Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT): guidance for GP trainees
To become a General Practitioner in the UK, you need to gain entry to the General Medical Council’s (GMC) GP register. For most UK trained GPs, this means undertaking a minimum of three years (full time equivalent) of specialty training on a GMC approved programme.
- Applying to join a GP training scheme
- Registering with the RCGP
- Training and assessment
- Applying for a CCT
- Other routes onto the GMC GP register
- Frequently asked questions
Applying to join a GP training scheme
To join a GP training programme in the UK, you will need to apply through the National Recruitment Office (NRO). The RCGP is not involved in the recruitment of GP trainees.
For more information about the application procedure and entry requirements, please refer to the NRO website.
Registering with the RCGP
Once you have been accepted on to a GP training programme and assigned a deanery or Local Education and Training Board (LETB), you can register with the RCGP. This will give you access to our Trainee ePortfolio which will allow you, your Educational Supervisors and your deanery or LETB to record your training, assessments and progress through your programme.
Training and assessment
You will complete a minimum of three years (whole time equivalent) of training. This may be longer if you are accepted onto an academic programme, an ST4 year or are awarded an educational scholarship. Please note that not all deaneries or LETBs offer academic training schemes.
If you are completing a Broad-based training (BBT) programme, or an Accreditation of Transferable Competencies (ATC) scheme, you may be required to complete less time; although these programmes would need to be applied for upon entry to the GP training scheme.
Throughout your training programme, you will document your learning and progress through your ePortfolio and your deanery or LETB will hold an Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) to review your progress through each ST year. The documentation from your ARCP Panels will be sent to the RCGP so we can monitor your training programme and ensure that you are on track to meet the requirements for CCT.
You should check each ARCP form carefully and notify your deanery or LETB of any amendments that need to be made before you sign it off electronically. This will help to avoid delays to your CCT.
Towards the end of your training programme, your deanery or LETB will hold a final ARCP Panel to determine if you have gained the requisite competences for licensing and met the requirements of the GP training programme. If so, they will sign you off from training via your ePortfolio. If you have not met these requirements, you may be awarded some additional training time.
When we receive your final ARCP form, we will check through the evidence submitted and ensure that it is in order and you have satisfied all the requirements for GP training, including completion of the MRCGP.
Applying for a CCT
You must apply to both the GMC and RCGP for your CCT:
- The GMC will invite you to apply to them within the last four months of your training. This will be done via a message to the email address you have provided to them and your application is made through your GMC online account.
- Application to the RCGP is automatic when your final ARCP form has been signed off and you have pressed the button that will appear in your ePortfolio labelled ‘Apply for CCT’. Clicking this will send your CCT application to us.
Once we have reviewed the evidence submitted and resolved any discrepancies, we will make a recommendation to the GMC on whether or not you are eligible for a CCT. This can take up to 15 working days, but may take longer if any of the documents are incomplete or we have any missing information.
The GMC will check our recommendation against your application to them and, if you are successful, will issue a CCT no sooner than 10 days before your completion date. You can check the progress of your application using your GMC online account.
If the GMC decides that you are not eligible for a certificate they will let you know, giving the reasons for their decision and recommendations for further training.
It is a legal requirement for your name to be listed on the GP register before you can work in NHS general practice in any capacity, so you must wait for your entry to the register before taking up employment.
You must also be included on your local performers list. Some performers list administrators will request sight of your certificate. The criteria for entry to a medical performers list are set out in the regulations for each of the four countries and information can be found here.
If you have any queries, please refer to our FAQs below. If your question has not been answered please contact the GP Specialist Applications team where an adviser can assist you.
Other routes onto the GMC GP register
If you haven’t completed a full GMC approved training programme, or have been released from training and completed the exam out of programme, you will need to use the CEGPR route to apply for entry to the GP register.
Inter Deanery Transfers
The National Inter Deanery Transfer (IDT) process has been put in place to support medical trainees who have had an unforeseen and significant change in circumstances since commencement of their current training programme. The process is managed by the National IDT team on behalf of the Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans (COPMeD), Health Education England (HEE) and all UK regions. If you are planning to apply for an IDT process please visit their website for guidance.
Frequently asked questions
Can I shorten my training programme with previous experience?
Aside from eligible ATC applicants, all trainees are recruited to three year run-through programmes. Those who are not, and who have had their training shortened with the use of previous experience may be required to apply for a CEGPR.
If you declare your intention to shorten your training with previous experience on your entry to the GP training scheme (via your Form R), you may be eligible to apply through the CEGPR (CP) route.
How do I apply for my CCT?
There are three steps in applying for your CCT:
Within the last four months of your training programme, the GMC will invite you to apply for your CCT online. You can do this at any point within the last few months of your training programme.
Within your last two months of your training programme, your deanery or LETB will hold your final ARCP Panel. If they are satisfied that you have met all the required competences for GP licensing, you will be awarded an Outcome 6 and this will be documented on an ARCP form that you will be required to sign in your ePortfolio. Once you have signed the form, it is sent to the GPSA team who will begin their checks to ensure that you meet the requirements for entry to the GP Register.
Please ensure that you also press the 'Apply for CCT' button on the progress to certification page of your ePortfolio, as this notifies us at the RCGP that you wish to formally apply for your CCT.
