe, supported and direct route for qualified GPs to join NHS general practice in England.

If you choose to join the scheme you will be able to access benefits and tailored support as you work through the programme. This includes a personal approach to meet your needs, experience and personal commitments, including financial and practical support. You will also have a dedicated account manager to guide you through the process.

Family doctors who were trained outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) will need to have the Certificate of Eligibility for GP Registration. Streamlined CEGPR routes are available for doctors from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.

There is also support in place to help international medical graduates who want to train as a GP in England.

If you would like to discuss your options or have any queries regarding this, please email NHS England.

Working in the UK

For the right to work and practise in the United Kingdom (UK) as a general practitioner (GP) or family doctor, you need to meet these specific requirements:

  • You must be registered and licensed to practise with the General Medical Council. The GMC checks your qualifications and whether your training is equivalent to that of a UK trained GP.
  • There are different types of registration applications available to GPs based on their knowledge, skills and experience. Details of these are available on the GMC website. The most common routes for doctors trained outside the UK are: Direct entry – equivalent recognition; Certificate of Eligibility for GP Registration (CEGPR) or Joint Committee on Postgraduate Training for General Practice (JCPTGP).
  • You must prove as a GP that you have the necessary knowledge of English to communicate effectively so that the safety of patients is not potentially put at risk. In the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) a score of at least 7.0 in each of the four areas tested (speaking, listening, reading and writing) and an overall score of 7.5 is required by the GMC.
  • You must satisfy immigration requirements set by the Home Office and have permission to work. For GPs that require visas to work in the UK, there are separate processes for the I&R Scheme. You must complete an induction and be included on the NHS England Medical Performers List (MPL).The MPL states you are fit to practise as an independent practitioner. For the application process visit the online portal.

Working as a GP in England

General practitioners (GPs) deal with a range of health problems and are usually the first person a patient turns to for help. They are general experts in the whole field of medicine and see both children and adults.

GPs usually work in practices, often leading teams which include nurses, healthcare assistants, practice managers, receptionists and other staff. GPs provide continuing medical care for patients in the community or they will refer patients to hospitals or clinics for further assessment or treatment by specialists. Nine out of ten NHS patients are seen in English general practice, and nearly nine out of ten patients rate their experience of their GP practice as good.

GPs manage the widest range of health problems providing:

  • diagnoses and risk assessments
  • support for people with complex and multiple health conditions
  • coordination of long-term care
  • support for the physical, social and psychological aspects of patients’ wellbeing throughout their lives

They are also involved in deciding how health and social services should be organised to deliver safe, effective and accessible care to patients in their communities.

The Royal College of General Practitioners has produced a useful guide for overseas doctors interested in living and working in the UK more broadly, including England: Living and working in the UK as a GP: a guide for overseas doctors and their families.


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