Information for commissioners and GP practices

This section briefs GP practices taking part in the International GP Recruitment (IGPR) programme on the key elements of the delivery model and provides guidance to practices on their role and next steps.

GP practices and their staff are critical to the successful delivery of the programme and the support they provide to assist and integrate internationally recruited GPs will be key to its success. NHS England, Health Education England (HEE), clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and other partners will work closely with practices to ensure they have the necessary support to fulfil this important role.

NHS England’s expectation is that the programme in conjunction with the range of other initiatives being delivered as part of the General Practice Forward View will help alleviate some of the pressures that general practices currently face.

NHS England has put in place a national framework of recruitment companies to support delivery of the IGPR programme. Five recruitment companies have been appointed – one for each of the following areas –  to provides recruitment and relocation services:

  • North
  • Midlands and East (Central Midlands and East)
  • Midlands and East (North Midlands and West Midlands)
  • London
  • South.

Find out more about the areas currently recruiting for overseas GPs.

See how to apply to the programme for information on the IGPR interview process.

Hear from a GP practice about the benefits and experience of recruiting an international GP.

Hear from international GPs and their experience of the IGPR programme.

Relocation services for GPs

Relocation services are being commissioned nationally by NHS England under the new national procurement framework. As part of this, we will fund travel and removal costs and provide support with arranging essentials such a bank accounts, utilities, GP registration and schools.

Employment arrangements

Model terms and conditions are being developed for recruited GPs as part of a three-way learning agreement between the recruiting practice, NHS England and the recruited GP. This will cover recommended salary levels, contract length and any penalties or claw back measures for GPs that exit the programme early. This learning agreement will be used as an appendix to the standard contract of employment used by the practice. The contract of employment will be held between the recruited GP and the employing practice. It will include a probationary period covering the time taken for the GP to complete the Induction and Refresher (I&R) Scheme.

NHS England will fund the incomes of recruited GPs during their induction/training phases. Net income levels have been currently set at:

  • £3,000 per month during the pre-induction phase
  • £3,500 per month during the supervised placement phase
  • £750 indemnity support.

New funding model

Recruitment, relocation and training costs will be held nationally. Funding for staffing and other costs such as the second interview stage will be managed by the NHS England regional and Director of Commissioning Operations teams.

Re-locating to a new country can be daunting and a package of support will be put in place to ensure that the doctors and any family members receive a warm welcome and have support in place to make them feel at home and help them settle in. settled in. Net incomes during the induction and training phases will also be reimbursed to practices via CCGs. Funding has been agreed to fund additional staff across the NHS England regions to support delivery of the expanded programme, including local project management for the recruiting areas.

Induction and training

Health Education England (HEE) has been commissioned to deliver an induction and training package for all recruited GPs. This ‘national curriculum’ plus flexible modules will build on the existing Induction and Refresher (I&R) Scheme and cover the following key elements:

  • Induction training
  • Language support, with a focus on communication and consulting skills
  • Clinical ‘top up’ training required by European Economic Area GPs.

The induction and training programme will form part of an extended Induction and Refresher Scheme development pathway covering the following stages:

  • Pre-induction/observation placement (three months but variable subject to the needs of the GP)
  • I&R assessments (MCQ and Simulated Surgery)
  • Supervised placement of up to six months under National Performers List (Medical) conditions.

Both the pre-induction and supervised placement stages will normally be undertaken via the practice which employs the new GP, under HEE’s ‘Hub and Spoke” training model. Recruited GPs will be permitted four fully funded attempts to successfully pass either of the I&R assessments subject to agreement from the local NHS England Responsible Officer and the local HEE lead. Additional funding has been agreed with HEE to enable local HEE offices to support the expanded programme.

HEE will also undertake a programme of clinical supervision training to enable the recruiting practices to join the Hub and Spoke model. This will require each practice on the scheme to nominate a GP to act as clinical supervisor for internationally recruited GPs at the practice. This will involve a short training course for the nominated GP of between one and two days.

We will be providing practices with funding of £659 per month for each international GP receiving supervision at the practice. Prior to employing a GP, there will be a requirement for the practice to undertake a readiness assessment to ensure that they are able to offer a supportive work environment.

Find out more

For further information and future updates on the programme, please contact your local CCG or STP International GP Recruitment lead or the NHS England Programme Team at