The Return to Practice (RtP) programme provides a safe, supported pathway for qualified GPs to return to NHS General Practice after an absence of more than 2 years.

The Return to Practice (RtP) programme is designed for GPs who have previously been on the GMC GP Register and England Medical Performers List (MPL), and would like to return to work in general practice after a break in their career, raising a family or time spent working abroad.

All GPs are required to be on NHS England’s Medical Performers List before they can practice. The RtP programme must be completed before GPs can be approved for full inclusion on to the MPL and to work as an independent GP.

For doctors who have not been in practise for more than 2 years but have remained on the Medical Performers List, please contact your local NHSEI team.

In these instances, you may be able to apply for the MPL refresher route instead. If this is the case, the initial application should be made by the local NHSEI team on your behalf.

The UK is made up of 4 countries and this guide concerns applications made to practise in England. If you applying to practise in another part of the UK, please visit the appropriate regional website:

Any doctor with NHSEI medical performers list or GMC conditions/ undertakings who is required to complete a remedial training plan imposed by NHS England and is considering a return to NHS general practice, should contact their NHS England local team to discuss their circumstances and level of support. 

Features of the programme

Once registered you will be given access to a Self-Assessment which is required to be completed prior to above review.

You will also gain access to a dedicated account manager to help guide you through the entire process. They can provide support such as:

  • advice on completing forms and paperwork
  • assistance with arranging occupational health assessments
  • advice on arranging indemnity
  • coordinating assessments and placements on your behalf

The assessments can be tailored to fit around needs and personal commitments. Further information can be found on the Self-Assessment for the RtP programme page.

Financial support is also available for candidates, which includes:

  • help with indemnity costs
  • help towards the costs of child or social care
  • a monthly clinical placement bursary of up to £3,500
  • help with visa costs and sponsorship for UK-qualified, non-EEA clinicians

Further information regarding help with funding can be found on our financial support and funding page.

Completing the Programme

To successfully complete the Return to Practice programme and be entered onto the MPL without restrictions you must have:

  • successfully completed the RtP placement
  • a satisfactory Workplace Based Assessment (WPBA) report including multi-source feedback and patient satisfaction questionnaire
  • completed the mandatory e-Learning for Health modules on GP induction. This includes the Safeguarding Children and Adults modules

  • submitted the appropriate WPBA report and any other required evidence (they should have evidence of all your Learning Needs Assessments already, but it is important you check what they need) to the local HEE Educational Lead. They will send the report to the local NHSEI team
  • started your portfolio preparation for an early appraisal in the placement. This will be a MPL requirement on exit from the RtP placement, normally required at 3 to 6 months after successful programme completion (see appraisal guidance)
  • received confirmation from the local NHSEI team where you plan to work that you are included on their MPL without restrictions

To help keep track of your progress, you can download and use the Completing the Programme Checklist.

Page last reviewed: 6 September 2022
Next review due: 6 September 2023

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