Choosing GP as your career is now easier than ever.

New initiatives have been introduced to the recruitment process to give you greater flexibility and will streamline the process to becoming a GP.

Initiatives include:

  • a direct pathway from the Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA) to offers for high scoring applicants
  • specifying more detailed geographical preferences
  • redefined deferment options

Immigration changes for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) and right to work in the UK

From 6 October 2019, all medical practitioners have been added to the Shortage Occupation List in the UK. This means that from Round 1 2020, all applicants to GP training are exempt from the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) and can apply for GP training in any recruitment round, subject to eligibility; there will be no restriction on their appointment.

All applicants will be requested to produce valid right to work documents. Applicants who do not have valid right to work documents will need to apply for Tier 2 / Skilled Worker sponsorship.

From 1 July 2021, EU/EEA citizens will need to either provide confirmation that they have obtained EU settlement status, have another valid right to work visa (e.g. dependent visa) or will need to apply for Tier 2 / Skilled Worker sponsorship

Direct pathway to offers

High-scoring applicants at the Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA) will be able to move directly to the “offer” stage, without needing to Selection Centre.

From Round 1 2020, all applicants receiving an overall score of 550 in the MSRA will qualify for this streamlined route. Detailed modelling work and analysis of previous recruitment rounds that 100% of applicants who would have qualified for this streamlined route would have been deemed successful at Selection Centre.

Applicants who score 550 or higher in the MSRA will be ranked first, before those who were deemed appointable via the Selection Centre, thus increasing the chances of applicants receiving an offer of a training position in a preferred location.

Important: Important

Due to changes in the recruitment processes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, direct pathway to offers will not be applicable in 2021 and 2022.

Foundation competency

Applicants will have increased time to prove Foundation competency for the 2021 recruitment round. Applicants who fail to submit the correct paperwork by the new deadline will have their offer for ST1 training retracted.

Important: Important

Due to the introduction of changes in the Certificate of Readiness to Enter Specialty Training (CREST) process for Recruitment 2022-23, only the 2021 version of the CREST will be accepted. Forms from previous recruitment years will not be accepted.


UK applicants can defer the start of their ST1 programme on statutory grounds such as personal ill health or maternity/paternity/adoption leave in line with the Reference Guide for Postgraduate Specialty Training in the UK (The Gold Guide, 8th edition).

Successful applicants cannot apply to defer entry to GP training on non-statutory grounds.

However, with the introduction of new functionality in Oriel, successful applicants to GP Training from August 2021 onwards who may not wish for whatever reason to take up the offer of a training place in the current recruitment round will be able to transfer their final recruitment score from one recruitment round to another recruitment round.

This option will only be valid within a 12-month recruitment cycle and is conditional upon the recruitment and selection process being unchanged in subsequent recruitment rounds.

Transferable score

The score applicants receive through the recruitment process will now be a UK rank rather than specific to the HEE local office or deanery the applicant undertook the selection centre.

This will allow applicants to preference locations in a joining HEE local office or deaneries and will mean applicants will not need to go into clearing.

Twice-yearly recruitment

Since 2016, there have been two planned rounds of GP recruitment, for programmes to commence in August and February each year.

Page last reviewed: 26 August 2022