The Induction and Refresher Portfolio Route

The Portfolio Route gives the option for doctors, who have worked in NHS general practice in the previous five years, and have been working abroad in an equivalent primary care setting to apply from overseas. On a satisfactory recommendation and following the formal portfolio review they can then enter directly to a short one-month placement in the UK with a satisfactory workplace based assessment.

It also aims to allow doctors planning to work overseas for a limited time (up to five years) to plan for and facilitate a return to practise by outlining the evidence required to enable them to easily return to independent NHS practice in the UK.


To be eligible for Portfolio route application to the Induction and Refresher Scheme, you must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Hold JCPTGP certificate, CCT, CEGPR or GP qualification awarded in the EEA allowing direct entry to the GMC GP Register
  • Hold GMC full registration with a licence to practice or have made an application to the GMC to restore your licence to practice
  • Be included on the GMC GP Register
  • Have at least a year's experience working unsupervised as a general practitioner in the NHS while on the Medical Performers List or its predecessors with a minimum of one successful GMC approved or UK military appraisal, OR gained a CCT or CEGPR and entered the GP Register within the 12 months prior to leaving the UK
  • Have had a break of not more than ten years from NHS general practice at the time of applying with the last five years working as a general practitioner overseas
  • Any career breaks (such as maternity or other personal or statutory leave) from clinical practice in the 10 year period do not exceed three years in total and do not exceed 15 months in the three years immediately preceding application. The evidence which you collect for your portfolio can be useful for your revalidation appraisal in the future.

All this can and should occur (i.e. application and Portfolio route approval) before you give up your current job and plan to move to UK.

The first step is still to register with the GP National Recruitment Office (NRO) indicating that they wish to apply for the Portfolio Route. The application form has now been amended slightly to include the portfolio section.   The NRO will then inform Health Education England's local office and the I&R Lead should contact the I&R applicant to undertake a formal interview and career review to check they meet the criteria to apply for a portfolio application and seek approval from the NHS England local team. Once these steps are confirmed you should confirm to the NRO you have approved the applicant for the portfolio route and we will inform the RCGP and the doctor can apply directly to enter the Portfolio route.

The college will advise the NRO and in turn advise the Health Education England local office of the outcome and if successful the candidate will require a placement of up to 4 weeks within general practice.

A full step by step guide is provided on the RCGP website which is very informative.