GPs with Extended Roles accreditation framework

The RCGP has worked with NHS England to develop a new generic framework to accredit GPs with Extended Roles (GPwER) (formerly GPs with a Special Interest). This guidance supersedes previous guidance from the Department of Health.

The RCGP and the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) and the Primary Care Dermatology Society (PCDS), have used the generic framework to update the existing Dermatology and Skin Surgery (GPwSI) framework. A new national accreditation process for GPwERs in Dermatology and Skin Surgery is now being trialled.

RCGP definition of an extended role

An activity undertaken by a GP:

  • beyond the scope of GP training and the MRCGP exam, and that the GP cannot carry out without further training, or
  • within a contract or setting distinguishing it from standard general practice, or
  • offered for a fee outside the care provided to the registered practice population (e.g. teaching, training, research, occupational medical examinations, medico-legal reports and cosmetic procedures).

What does this mean for medical appraisers?

The responsible officer assures a doctor’s practice in all roles, including extended roles. The appraiser needs to be satisfied that a doctor is taking appropriate steps to remain up-to-date and fit to practise across the full scope of their work. It is helpful for appraisers to know about the existence of the extended role frameworks within which a doctor in such a role is expected to practise. They can also signpost a doctor towards the framework where appropriate. Appraisers are well-placed to support the doctor by reviewing the doctor’s submission and offering advice and challenge/reassurance. A GPwER is normally expected to have an annual performance review of their specialist role carried out by their Clinical Guide, to be fed into their whole scope annual appraisal. If not provided and the doctor does not include a comment on this, the appraiser should raise it at the appraisal.

What does this mean for a GP with an extended role?

This accreditation process enables GPwERs to develop their portfolio of evidence to support their clinical competencies and ensure patient safety. This can then be fed into the doctor’s whole scope of work appraisal.

Benefits include:

  • enabling the GPwER to demonstrate competence against a national standard;
  • saving the need for repeat accreditation if they move;
  • allowing a GPwER to support other GPs wanting to become a GPwER.

Further information

This information sheet is relevant primarily to NHS England responsible officers.