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  The National Recruitment Office for GP Training

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Assessment and selection

GP RecruitmentThe Assessment and Selection Process Explained...

The National Recruitment Office co-ordinates the nationally agreed and quality assured process for recruitment to GP Specialty Training Programmes.

All submitted applications for GP specialty training will be assessed using a standard, national and consistent staged process outlined below. This is an established and well-researched selection process using modern methodologies that enhances the delivery of equal opportunities. The competency based selection process allows applicants to demonstrate their abilities and suitability for GP training - applications are assessed by the demonstration of competencies as outlined in the National Person Specification. We are confident that our selection processes are fair, robust and fit for purpose.

Read our recent BMJ Careers Focus Article at http://careerfocus.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/335/7616/gp73

STAGE 1 (long-list)
Once your application has been submitted, your application will be manually reviewed and provided it meets essential eligibility criteria (UK GMC registration, able to legally work in UK, etc) your application will be accepted.

STAGE 2 (short-list)
You will then be asked to attend an initial assessment which forms our short-listing process. This assessment is conducted under examination conditions and you will be asked to agree to a set of rules before you can proceed. Stage 2 assessments are conducted on one day in deaneries across the UK and you will be able to attend at the closest available centre to where you are currently living. ...Read more.

Click here for the Scoring and Psychometric properties of the papers used in February 2008

STAGE 3 (selection)
Having successfully achieved the standard required at Stage 2 you will be invited to a Selection centre, usually at your first choice Deanery; this will be dependant on the availability of places. You will only be invited to attend at one deanery and if you are invited, you will be expected to attend. Your application will be considered for a training programme at the deanery where you attend the selection centre. Deaneries will request references from all applicants who are invited to stage 3 and you will be required to bring those references with you.

Download Structured Reference Form (MS Word format 128kb)

You will also be asked to indicate your preferred geographical areas or programmes within the deanery from those available and this will be explained when you attend. Use the deanery finder at the top of this page for more information about the geography and programmes available within a particular deanery.

Your documentation and evidence relating to the completion of Foundation competencies will also be examined as part of the selection centre process. It will not be possible to review and consider anything submitted to the deaneries after that date. It is important that therefore that you read the guidelines regarding providing evidence of achievement of foundation competence and make sure that you have the correct documentation with you when you attend.

You will also be asked to provide photographic proof of identity such as a passport or driving licence. You will be asked to provide documentation relating to your right to work in the UK. You must bring your original GMC certificate and your original medical qualification certificate as well as photocopies of these for us to keep. If you do not currently hold a driving licence, you will be asked to confirm that you have suitable arrangements for attending emergencies and providing domiciliary care.

Once you have registered and had your documentation collected and/or checked, you will have your photograph taken. This is simply to ensure that the assessors can identify you during the selection process.

Each UK Selection centre will involve candidates completing 3 exercises which are observed and assessed by trained selectors. The exercises will consist of a patient simulation exercise, a group exercise and a written exercise. There are no interviews. At the end of each phase of the Selection centre day there is a “Wash-up” session; this allows facilitated discussion of the overall performance of all individual candidates which is reviewed by the selectors involved. This discussion allows the deanery to make a final recommendation about the suitability of the candidate to be taken onto a standard Specialty Training Programme for General Practice. None of the GP assessors take part in or endorse any preparation courses or books. All the information you need to prepare for and participate in GP Selection Centre is available here

  • Patient Simulation Exercise
    This will involve a simulator and a situation which you should be able to deal with as a doctor with at least 18 months postgraduate experience. It will not involve a physical examination and clinical expertise is not specifically assessed. Please refer back to the National Person Specification to consider how this exercise may relate to the competencies required.
  • Written Exercise
    You will have to complete an exercise in which there are no absolutely correct answers. Again we expect you to demonstrate your abilities against the competency areas identified in the Person Specification and this should be your reference.
  • Group Exercise
    You will be randomly allocated to a group to carry out an exercise; this will obviously involve interaction with colleagues and candidates going through the same selection process for a GP Specialty Training programme. The group dynamics will not be assessed. The Person Specification will again be the reference for assessment in this exercise.
  • Click here for an example Scenario for each of these exercises

All exercises will have specific and individual written instruction, with advice to spend time reading and being familiar with the requirements of the exercise. You will also be advised to allow time at the end of each exercise to review your performance.

There will be a briefing session at the start of your Selection centre session and an opportunity for debrief at the end of it; this is NOT a feedback session.

Preparation hints

  • Be yourself and act naturally.
  • Listen and read carefully all instructions given on the day about the exercises.
  • Be honest.
  • Trust the process which has always had excellent candidate evaluation; specifically the evaluation says the process is fair, even from those who are not successful first time.
  • Practice the example scenarios with your colleagues by all means but we do not recommend it is necessary for you to book commercial courses or purchase text books specifically aimed at GP Selection Centre.

STAGE 4 (allocation and offer)
Programmes will be allocated to successful candidates depending upon performance at selection centre, the training programme required and availability of a suitable vacancy. It is expected that deaneries will be unable to offer all successful candidates a training programme. The NRO will attempt to ensure that any remaining vacancies are offered to suitable candidates from other deaneries where appropriate.

See Calendar for key dates relating to current recruitment activity

All deaneries adhere to a national framework for handling complaints and appeals.  Please contact the relevant deanery directly to obtain a copy of the Complaints Procedure.



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