Routes into general practice: Specialty training

To become a General Practitioner in the UK, you need to gain entry to the 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.

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.  Typically, you’ll apply in November before doing a series of interviews and exams throughout January.

Offers are normally made in April, with training starting in August. There are also programmes which commence in February with offers made in October. The training usually consists of 18 months in hospital posts and 18 months in general practice.


The three-year specialty training programme for general practice also includes taking the MRCGP examination. Once your specialty training is complete, you’ll receive a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) and gain entry to the GMC GP Register.

MRCGP comprises of three separate components:

  • Applied Knowledge Test (AKT)
  • Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA)
  • Workplace Based Assessment (WPBA)

The National Recruitment Office (GPNRO) website has more information about the application procedure and entry requirements.

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