Working as a GP in the UK

General practice in the UK

If you intend to work as a general practitioner (GP) in the UK, you need to complete a number of processes. Some of these are handled by organisations other than ourselves.

Our main registration requirements

Since 1 April 2006, all doctors working as a GP in the UK health service must be on the GP Register, other than doctors in training, such as GP registrars. This requirement extends to locums. To apply to join the GP Register you should either:

  • gain the necessary competencies through GP training outside the UK. We would expect that this is in a programme approved by the local training provider in that country and therefore fully supervised
  • gain the necessary competencies through GP training within the UK
  • gain the necessary competencies in posts other than GP training posts. Note, there are certain competencies that require experience in primary care that can only be achieved within GP posts.

Apply to join the GP register

Performers’ lists

To train and work as a general practitioner in the UK you need to be on a primary medical performers' list.

Performers' lists are managed by primary care organisations and you must apply to a primary care organisation to be entered onto them.

You should read the information about applying for the UK country that applies to you. This will help you apply at the right time so your training or practice is not delayed.



Northern Ireland


Induction and returner schemes

If you're returning to general practice or have never worked in the NHS as a GP, you'll need to apply for entry onto an induction and returner scheme to work in England or Wales. To find out more contact the GP National Recruitment Office.

Similar programmes are in place in Scotland and Northern Ireland – The NHS Education for Scotland's GP careers advice service and NIMTDA in Northern Ireland.

Employment checks

The NHS carries out a number of employment checks before appointing doctors to GP posts. Visit NHS Employers for more information on employment checks.