Certificate of Completion of Training

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 completing a minimum of three years specialty training on a GMC approved programme, passing the MRCGP assessments and gaining a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT).

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 GP National Recruitment Office (NRO)

Registering with the RCGP

Once you have been accepted onto a GP training programme and assigned a Health Education England (HEE) local office or deanery you can register with the RCGP. This will give you access to our Trainee ePortfolio. You and your educational supervisors can then record your training and assessments and monitor your progress through your programme.

Training and assessment

You will complete a minimum of three years full time (or the equivalent part time) 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 have transferred into GP training through the Accreditation of Transferable Competencies (ATC) framework, you are normally required to complete less time in a GP training programme. These programmes must be applied for at the time of application to GP training.

Throughout your training, you will 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 us to ensure you are on track to meet the requirements for CCT.

You should check each ARCP form carefully before signing it off. Amendments must be made through your HEE local office or deanery. This will help to avoid delays to your CCT.

At the end of your training your HEE local office or deanery will hold a final ARCP Panel. This is to determine if you have gained the required competences for licensing and met the requirements of the GP training programme, including passing the MRCGP examinations. If you meet the requirements they will sign you off from training on your ePortfolio. If you have not met these requirements, the panel may award some additional training time.

Applying for a CCT

You must apply to both the GMC and RCGP for your CCT.

Step one

The GMC will invite you to apply to them in the last four months of your training programme. This will be via the email address the GMC hold for you.

Step two

When you sign your final ARCP form and press the “Apply for CCT” button in your ePortfolio, your application to the RCGP is automatic. We will then review your evidence to check you have met the requirements and make a recommendation to the GMC to award a CCT.

Step three

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

By law your name must be listed on the GP register before you can work in NHS general practice in any capacity. You must wait for your entry to the register before taking up employment.

You must also be included on the National Medical Performers List (NMPL) for the country in which you wish to work. There are separate lists for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, each health board runs its own performers list and there is no central list.

You must use the CEGPR route to apply for entry to the GP register if you haven’t completed the three year GMC approved training programme or have been released from training and passed the exam out of programme.


You might find it helpful to read the documents below to help with your application:

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. 

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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