Please thoroughly read the guidance below, and links to the left to fully understand the process and policies involved with deferment of GP training.
Statutory Deferred Entry
UK applicants can defer the start of their ST1 programme on statutory grounds such as personal ill health or maternity/paternity/adoption leave in line with the Reference Guide for Postgraduate Specialty Training in the UK (The Gold Guide, 7th Ed.).
Candidates who defer their start date due to statutory reasons will be guaranteed a place on the training programme originally offered.
Non-statutory Deferred Entry
GP training is unique in offering non-statutory deferral as an opportunity for those taking up a programme. Successful applicants appointed to England, Scotland or Wales are eligible to defer entry to GP training on non-statutory grounds for up to 12 months; non-statutory deferment is not permitted in Northern Ireland.
Applicants who wish to defer on non-statutory grounds should read the Step-on Step-off policy (available on link to the left of this page) to understand the processes and timescales for requesting deferred entry and action accordingly.
All applicants applying for non-statutory deferral must indicate this at time of application by saying “Yes” to the question “Do you wish to apply for a deferred start date?”
All non-statutory deferment requests are subject to consideration and approval from the local training region, not the GPNRO, and all decisions will be taken by the local training region in alignment with their local policy and workforce demand. It should be noted that as non-statutory deferments are not an entitlement, approval of requests cannot be guaranteed.
Non-statutory Deferred Entry - implications on rotation allocations
If you opt to take a period of non-statutory deferral, it is important you are aware that it may NOT be possible following your deferral to commence training in the originally offered programme. Furthermore, if your offered programme is associated with the Targeted Enhanced Recruitment Scheme (TERS), you will NOT be eligible for TERS funding, even if you are allocated to a TERS post.
If you chose to defer for any length of time, it will NOT be possible to guarantee ANY rotations or programme allocations.
If you defer your start date you will NOT be eligible for TERS funding.
12 month deferrals - we will NOT be able to guarantee a return to your originally allocated programme; you may be offered a rotation in an under-filled programme. While we do our best to return you to your offered programme, there is a real risk that this may not be possible and in these cases we will allocate you to your first available vacant programme according to the process outlined below.
6 month deferrals – if you request a 6 month deferral, it is likely that we will be able to give you an indicative rotation. and you would normally have to drop/lose your first post in this rotation. It is very unlikely that you will be offered this post at any other time. The exception to this will be if your first post is in GP, and you would usually then be swapped into this at a later point.
4 month deferrals – it is not always possible to agree deferrals for this period of time as a 4 month deferral period can ONLY be granted if you are allocated to a rotation with placements of this duration. Please refer to details of specific rotations for each programme.
Returning to training following non-statutory deferral
If you are on a period of deferral and have not already been given an indicative rotation (i.e. you are deferring for 12 months), before the current round of offers are complete you will be asked to fill in a Programme Preference Form, in which you will rank your preferred programmes within either Severn or Peninsula.
Should we be unable to allocate you to the programme you deferred entry from (e.g. Bristol programme, Plymouth Programme) then we will allocate you to the first available programme with vacancies according to your submitted Programme Preference Form.
Once we have confirmed your allocated Programme in either Severn or Peninsula we will contact you, along with all other trainees from the current round of recruitment to commence rotation preferencing.
Within your allocated programme your national ranking number will be taken into account alongside the current candidates recruited and used to determine your rotation by matching candidates to their preferences according to ranking. Direct pathway candidates will rank above those who attended a selection centre.
Deferred Entry for Applicants Requiring Tier 2 Sponsorship
Applicants who will require a Certificate of Sponsorship to obtain a Tier 2 Visa to undertake GP training should seek immigration advice to ensure they are eligible for deferment.