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New National Induction and Refresher (I&R) scheme.

Updated on 06 August 2015, 788 views

Are you considering a return to NHS General Practice after a break of 2+ years? Or is your practice interested in employing a GP without prior NHS experience?

If so you may have noticed recent media coverage regarding the new National Induction and Refresher (I&R) scheme. The I&R scheme provides an opportunity for GPs to safely return to general practice following a career break or time spent working abroad or in another sector of the health service. The scheme also supports the safe introduction of overseas GPs who have qualified outside the UK and have no previous NHS GP experience.

The I&R scheme is tailored to the needs of each GP by their undertaking an individual learning needs assessment (including an interview, multiple choice questionnaire (MCQ) and, in many cases, a Simulated Surgery assessment). The results of the assessments determine the content of the scheme, and will usually lead to a recommendation for a clinical placement that may be a minimum of a few weeks up to a maximum of six months (or full time equivalent).

The national I&R scheme replaces the local arrangements that were previously in place within each Deanery area. The advantages of the new scheme include:

The scheme launched at the end of March 2015, and will initially run for three years.

Any GP who is interested in returning to NHS General Practice after a break of two or more years should contact the GPNRO in the first instance, by emailing

Further details of the scheme can be found on the GP NRO website

In addition to applying to the I&R scheme, any doctor wishing to work as a GP in the UK is required to:

Applications to the GMC Register can be made via the GMC website

Applications to the National Medical Performers List can be made via the NHS England Performers List website

Given that the prospect of returning to General Practice can seem a little daunting, and that the three separate application processes may at first appear complex, NHS England South Region (South West) has nominated a local lead to assist GPs wishing to apply to the I&R scheme. Emily Eason (Programme Manager for Performance) is happy to speak to any GP who is considering applying to the I&R scheme, or any practice that requires further information. Emily can act as a single point of contact within NHS England for GPs undertaking the scheme in South West England, and can also guide GPs through the National Medical Performers List application process.

Emily can be contacted by email at or phone 0113 825 3575