Once the GPSA team are satisfied that we have all the evidence required to recommend you for CCT, we will notify the GMC. This recommendation will be linked with your online application form from Step one and the GMC will issue your CCT within the last 10 days of your training programme if they have no other concerns.
How long is the CCT process now that I have signed off my final ARCP?
Once the RCGP GPSA team has received all relevant documentation and your file is in order, a recommendation for CCT will be sent to GMC within 15 working days. Providing the GMC have received your completed application form, the CCT will be sent out no earlier than 10 working days before your end of training date, and you will be placed on the GP Register on your final day of training.
How much absence can I take from my training programme?
The GMC 'Time Out of Training' policy will allow time off from the training programme for sickness absence, jury service, compassionate leave, maternity leave or paternity leave. However, the sum of these absences must not exceed 14 days over one ST year, pro rata.
Any absence taken in excess of this must be made up in full, but not necessarily in the speciality or post where the absence occurred.
I have lost my JCPTGP certificate and need a replacement
Historically, the Joint Committee of Postgraduate Training for General Practice (JCPTGP) were responsible for issuing certificates of completion of training. In 2005, they were replaced by the Postgraduate Medical Education and training Board (PMETB) and in 2010 the PMETB merged with the GMC.
Any questions about certificates issued by the three organisations should be directed to the GMC.
I passed my CSA/AKT exam outside of training. Can I still apply for a CCT?
If you do not complete all requirements of the CCT programme while you are within your training scheme, you are no longer eligible to apply for a CCT. To gain entry to the GP Register, you will need to apply for a CEGPR.
More information about the different types of CEGPR applications can be found here.
I want to leave my training programme early, can I still apply for CCT?
By law, a CCT can be awarded only to applicants who have successfully completed a GMC approved course of training. If you leave the training programme or training post without having successfully completed all assessment elements of the programme (including national professional exams) you will need to apply instead for a CEGPR.
What is BBT (Broad Based Training) and how do I apply?
Broad Based Training (BBT) is a scheme in which two years of structured core training is completed. This will include six month placements in each of the following specialties: Core Medical Training, General Practice, Paediatrics and Psychiatry.
Satisfactory completion of these posts will allow for direct entry to CT/ST2 level training in one of the four specialties without further competition.
More information about this scheme and how to apply can be found here.
What is the ATCF scheme and how do I apply?
ATCF scheme stands for 'Accreditation of Transferable Competencies Framework' and refers to a scheme which allows eligible trainees to transfer to a GP training scheme from another approved specialty training programme, with a maximum of six months of previous training able to count towards GP training.
Currently, the approved specialties for the ATC are: anaesthetics, general medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics and psychiatry. Emergency medicine and ACCS programmes will be added to the list of approved specialties for 2016 entry, subject to GMC approval.
More information can be found here.
What is the “Prolonged Absence Policy”?
The Prolonged Absence Policy was introduced in 2011 and applies to any trainee who takes more than six months out of training within the last three months of their training programme.
The policy ensures that each trainee can return to training for sufficient time to ensure the required competences have not been lost during their absence. If the absence is less than 12 months, you may not need to complete extra training if your ARCP Panel are satisfied that your competences have not been degraded.
What’s my end of training date?
If you would like to confirm your end of training date, please contact your deanery or LETB in the first instance who will be able to review your training programme. We can also review your training programme if your deanery or LETB are unsure if it will meet CCT requirements.
When do I get my MRCGP certificate?
After you are awarded your CCT by the GMC, you will gain automatic membership to the RCGP (MRCGP). You will usually receive your membership certificate approximately two months after you receive your CCT; once the GMC notify our Membership team that you are on the GP register.
For more information, please see our Membership page.
Why haven’t I received my CCT?
If you have not yet received your CCT and you are expecting to, please ensure that you have completed steps one and two as listed in the 'How do I apply for my CCT' FAQ. If you are still experiencing a delay, it is likely that we are waiting for some information from your deanery or LETB, so please contact us and we can advise you of what the delay is and how you can help to resolve it.
Will my programme meet the minimum requirements for CCT?
In order to qualify for CCT your training programme should include:
- A minimum of three years (36 months) whole time equivalent of approved training posts. Please note that the academic component of an academic training programme cannot contribute to the requisite three years of training
- At least 12 months whole time equivalent in hospital posts
- A minimum of 12 months whole time equivalent in GP posts
- All hospital/Integrated training posts should be at least three months in duration. However, we may be able to accept posts that are shorter than this if sufficient learning is demonstrated and the rest of the programme is broad and balanced. The validity of these posts is determined by your ARCP Panel and, if necessary, our Clinical Lead
- Posts in any specialty other than GP should generally not exceed six months unless there is an acceptable reason.
If you are unsure if your programme meets these requirements, please contact us and we can review it for you to ensure that you are on track to achieve your CCT.
I am due to go on maternity leave immediately after completing my training programme. Can I get my CCT before I start my maternity leave?
To qualify for maternity pay, most deaneries and LETBs require you to have your NTN. Once you exit your training programme and receive your CCT, you relinquish your NTN and as such, your right to maternity pay. Your CCT date must therefore be after your maternity leave if you intend to receive maternity pay.