International GP recruitment and I and R pathways

There are now 3 different pathways for those on the induction and refresher scheme, depending on a GP’s previous experience and their route back into General Practice. The pathways are as below:


  1. GP Returner scheme for GP’s with prior NHS work experience and entry can either be via the assessments (MCQ followed by a simulated surgery) or the portfolio route, for those GPs meeting the specific criteria.
  2. GP Induction scheme for GP’s entering NHS GP for 1st time from outside the UK, but choosing to come independently, entry via the assessments (MCQ followed by simulated surgery)
  3. International GP Recruitment project for overseas GPs.  This is a new recruitment initiative in Europe, which was announced August 2017. The initiative is led by NHS England, working with specific CCGS from under-doctored areas. The first phase within Kent, Surrey and Sussex is being led by Thanet CCG to recruit GPs for East Kent and Swale. The earliest date for these European GPs to commence in placements will be October 2018.  There will be initial skype interviews, followed by a “meet and greet” visit for European GPs to be assessed and understand more about working in the NHS. These GPs will have a preparatory period within General Practice to support them with their assessments (MCQ followed by a simulated surgery). Once these are passed, these GPs will enter the induction phase, in which they will be supported and assessed like other induction and refresher doctors. We plan to appoint an international GP programme director in each county to lead the educational programme and placements. Within our geography we will collaborate with other local providers, drawing on their expertise of successfully employing medical staff from overseas and sharing educational opportunities.  In some European countries, GPs have less expertise in certain clinical areas, such as paediatrics, gynaecology and palliative care.  The GP programme directors will liaise with foundation programme directors, college tutors and other educational colleagues to explore the opportunities for these GPs to develop relevant competencies.  Health Education England (HEE) working across Kent, Surrey and Sussex supports and welcomes these European GPs to ensure best medical case for the local population within the NHS. 


Further details about the Induction and Refresher scheme are available at  Information about the International GP recruitment project is available at

If you have any questions about the above pathways, please contact Mary-Rose Shears, Induction and Refresher lead,