This site is for reference only

The Joint Committee WAS a statutory body which issues certificates to GPs who have successfully completed vocational training in the UK. The Joint Committee certificate is the licence to practise as a GP in the UK in any capacity.The Joint Committee also sets the standards for all GP training posts in the UK and carries out a programme of accreditation visits to all areas of the UK to ensure that its standards are being met.

List of GPs who have a certificate to practise

The advice on this site is based on the Joint Committee’s understanding of current legislation and the regulatory framework for general medical practice at the time of publication. It is not a legal document nor can it cover in detail every aspect of the NHS (Vocational Training) Regulation.

The JCPTGP certificate is the legal licence to work in UK general practice. Applicants are reminded that their certificate must have been issued before they start work in general practice as a locum, deputy, assistant or principal. If an application for a certificate is pending, employment must be deferred until the certificate is issued.

Applicants must be fully registered with the GMC ( at the time their application for a certificate is made and at the time the certificate is issued.

There was no fee to be paid for making an application or for a JCPTGP certificate.

The JCPTGP will always issue a certificate of prescribed experience within 10 working days of receipt of a complete, accurately documented application. Applications made under equivalent experience usually take much longer to process because a range of independent inquiries will be made about the application.

The Joint Committee does not normally interview applicants.

The Joint Committee does not accept oral statements from referees and will not normally telephone overseas referees on behalf of an applicant.

GP Registrars are responsible for their own application and for the preparation of the required documents. Applicants should keep copies of all the documents they submit.

A VTR form can be signed and submitted to the JCPTGP four weeks before the final day of training in that post but no earlier than this.

You do not have to wait until the end of your training before asking the Committee to assess your experience. The Joint Committee strongly recommends that all but the final VTR form be submitted to the Committee as early as possible so that the majority of the applicant’s documentation can be checked in advance of the applicant making a formal application for a certificate. This will avoid delays in the issuing of the certificate.

Applicants do not need to submit VTR1 and VTR2 forms attesting to more than the amount of training required by Regulation. The Joint Committee will, however, check (and return for amendment, where necessary), all the VTR forms submitted. The Committee will record all approved and satisfactorily completed training on the applicant’s certificate record.

It is important to obtain a VTR form at the end of each appointment. Obtaining the forms at a later date can cause delay in the issue of a Joint Committee certificate and therefore entry to general practice.

As soon as all documentation is received, checked and approved a certificate will be issued. All incomplete and inaccurate forms will be returned to the applicant for amendment. If the Joint Committee is not satisfied that the experience presented meets the requirements of the Regulations, it will write to the applicant explaining that a certificate has been refused giving reasons and listing the further training which the Joint Committee thinks is necessary. The Committee will also tell the doctor about his right of appeal to the Secretary of State for Health.

Prescribed Experience

There is no application form for the certificate of prescribed experience. Doctors who have completed the prescribed experience programme should submit:

  • A covering letter giving their full name, GMC registration number and the address to which the certificate should be sent. (The certificate is sent out by recorded delivery and will therefore need to be signed for on receipt)
  • A copy of a current certificate of full registration with the GMC.
  • VTR1 and VTR2 forms attesting to the satisfactory completion of 36 months training and Summative Assessment. Only original forms should be submitted; photocopies and faxes are not acceptable. Each period of training that makes up the three year programme must be recorded using a VTR form. This confirms the total period of employment in the post and that it was completed to the satisfaction of the supervising doctor. A signed form indicates that, in the opinion of the supervisor, satisfactory levels of clinical competence and performance were reached by the post-holder.
  • The VTR1 is used to record experience as a GP Registrar. It is available on the JCPTGP web site, from the GP trainer and from Deaneries. The VTR1 should be signed by the trainer and endorsed by the Director of Postgraduate General Practice Education, or a nominated deputy. If the GP Registrar year was divided, a separate VTR1 is needed for each period of training, even if both periods were undertaken with the same trainer. The final VTR1 must be signed by the director to confirm that the GP Registrar has passed Summative Assessment.
  • The VTR2 is used to record periods of training in hospital. It is available from the Joint Committee web site or the medical staffing office at the hospital where the post was held. It should be signed by the supervising consultant and bear the hospital stamp. This form must also be endorsed by the Director of Postgraduate General Practice Education responsible for training in that deanery, or a nominated deputy. If the supervising consultant has retired, his successor may be approached to sign the form on the basis of information on file.

