GP with a Special Interest (GPwSI) accreditation

GPs with Extended Roles (GPwERs)

In February 2015 RCGP Council agreed the term GP with an Extended Role to encompass the following:

  • An activity that is beyond the scope of GP training and the MRCGP, and that a GP cannot carry out without further training or
  • An activity undertaken within a contract or setting that distinguishes it from standard general practice or
  • An activity offered for a fee outside of care to the registered practice population

This definition of GPwER includes those previously referred to as GPs with Special Interests (GPwSIs).

Current arrangements for the accreditation of GPwSIs in England

Until the end of March 2013, Primary Care Trusts were responsible for the accreditation and re-accreditation of GPwSIs in England using the 2007 guidance: Implementing care closer to home Convenient quality care for patients. Part 3: The Accreditation of GPs and Pharmacists with Special Interests [PDF].  

View the Current arrangements [PDF] and checklist template [PDF] to support the re-accreditation of GPwSIs. There is some regional variation in approach so we would advise GPs to check local arrangements with their Responsible Officer or CCG. GPwSIs based in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland should check arrangements with the relevant local organisations. 

The RCGP is working with NHS England to develop a new process for the accreditation of GPwERs, and discussions are being informed by the findings of a pilot the College undertook in partnership with the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) in 2014-2015 to evaluate processes to support the assessment of GPs with extended scopes of practice in dermatology. 

Read the report of a Pilot study in Assessing GPs with Extended Roles in Dermatology and Skin Surgery [PDF]. In the current time, we would advise all GPs to follow the generic 2007 guidance (see above) and any specialist framework that is available (see below) – but also check arrangements with their local Responsible Officer or commissioning organisation and provider.

Existing GPwSI frameworks

Between 2007 and 2013 the RCGP accredited a number of frameworks which set out the competences, educational attainment, and service provision considered important for the commissioning of a GPwSI. The exact requirements will be determined by the commissioning body, drawing on the framework and taking into account the needs of the locality.
As these frameworks are in the process of being reviewed they should be agreed with any relevant commissioning body and provider before being used.

Frameworks for GPs and pharmacists

The following frameworks were created for both GPs and pharmacists with a special interest (collectively known as Practitioners with a Special Interest or PwSsI).

Frameworks for GPs only

The following frameworks are for GPwSIs only.

Contact us

If you have questions about the GPwSI frameworks, contact

Useful links

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