Comparing international postgraduate training and healthcare context with the UK to streamline overseas GP recruitment: four case studies

Emily Fletcher, John Campbell, Emma Pitchforth, Adrian Freeman, Leon Poltawski, Jeffrey Lambert, Kamila Hawthorne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)


BACKGROUND: There are ambitious overseas recruitment targets to alleviate current GP shortages in the UK. GP training in European Economic Area (EEA) countries is recognised by the General Medical Council (GMC) as equivalent UK training; non-EEA GPs must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility for General Practice Registration (CEGPR), demonstrating equivalence to UK-trained GPs. The CEGPR may be a barrier to recruiting GPs from non-EEA countries. It is important to facilitate the most streamlined route into UK general practice while maintaining registration standards and patient safety.

AIM: To apply a previously published mapping methodology to four non-EEA countries: South Africa, US, Canada, and New Zealand.

DESIGN & SETTING: Desk-based research was undertaken. This was supplemented with stakeholder interviews.

METHOD: The method consisted of: (1) a rapid review of 13 non-EEA countries using a structured mapping framework, and publicly available website content and country-based informant interviews; (2) mapping of five 'domains' of comparison between four overseas countries and the UK (healthcare context, training pathway, curriculum, assessment, and continuing professional development (CPD) and revalidation). Mapping of the domains involved desk-based research. A red, amber, or green (RAG) rating was applied to indicate the degree of alignment with the UK.

RESULTS: All four countries were rated 'green'. Areas of differences that should be considered by regulatory authorities when designing streamlined CEGPR processes for these countries include: healthcare context (South Africa and US), CPD and revalidation (US, Canada, and South Africa), and assessments (New Zealand).

CONCLUSION: Mapping these four non-EEA countries to the UK provides evidence of utility of the systematic method for comparing GP training between countries, and may support the UK's ambitions to recruit more GPs to alleviate UK GP workforce pressures.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice Open
Issue number3
Early online date10 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2020, The Authors.


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparing international postgraduate training and healthcare context with the UK to streamline overseas GP recruitment: four case studies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this