Equivalent Experience

Doctors making an application for a certificate of equivalent experience should submit:

  • A covering letter giving their full name, GMC registration number and the address to which the certificate should be sent. (The certificate is sent out by recorded delivery)
  • A copy of a current certificate of full registration with the GMC.
  • A completed application form for the certificate of equivalent experience. (The application form is available from the Joint Committee.)
  • VTR1 and VTR2 forms as described above.
  • OSF/EEC forms for training posts in hospitals in the EEA. (Available from the JCPTGP). These forms must be completed in full, signed by the supervising consultant and stamped by the Medical Staffing Office of the hospital. OSF/EEC forms should be accompanied by a statement from the relevant EEA Competent Authority confirming post approval under EC Directive 93/16 . Specifically the statement should say whether or not the post was approved under Title III of EU Council Directive 93/16/EC for the training of specialists and/or under Title IV of EU Directive 93/16EC for the training of general practitioners.OSF/EEC forms can also be used to document periods of training as a GP Registrar in the EEA.The Joint Committee does not normally take up references for EEA training posts.
  • OSF/R forms for training posts in hospitals overseas. (available from the JCPTGP) These forms must be completed in full, signed by the supervising consultant and stamped by the Medical Staffing Office of the hospital.The Joint Committee will take up references for some or all of the overseas training posts submitted.
  • Doctors who have recently completed a formal family medicine training programme overseas should submit a transcript from the appropriate training or approval authorities to confirm the full details of all the components of the programme, in both hospital specialties and general practice. The precise dates of each rotation and the mode of attendance should be specified. The transcript must be an original document, on the headed paper of the authority and also verify satisfactory completion of the programme. Transcripts from more than one body should be submitted if appropriate.
  • Applicants for certificates of equivalent experience must show that they have been clinically active throughout the period that contains the training/experience they are asking the Committee to consider. Original testimonials and/or employers’ statements, on headed note paper, giving the dates, grades and speciality of the appointment and signed by the supervising doctor or by a member of staff in the medical staffing department should be provided.

Where an application includes overseas training, EU law requires the JCPTGP to make a decision on that application within three months of the date the application was submitted with full supporting documentation. The JCPTGP makes its own independent, inquiries about overseas experience. This involves contacting referees overseas and this can take some time. Only when all the documentation requested by the Committee has been received will be application be regarded as containing full supporting documentation. Applicants who would like their applications assessed without full supporting documentation should inform the Committee in writing.

Doctors who have trained in the EEA

Before applying to the Joint Committee, doctors from the EEA must first present all the postgraduate general practice/family medicine certificates and diplomas issued to them in their own Member State, to the GMC’s Registration Directorate (EEA Applications Section), 178 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5JE, requesting confirmation of the status of their training and qualifications under Title IV, Council Directive 93/16/EEC. This is so that the GMC can confirm whether or not they already have a recognised Certificate of Specific Training or of Acquired Rights issued by another Member State. A doctor who has one of these certificates is exempt from GP training in the UK. The Joint Committee will not normally consider applications for UK certificates from doctors who have another EEA certificate.

To simplify the process described above the GMC and Joint Committee ask doctors to complete a form GMC/GP which is available from both organisations and should be submitted to the GMC.

Advice is given by the GMC in writing and a copy sent to the Joint Committee. Once the GMC’s advice is obtained, and provided a doctor does not already hold a certificate of vocational training or of acquired rights from another EEA Member State, documentary evidence of training may then be submitted to the Joint Committee for consideration towards a certificate of equivalent experience.

The EEA comprises the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. 1


1. A bilateral agreement made on 1st June 2002 between Switzerland and the Member States of the EC means that postgraduate medical education undertaken in Switzerland will be treated by the GMC and Joint Committee in the same way as EEA training is.