Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT): guidance for GP trainees

The first step to becoming a General Practitioner in the UK is to join the General Medical Council’s (GMC) GP Register. For most UK graduates, this means gaining a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) by completing a minimum of three years (full time equivalent) specialty training on a GMC approved programme and satisfactorily completing the MRCGP assessments.

  • 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

The RCGP is not involved in the recruitment of GP trainees. Applications to join a GP training programme in the UK are made through the National Recruitment Office (NRO).

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 an HEE local office or deanery you can register with the RCGP. This will give you access to our Trainee ePortfolio which will allow you, your Educational Supervisors and your HEE local office or deanery to record your training and assessments and monitor your progress through your programme.

For more information about joining the RCGP, please refer to our membership webpage.

Training and assessment

You will complete a minimum of three years (whole time equivalent) of approved clinical training. This may be longer if you are accepted onto an academic programme, an ST4 year or are awarded an educational scholarship.

If you are completing a Broad-based training (BBT) programme, or an Accreditation of Transferable Competencies (ATC), you may be required to complete less time as a GP trainee; although these programmes would need to be applied for at the time of application to GP training.

Throughout your training, you should document your skill development in your ePortfolio and your HEE local office or deanery will hold an Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) to review your progress. The documentation from your ARCP Panels will be sent to the GPSA team to allow us to ensure you are on track to meet the requirements for CCT.

You should check each ARCP form carefully and notify your HEE local office or deanery of any amendments that need to be made before you sign it off. This will help to avoid delays to your CCT.

Towards the end of your training, your HEE local office or deanery will hold a final ARCP Panel to determine if you have gained the required competences for licensing and met the requirements of the GP training programme, including the completion of the MRCGP examinations. 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.

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 you sign your final ARCP form and you have pressed the button that will appear in your ePortfolio labelled ‘Apply for CCT’.

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.

The GMC will check our recommendation against your application to them and, if you are successful, will issue you with your CCT.

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 the three year 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.

Useful links

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 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 not obtained in an approved GP training programme 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:

Step one:

Within the last four months of your training, the GMC will invite you to apply for your CCT online and you can make your application at any point within the last few months of your programme.

Step two:

Within the last two months of your training, your HEE local office or deanery will hold your final ARCP Panel.  If they are satisfied that you have met all the required competences for GP licensing, you will be signed off from training 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 will be 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.

Step three:

Once we are satisfied that all the evidence required to recommend you for CCT is present, 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 during 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 we have received all relevant documentation and your file is in order, we aim to make our recommendation to the GMC within 15 working days. Providing the GMC have received your completed application form, your 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 the final day of your training.

I have lost my JCPTGP certificate and need a replacement

Before 2005, the Joint Committee on Postgraduate Training for General Practice (JCPTGP) was responsible for issuing certificates of completion of training. They were replaced by the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board (PMETB) and these responsibilities were passed to the GMC in 2010.

Any questions about certificates issued by these 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)?

Broad Based Training (BBT) is a scheme in which two years of structured core training is completed.  This includes 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. 

The BBT scheme is not currently available for application.

What is the ATCF scheme and how do I apply?

ATCF stands for 'Accreditation of Transferable Competencies Framework' and refers to a scheme which allows eligible trainees to transfer to GP training from another approved specialty training programme. A maximum of six months of previous training may be able to count towards the GP training programme.

Currently, the approved specialties for the ATC are: anaesthetics, general medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, psychiatry, emergency medicine and ACCS programmes.

More information about ATC 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 every trainee can return to training for sufficient time to ensure the required competences for licensing 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 is satisfied that your competences have been maintained.

What will my end of training date be?

If you would like to confirm your end of training date, please contact your HEE local office or Deanery in the first instance who will be able to review your training. We can also review your training if your HEE local office or deanery are unsure if it will meet the requirements for CCT.

When will I receive 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 HEE local office or deanery, so please contact us so we can tell you the reason for any delays to your application and how you may be able to help to resolve them.

Will I need to make up absence from my training programme?

At the discretion of your HEE local office or deanery, short absences of up to 14 days per ST year (pro rata) may be permitted before the time is expected to be made up.

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 a range of 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.


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