Information on the General Practitioner (GP) Register
The GP Register was established on 31 March 2006. From 1 April 2006, all doctors working in general practice in the health service in the UK, other than doctors in training such as GP Registrars, have been required to be included on the GP Register.
Help for GPs returning to general practice or new to work in the UK
The Induction and Refresher Scheme supports GPs returning to general practice in England and Wales and those qualified outside the UK who have no previous NHS experience. The scheme helps GPs to safely return to work after a break and gives guidance to those from overseas who are new to the NHS practice. It can offer bursaries and supervised placements in general practice. To find out more contact the GP National Recruitment Office who manage the scheme. Similar programmes are also available in Scotland, co-ordinated by the NHS Education for Scotland’s GP careers advice service.
We are required to maintain the GP Register by law. Since 1 April 2006 all doctors working in general practice in the health service in the UK, other than doctors in training such as GP registrars, are now required to be on the GP Register. This requirement extends to locums.
Eligibility for inclusion on the GP Register
Doctors are entitled to have their names included on the GP Register if, in addition to being a registered medical practitioner, they:
- Hold a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in general practice
- Are a national of a relevant European State, or have EC rights and hold qualifications in general practice listed in Annex 5.1.4. of The Directive on Recognition of Professional Qualifications
- Have an acquired right to practise as a general practitioner in the UK
- Fall within such other categories provided for in the General Medical Council (Applications for General Practice and Specialist Registration) Regulations 2010
You can view these Regulations in our Legislation section, and can find out more about CCTs in background information on specialist and GP certification.
Accessing the GP Register
You can access the GP Register via our online Register, the List of Registered Medical Practitioners.
Primary care organisations and performers lists
Primary Care Organisations (PCOs) are NHS England in England, Health and Social Services Boards in Northern Ireland, Local health boards in Wales, and primary care divisions within area health boards in Scotland.
PCOs (For example, NHS England) are responsible for maintaining primary medical performers lists.
GP registration (ie being included on the GP Register) is one requirement for entry to a medical performers list for GPs, although this does not apply to doctors in training, such as GP Registrars. When a doctor applies to join a performers list, the PCO should check the List of Registered Medical Practitioners to see whether that doctor is on the GP Register, and make other pre-employment checks.
The criteria for entry to a medical performers list are set out in the regulations for each of the four countries:
And in Department of Health guidance (this external guidance may be subject to change following the restructure of the NHS on 1 April 2013).
See our guidance on employing a doctor for further information.
PCOs undertake a series of checks, in addition to registration checks, before admitting a doctor to their performers lists. See the NHS Employers' guidance.
If you are a GP Registrar
If you are a GP Registrar, you need to be included in a medical performers list if you wish to work in the UK health service. However, you do not need to be on the GP Register to complete your training.
Before you complete your training you will need to apply for a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT).
Read more about CCTs in the background information about specialist and GP registration section.
If you would like more information on the GP Register contact us.