Only one in 10 new GPs get a partnership on qualification

Authors: Helen Jaques 

Publication date:  07 Jul 2012

Only 10% of new GPs in the BMA’s cohort study of medical graduates secured a GP partnership post on receipt of their certificate of completion of training (CCT) last summer.

Nine of the 91 newly qualified GPs followed by the BMA throughout their training since graduation from medical school in 2006 were in a partnership post as of August 2011, when they had completed GP training.

The GPs in the cohort were most likely to be working as a salaried GP (34%) or a locum (22%) once they were awarded their CCT in August 2011.

However, two thirds (66%) of the cohort doctors who were working in general practice wanted ultimately to work as a GP principal.

Ten per cent of the cohort in their third and final year of GP training said that they had found it difficult or very difficult to secure a post on qualification, and a quarter said that they had yet to secure a job at the time of the survey. A fifth said that they had found getting a job at the end of their training very easy.

The BMA has followed a cohort of 431 trainee doctors every summer since their graduation from medical school in 2006 to seek their views on the preceding 12 months of training. At the time of the 2011 survey, 134 (38%) of the cohort doctors were working or training in general practice, 91 of whom had completed their third and final year of GP training.

The doctors who completed GP training last summer were largely positive about how the training programme had prepared them for their CCT and for qualified practice.

Newly qualified GPs rated the training programme an average 7.6 out of nine (where one is bad and nine is good), with doctors rating the communication skills they gained during training the highest (mean 8.4) and indicating that they were least prepared with respect to finance and practice management skills (mean 5.8).

Nearly all of the newly qualified GPs (93%) said that the GP training programme had prepared them well for working as a GP, although 84% said that there were areas where the programme could be improved, in particular that some placements should be made compulsory and that progression through the programme was overly reliant on ticking boxes.

Just under half (42%) agreed that the training programme should be longer than three years, in line with the Royal College of General Practitioners’ plan to extend GP training to four years.[1]

During their GP specialty training cohort doctors were most likely to have done placements in general practice, paediatrics, accident and emergency, geriatrics, and obstetrics and gynaecology. Around half had done a placement in psychiatry, and nearly all had been able to do at least 12 sessions of out of hours duty in their final year.


  1. Jaques H. RCGP wins bid to extend GP training to four years. BMJ Careers  , 20 Apr 2012. [Link] .

Helen Jaques news reporter BMJ Careers

Cite this as BMJ Careers ; doi: