The GP ST Entry process

Stage 1 – Determination of Eligibility

Longlisting via an on-line application form coordinated by the National Recruitment Office (NRO) for GP Training.

To be eligible to apply for a GP Specialty Training you will need:

  1. To hold a recognised primary medical qualification
  2. To be fully registered with the UK GMC at the time of application OR passed both parts of PLAB and be eligible for full UK GMC registration at time of application
  3. Evidence of current employment in a UK Affiliated Foundation (F2) Programme OR evidence of achievement of Foundation Competencies within the last 3 years
  4. To hold a current valid driving licence OR able to provide satisfactory alternative as a means of providing emergency and domiciliary care
  5. To be able to demonstrate proficiency in English language
  6. To be able to legally work in the UK
  7. To not have more than 18mths previous experience in a GP training programme
  8. To not have resigned or been released from a UK GP training programme


Stage 2 – Speciality Recruitment Assessment (SRA)

Shortlisting via Situational judgement (Professional Dilemmas) and Clinical Problem Solving MCQs which takes place at Pearson VUE venues nationwide.

Paper 1 - Professional Dilemmas
(110mins - 58q)

“The paper focuses on your approach to practicing medicine. You are presented with scenarios you might meet when practicing as a doctor. Each scenario encapsulates a professional dilemma and you are asked about dealing with it. The paper is designed to assess your understanding of appropriate behaviour for a doctor in difficult situations and allow you to demonstrate the application of competencies such as professional integrity, coping with pressure, and empathy and sensitivity. It does not require specific knowledge of general practice but does assume general familiarity with typical primary and secondary care procedures.
Your responses should represent appropriate behaviour for a second year Foundation doctor. Scoring is based on how close your responses are to the most appropriate response for the item. The most appropriate response is determined by a panel of expert GPs. We only include questions that have been tested and where there is a consensus among our expert panel regarding the most appropriate response to the situation. Applicants can score highly in these questions by providing an answer that is close to, but not identical to that from the expert group. The closer your answer is to our experts responses the more points you will gain for the question.
Click here for marking scheme

There are 2 types of Professional Dilemma MCQ – Ranking & Multiple Best Answer (MBA)

Paper 2 - Clinical Problem Solving (75mins - 97q)

“The questions present clinical scenarios and require you to exercise judgement and problem solving skills to determine appropriate diagnosis and management of patients. This is not a test of your knowledge, but rather your ability to apply it appropriately. The topics will be taken from areas with which a Foundation Programme Year 2 doctor could be expected to be familiar. There are no questions requiring a specific knowledge of general practice.”

Clinical Problem Solving questions are drawn from the following topic areas:
• Cardiovascular
• Dermatology / ENT / Eyes
• Endocrinology / Metabolic
• Gastroenterology / Nutrition
• Infectious disease / Haematology / Immunology / Allergies / Genetics
• Musculoskeletal
• Paediatrics
• Pharmacology / Therapeutics
• Psychiatry / Neurology
• Reproductive (male and female)
• Renal / Urology
• Respiratory

They are clinical in nature and may relate to:
• Disease factors
• Making a diagnosis
• Investigations
• Management plans
• Prescribing
• Emergency care

There are 2 types of Clinical Problem Solving MCQ - Extended Matching Question (EMQ) and Single Best Answer (SBA) variety.

Please also take a look at our list of useful resourcesdownloads.

Stage 3 – Selection Centre

If you perform well enough at Stage 2 you will be asked to attend a Selection Centre organised by the individual deaneries using a nationalised assessment format. (Note from 2016 onwards, candidates scoring very highly at stage 2 will avoid the selection centre - "Direct Pathway to Offer"). You will be asked to perform 2 types of exercise - 3 simulated consultations and one written exercise.

A) Written Exercise
You are given a series of usually 5 tasks (the context may be primary or secondary care in the NHS) to prioritise. You have 30 minutes in total to write down in what order you would prioritise these tasks and justify why. There are also a few self-reflection questions at the end about what you have learnt from the exercise. The
NRO stress “there are no absolutely correct answers” so what you write is more important than the actual order you place the tasks in.

B) Simulated Consultation Exercise
Your consulting skills will be assessed in this exercise. The scenario will be according to the
NRO “a situation which you should be able to deal with as a doctor with at least 18 months postgraduate experience”. You will be given 10 minutes to read a laminated briefing note, set the room up how you like (within reason) and then consult with an actor who will play a defined rehearsed role - either a patient, relative/carer or non-medical colleague. The assessor will sit quietly in the corner of the room and will not participate at all.

Click here for marking scheme.

Stage 4 – Allocation

Offers made.

Stages 1-3 require the applicant to meet the Person Specification for GP training which can be downloaded from