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Who this guidance is for

This guidance is for:

  • all GPs who practice in Wales under the terms of the General Medical Services contract
  • medical students and foundation trainees thinking of entering general practice
  • those who have already started GP speciality training

There are many reasons why you should consider a career in general practice:

  • variety of work
  • ability to provide continuity of care for patients
  • flexible working patterns
  • the ability to work part-time

Becoming a GP (

Working in General Practice

Qualifying as a GP in the NHS

Before you can practise as a GP, you need to registered onto the General Medical Council's GP Register.

Qualifying as a GP in the NHS 

Wales medical performers list

To provide primary medical services, the local health board (LHB) must approve you. Once approved you will go on the Welsh medical performers list (MPL).

If you have any queries relating to the MPL contact NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership – Primary Care Services

Revalidation and appraisal

Revalidation is the process by which doctors show they are up to date and fit to practise. The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) have a range of resources to aid the appraisal and revalidation process. 

Your responsible officer is usually based in the LHB where you work.

For more information on revalidation go to the RCGP website (

Terms and conditions

General Medical Services (GMS) contracts are an annual agreement between:

  • BMA GP committee 
  • (GPC) Wales
  • Welsh Government 
  • NHS Wales

GPs employed by a GMS practice must have a set of minimum terms and conditions (BMA model contract). It is also possible to recruit salaried GPs on enhanced terms and conditions.

Sessional GPs (locum GP) should agree their terms of engagement with their GP practice or LHB. 

BMA members are able to access resources for advice and information.


The Doctors’ and Dentists Remuneration Body (DDRB) recommend pay increases for:

  • independent contractor GPs
  • salaried GPs

These are then negotiated between Welsh Government and GPC Wales.

Pay ranges for salaried GPs (


Eligible GPs who undertake GMS work may be eligible to join the NHS pension scheme.

Medical practice indemnity 

General Medical Practice Indemnity Scheme 

Since 1 April, 2019 a discretionary state backed General Medical Practice Indemnity scheme has been in place. 

The LHB will provide the indemnity arrangements and will act as defendant for clinical negligence litigation. Criteria for cover under the discretionary scheme:

  • GP contractors, all their employed staff engaged in any of the primary medical services arrangements listed by the Regulations will automatically be covered by GMPI and do not need to take any further action unless, they wish to work as a GP Locum outside of their registered practice. 

The National Health Service (Clinical Negligence Scheme) (Wales) Regulations 2019 (

  • GP contractors, all their employed staff engaged in any of the primary medical services arrangements listed by the Regulations will automatically be covered by GMPI and do not need to take any further action unless, they wish to work as a GP Locum outside of their registered practice. The National Health Service (Clinical Negligence Scheme) (Wales) Regulations 2019 (
  • GP locums are required to join the All Wales Locum Register and either book their shifts using Locum Hub Wales (LHW) or record the shifts worked in LHW. Locum Shifts worked in Managed Practices are covered under the Health Board contract and do not fall under The Scheme for General Medical Practice Indemnity.

GP Wales

The GMPI scheme not only eliminates the cost of indemnity for Practices and Locums, but also ensures medical practitioners can be confident in receiving the protection they require to deliver their vital services in the event of any indemnity claims. 

Primary Care Sustainability - NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership

Benefits for permanent GPs

Annual leave

For partner GPs, annual leave is defined in the partnership agreement and is normally a minimum of 6 weeks.

Salaried GPs have annual leave defined in their contract with the practice or employing authority and this, again, is normally 6 weeks.

Doctors’ annual leave entitlements (

Paternity leave

All eligible practice staff are able to take 2 weeks paternity leave after birth or adoption. The contract of employment, terms and conditions continue and statutory paternity pay is received.

Enhanced paternity pay is available to eligible doctors working under the GMS contract. Under this arrangement the doctor will receive full pay rather than statutory paternity pay.

Paternity leave for doctors (

Maternity leave

A GP who is employed under the Salaried GP model contract, or a contract including the same terms, is entitled to contractual maternity pay providing that she has 12 months of continuous NHS service at the beginning of the 11th week before the expected week for childbirth.

Employed GPs who are pregnant or have just given birth may be entitled to receive statutory maternity pay (SMP) from their employer for up to 39 weeks.

Go to the BMA website for guidance on maternity and other types of parental leave

Shared parental leave

Enhanced Shared Parental leave arrangements are available to all salaried GP’s. 

Protected learning time

On occasions GP practices are able to close to the public to enable staff to learn and train.

RCGP Wales leadership programme

This is a programme for those GPs who want to take an active role in promoting the work of a GP. This could include areas such as:

  • resources
  • education
  • training
  • research
  • clinical standards

Find out more on the RCGP Wales website.

CPD resources

HEIW’s CPD on demand offers flexibility to watch all live CPD events. All resources are designed with GPs in mind, but they are suitable for other healthcare professionals.

CPD on demand for general practitioners (

Financial benefits for permanent GPs

Partnership premium

Payment to GPs undertaking clinical sessions are through the partnership premium scheme. 

The annual payment is £1,000 per clinical session up. You can do up to 8 sessions per week. There is also a senior premium of £200 per clinical session for GP partners with 16 years or more service. 

Eligible GPs can claim up to £9,600 per annum for an average of 8 sessions worked per week.

Non-GP Partnership Premium Scheme Guidance for the GMS Contract 2021 to 2022 (

GMS contract: partnership premium scheme

Seniority scheme

The seniority scheme is no longer accepting applications. Payments will still continue to those GPs currently on the scheme. 

GPs can opt to migrate to the new Partnership Premium Scheme. They will not be able to migrate back to seniority.

