Your Guide to GP Training Applications in 2023
This article was contributed by Mariesa Fernando, an ST1 GP Trainee in the East of England. In this article, she explains the GP application requirements and process, including tips for maximising your chances of success.
Starting on your GP application can be confusing at the best of times. With many deadlines, websites and document requirements to consider, it can get overwhelming quickly.
This blog will take you through the steps so you can prepare yourself for all of the necessities.
Each year holds two rounds of applications, the main one is for the August intake and the second round is for the February intake. The application for each round starts months in advance and you will go through the same process, as per the information below.
GP application requirements
To apply for GP training, you should be:
✅ Fully registered with the GMC
✅ Have 2 years of clinical experience (anywhere in the world)
✅ Have evidence of foundation year competencies
For UK graduates, this means completion of the foundation years in the national foundation training programme.
For international medical graduates (IMGs), this means completing PLAB and the other GMC necessities, as per their website. In addition to this, you should have 2 years of medical practice anywhere in the world. IMGs will have to provide evidence of foundation competence with the use of the CREST form, which we will come back to in the paragraphs below.
📋 GP application
Firstly, go through the GPNRO website and note down the recruitment timeline for the round you wish to apply for. This will provide all the important dates for your deadlines.
The important dates for February 2023 round are:
National Recruitment Timetable
Advert Appears: 13 July 2022
Apply from: 26 July 2022
Application Closing Date: 16 August 2022
Invitations to Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA) Expected by: No later than 25 August 2022
MSRA Window: 2 - 9 September 2022
MSRA Results Expected by: 22 September 2022
First offers from (n.b. by 5:00pm): 29 September 2022
Hold Deadline: 26 October 2022 (1:00pm UK time)
Upgrade Deadline: 28 October 2022 (4:00pm UK time)
Scrolling to the bottom of the timeline, you will also be able to see the estimated number of vacancies that will be available in each deanery.
The online recruitment application portal for all GP recruitment is via Oriel. In the initial portion of the application, you will be asked to complete sections regarding your personal information, your employment history and details about any employment gaps.
In the second part, you will provide information about your licensing and further details about your experience. You will also have to provide the names of three referees, whom you have worked with in the last two years of your employment. If you have an employment gap, rest assured they will take this into account, and you can provide your referees from your last work practice.
Further to this, if you do not have your foundation years completed within the UK or an approved Foundation Programme, you will need to provide evidence of competencies. This would mean getting a CREST form filled out, ideally before you complete the application. For the GP route, there is an extended deadline for CREST form submission. You may upload this at the later, approved time which will be made known to you on the application form.
There is a section which will require you to write a small paragraph as to you why you chose GP as a speciality. This is a small 200 word entry about your reasons for choosing this field, and will be taken into account in your application to GP training.
On the last page of the application, you will be able to make your preference list of locations of work. These are amendable throughout the process, and should you change your mind you can re-list your preferences at a later date, right until the offers start to come out.
📑 The assessment
The MSRA is the exam currently used to assess applicants for many specialties. Once your GP application is accepted, you will be invited to take the exam. You will be sent a link to the exam in your email. Although the assessment is for the GPNRO, the exam itself is conducted by a third party. Choose the location where you would like to complete the exam and then book it in. There is no fee to take this exam. You can use the Medibuddy question bank to prepare for your exam.
A few weeks later you will get your MSRA results, including your rank amongst your peers. This will help you evaluate where you stand. Keep in mind, many applicants have 2 or 3 specialties as interests, and so they may drop out of the GP scheme if they are accepted to another programme. This enables other applicants to climb up the ladder of their preferences.
🤝 The offer
Let’s dive a little further into the offer process.
You will receive your offer through Oriel Email, they will confirm where you have matched and allow you to accept or hold the offer. There is a deadline to make these decisions as displayed in the table above. You can also accept, with the option to upgrade.
When I applied, there were a few waves of offers, and as the weeks went on people declined or fell off the programme and so many applicants got upgraded to a higher preferenced location. Remember, if you happen to change your mind about your preferences, you can update the list until the deadline for accepting.
Finally, you will be emailed when offers are closing, and you must accept to confirm.
Congratulations! You are now entering GP training.
I hope this explanation helps to make things a little clearer for you when applying to GP training. Good luck to everyone in the process!
If you’re considering applying for GP Training in the upcoming round, we wish you the best of luck. We'd strongly recommend checking out the Medibuddy GP Stage 3 Question Bank and the Medibuddy MSRA Question Bank. It’s a great resource which will help you improve your answers, focusing on both content and delivery.
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