The role of General Practice Assistant (GPA) was initially developed in the United States, to safely deliver a combination of routine administrative tasks and some basic clinical duties in the General Practice setting. The focus being on supporting General Practitioners in their day-to-day management of patients, specifically aimed at reducing the administrative burden and making best use of consultation time.

Following a successful pilot of the GPA role in the Northwest, a national programme was established in 2019 to support the spread and adoption of the GPA role across the country, providing a consistent approach to developing the role, underpinned by a defined job description and competency framework to support work-based learning.

GPAs are trained to provide a support role, carrying out administrative tasks with basic clinical duties, helping to free up GP time and contribute to the smooth running of appointments, and improving patients’ experience in the surgery. By 2021, over 350 GPAs had successfully completed the programme. Early evidence and feedback from GP practices suggested that effective adoption of this role can support in:

  • Improving patient access and releasing highly qualified staff to concentrate on treating and managing patients with more complex conditions.
  • Improving patient flow within surgery hours, increasing the time efficiency of appointments and reduction of waiting times.
  • Supporting patient experience by ‘translating’ or reiterating information from the GP.
  • Have a positive impact on retention and job satisfaction.
  • Reduce time spent by GPs on managing clinical and non-clinical correspondence.

How to Apply

***Limited places available***

Until the accredited provider is commissioned, Practices/PCNs can recruit and train GPAs in-house against the defined GPA competency framework. Once the accredited places become available it will be possible to gain retrospective accreditation by submitting evidence to an online e-portfolio.  Trainee GPAs will be required to build a portfolio of evidence to support competency development under the direction of a GP mentor (and supporting secondary mentor).

Currently there are three options available to Practices/PCNs for the trainee GPA:

  1. Train in-house via the framework (not accredited – either Clinical or non-Clinical route).
  2. Train in-house via the framework and develop evidence in anticipation of gaining retrospective accreditation once accredited places become available.
  3. Wait until future accredited cohorts become available and then recruit and train via the accredited framework.

For options 2 and 3, please contact the national GPA team to register your interest for an accredited place transformation@hee.nhs.uk

Full details of the GPA Programme are available on e-Learning for Health:

https://www.e-lfh.org.uk/programmes/general-practice-assistant/

Please send the completed application form to wy.traininghub@nhs.net

Please find the Application Form here.

Useful Resources

  • Please find the GPA Competency Framework here
  • Please find advice on building the portfolio of evidence here
  • Please find guidance on completion timelines here
  • Please find the Trainee GPA Handbook here
  • Please find the GP Mentor Handbook here
  • Please find an example GPA Job Description here
  • Please find FAQs here

GPA and Immunisations

The GPA programme/framework does not cover immunisations, but the general practice/PCN may suggest the GPA observe a registered health professional carrying out immunisations to gain further knowledge and understanding. In line with Public Health England’s recommendations, only HSWs who have achieved education and training to Level Three (Qualifications Credit Framework) with at least 2 years’ experience should be considered for training in vaccine administration. Therefore, if the member of staff does not already have this experience, after GPA programme completion and attaining a further two years of experience in the clinical GPA role, the employer (e.g., general practice or PCN) may wish to consider further developing and training clinical GPAs in vaccine administration. Please find further information here.

A HCSW who administers immunisations must have completed relevant training and have been assessed as competent by a registered practitioner who is experienced in immunisation – mentorship, close supervision, and support strategies are essential.