GP retainer

The scheme provides educational support, mentoring and a financial package to GPs.  It helps keep doctors working in general practice and is an option for:

  • GPs approaching retirement age
  • GPs wishing to reduce their contracted hours
  • personal circumstances that the LHB considers to be an acceptable reason for the purposes of the scheme

A GP retainer may work up to 4 clinical sessions per week. This will come under the terms of the BMA model contract of employment. Each retainer qualifies for an annual professional expenses supplement of between £1000 and £4000. This depends on the number of sessions worked per week.

Additional capacity 

Since April 2022, this scheme will match fund up to 50% of the cost. This is either for extra posts upon appointment or more hours worked by existing staff. This will enable GP practices to take on extra administrative and clinical resource.

GMS contract: additional capacity guidance 2022 to 2023.

Help finding permanent posts and sessional work

Locum Hub Wales (LHW) and GP Wales

LHW supports the temporary sessional needs of practices. It will enable GP practices to book locum's depending on their needs. The LHW has also increased the pool of locum's available and accessible to the practice.

For permanent posts, GP Wales offers an easy way to advertise all GP practice jobs. Jobs advertised on GP Wales will also appear on the NHS jobs website.

Returning and overseas qualified GPs

RCGP guide to living and working in the UK as a GP

The overseas doctors guide aims to support family doctors who have never worked in the UK as a GP. This includes doctors from the UK who have done their speciality training abroad.

Health and care worker visa

All EEA nationals (except Irish citizens) and international doctors need a skilled worker visa to work in the UK

The introduction of the Health and Care visa will enable certain healthcare professions to work within the NHS.  This will mean reduced application costs and quicker decision times on applications. Apply for a Health and Care Worker visa - GOV.UK

To qualify for a Health and Care Worker visa the individual must:

  • be a qualified doctor, nurse, health professional or adult social care professional
  • work in an eligible health or social care job
  • work for a UK employer approved by the Home Office
  • have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from an employer with information about the role offered in the UK
  • be paid a minimum salary - how much depends on the type of work 
  • be able to prove they can read, write, speak and understand English
  • skilled worker certificate of sponsorship - NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership

Skilled worker certificate of sponsorship - NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership

GP return to practice programme

The NHS GP Return to Practice (RtP) programme is designed for qualified GPs who have previously been on the GMC GP Register and a UK Medical Performers List to return to NHS general practice after an absence of more than 2 years.

The RtP programme has two pathways:

1. Return via learning needs assessment for GPS who have previously worked in the NHS as a GP but have not been working for 2 years or more:

  • required to undertake the learning needs assessments
  • this is followed by a tailored clinical placement of up to 6 months (whole time equivalent)

2. Return via portfolio route for GPs who have previously worked in the NHS as a GP but have not worked in the UK for 2 to 10 years but instead have been working in an equivalent primary care role elsewhere:

  • evidence of current clinical work is submitted in a portfolio to the RCGP panel for review
  • followed by a re-orientation placement of up to 3 months

GP return to practice programme - HEIW (

Returning to general practice (

GP international induction programme

The IIP is for overseas qualified GPs who have never worked in NHS general practice before. The IIP needs completing before approval for full inclusion to the Wales Medical Performers List as an independent NHS general practitioner.

The IIP has two pathways:

1. Induction as a standalone application by learning needs assessment. This is for doctors who qualified as a GP overseas or in the European Economic Area (EEA) but who have never worked in the NHS as a GP before.

  • required to undertake the learning needs assessments
  • followed by a tailored clinical placement of up to 6 months (whole time equivalent)

2. Induction via streamlined CEGPR process assessment for GPs. These are for those who qualified in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa from designated GMC approved training programmes.

  • submit a portfolio of current clinical work to the RCGP panel for evaluation and approval by the GMC
  • followed by a tailored clinical placement of up to 6 months (whole time equivalent)

GP international induction programme - HEIW (

Tailored clinical placements

The IIP and RtP Programmes include a tailored clinical placement. During the placement the individual completes a variety of workplace based assessments. This could be in the form of:

  • observed consultations
  • case-based discussions
  • multi-source feedback

along with:

  • career and educational needs review – carried out by a local GP Associate Dean
  • access to online resources – HEIW will arrange access to online resources
  • practice taster sessions – These are short 1-5 day placements at an approved GP further training practice

The structured trainers report logbook will record all the results. This should go to the medical director on completion of the clinical placement. They will decide whether you can have unconditional inclusion on to the MPL.

GP training

Train Work Live (TWL)

TWL is a campaign to promote Wales as an excellent place for healthcare professionals, including GPs, to train, work and live.

The campaign complements work already being undertaken by LHB and health trusts to recruit staff. It supports GPs who express an interest in working in Wales and helps with relocating. It provides helpful information on what they can expect when coming to Wales.

The campaign targets:

  • medical students
  • doctors yet to choose a specialty
  • trainees coming to the end of their training
  • recently qualified GPs
  • those in the early stages of their career
  • experienced GPs looking for a different work environment or return to the workforce in Wales

Home | Train Work Live | Wales

GP speciality training - universal incentive

In certain areas of Wales, GP trainees who start training in Wales (between 2017 up to and including February 2024) will be eligible to receive a targeted incentive. This will be a payment of up to £20,000. They need to remain in a targeted area for the time they are in training and for one year of practice after qualification. Targeted training areas include:

  • Hywel Dda University Health Board
  • Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
  • Powys Teaching Health Board

Financial incentives - NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership

Study leave

There is an entitlement of 15 days (30 sessions) per 6 month general practice post for GP trainees.  The entitlements are the same whether the trainee is full or part time.

Study leave - HEIW (

Societies and networks

There is a student-led GP Society supported by RCGP and the Society Partnership Network you can join.

Find your local GP society (

Extended roles

Qualified GPs may decide to undertake further training to become a GP with extended roles. This is extra to their core general practice work.