11 August 2017

RCGP will Continue to Push for Longer GP Training Programme Despite Review Recommendation

In response to the Shape of Training report, published today, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:

"It is the clearly stated position of the College that GP training should be a minimum of four years in length - and that the extra training time should be spent based in general practice. This was reconfirmed at our governing Council meeting in February, and the idea of a '3+1' model - whereby an additional year could be undertaken after the mandatory CCT training programme - was rejected, so we are disappointed with the outcome of this report today.

"General practice has the broadest curriculum, but the shortest specialty training programme – a paradox that has been widely recognised and the educational case for our calls for four-year training have previously been accepted, including by the original Shape of Training Review and the Tooke report 'Aspiring to Excellence'.

"We have serious concerns that a '3+1' model would not offer a consistent and appropriate training experience, nor sufficiently prepare qualifying GPs for new models of general practice, the ongoing move of services from secondary care to the community, and the increasingly complex needs of the patient population – in the way that an enhanced four-year training programme would.

"We have the utmost confidence in our current trainees and newly qualified GPs, but with the changing landscape of general practice, we want our future GPs to be as confident to practise independently as possible – and it is our view that extending GP training by at least a year is the best way to do this.

"The College will continue to argue strongly that the length of mandatory GP training should be increased for all trainees to a minimum of four years. We will be responding fully to all aspects of the report in due course."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7633
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659


The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.