General practice experience assessment refers to the date from which an applicant has passed the required level of general practice experience, depending on the documentation and work dates. This type of GPE experience assessment is generally used during the application for a fellowship through the GPE route and for time calculations in the subsequent GPE processes. General practitioners are also used to determine eligibility to receive clinical training through the General Practice Doctoral Training programme (PDT).
General practice experience assessment can be based on several different aspects of work experience. The most common types of experience used to assess general practice work experience include clinical work experience that has been undertaken with a GP or as part of a clinical training scheme. Examples of clinical work experience that can be used as part of a general practitioner’s clinical training include prescribing, administering drugs and undertaking laboratory tests. These types of clinical experience have been found to have been highly relevant to the practice of general practice care and should therefore be considered during the review process.
General practice work experience can also include any other work that an individual has completed, such as a volunteer position. The length of time in which the volunteer work has taken place can also be a valuable consideration in the assessment process.
A major part of clinical experience assessment is the use of the number of years it takes to complete the clinical training required. This is based on two main factors: the complexity of the training and the amount of clinical work undertaken during the training period.
There is a need to consider the nature of the clinical training undertaken at the time the applicant is assessed. There are three different types of general practice training: the NHS Clinical Training Scheme, the National Health Service (NHSCTS) Clinical Training Scheme and the National Health Service (NHSSTC) Clinical Training Scheme. Whilst all three of these schemes are aimed at providing trainees with relevant clinical work experience, there are differences between them. For instance, while the NHSCTS is focused more on preparing trainees to become general practitioners, the NHSSTC is more focused on preparing trainees for further studies.
Duration and Complexity
During clinical work experience assessment, the amount of clinical work undertaken and its complexity can affect the level of clinical work experience required. For example, when considering GPs in NHSCTS, the length of clinical training may be less than five years. Therefore, the need to include this information on the application form may not be as important. In contrast, the clinical training requirement of NHSSTC trainees can be up to ten years and this may be more useful, especially if the trainee already has a role in the practice.
As well as the duration of clinical work experience, the number of years in which the clinical work was undertaken will also affect the level of clinical work experience required. It should be noted that, even if a candidate has completed less than five years of clinical training, they may still be required to provide evidence of a high standard of clinical work experience for clinical work experience assessment.
This is because a higher level of clinical work experience will mean that they have more relevant clinical work experiences to support their application. Therefore, they will be able to show that they have the potential to gain skills that will be useful throughout their career in general practice. In addition to providing clinical work experience, applicants must also demonstrate leadership ability and commitment to their practice, in addition to the amount of clinical work completed.