They focus on supporting General Practitioners in their day-to-day management of patients, specifically aimed at reducing the administrative burden, making the best use of consultation time and supporting those particularly vulnerable to isolation who are regular attenders at the practice.

Development of the role depends on a range of factors – patient needs, existing skills mix, culture and having the staff, time and financial resource to invest in work-based learning, mentorship and supervision.

Download the latest GPA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

General Practice Assistant (GPA) FAQ

Training/Development

  • A work-based learning programme has been developed that typically takes 6-9 months to complete. Learning takes place in the practice, led, and assessed by a GP mentor
  • Learners are usually existing staff with some experience of general practice (such as HCAs or receptionists) who are upskilling to the GPA role
  • Learners are expected to have 1 day per week of protected time to learn their new skills. This includes time to work with their GP mentor, for teaching and ‘hands on’ experience (half a day) and time to upload their evidence of competence to the online platform (half a day).
  • A GPA certificate is awarded on successful completion of the competency-based portfolio.

PCNs can immediately start recruiting to the role, predominantly through trainee positions. Staff can be trained in-practice, with on-the-job training and development led by GPs, in line with the role outline. Trainee GPAs will also have the opportunity to complete HEE’s structured, accredited training route, aligned to the competency framework, equipping them with formal certification of their learning.

We are sharing some initial FAQs which may be helpful to Training Hubs in this initial phase as you begin to receive enquiries from PCNs regarding this role and endeavour to share further information as it is received.  

  • Where should we direct queries about the inclusion of the GPA role in the additional roles scheme?

Please direct all queries to england.primarycareworkforce@nhs.net.

  • Where should we direct staff members who would like to take up the accredited training offer?

Please direct them to transformation@hee.nhs.uk

  • Can I receive ARRS funding from Oct onwards for a GPA who is currently studying on the accredited programme?

Yes. GPAs were not included in PCN baselines. As such, PCNs are able to employ GPNs, and claim reimbursement for their salaries as with any other additional role, if staff meet the requirements outlined in the Network Contract DES.

  • Once the GPA has completed training and moves from Trainee GPA to GPA, are they still eligible for funding?

Yes

  • Is back dated funding available for GPA who has already passed the accredited programme and hired into the role?

No, PCNs can only claim reimbursement for GPA salaries from the point at which the role is introduced in the Network Contract DES. It is not possible to claim funding for back dated salaries prior to that date.

  • Is there a cap on numbers for Trainee GPAs?

No, recruitment is not capped.

  • Can non-accredited GPAs move between practices?

Yes, hiring decisions are made by individual PCNs, which hold responsibility for ensuring that staff meet the requirements of the DES.

  • Can each practice interpret what the job role will be, or will there be a requirement for them to choose either a non-clinical or ‘hybrid’ role (clinical and non-clinical)?

PCNs practices can choose how to deploy staff in this role, within the outlines of the competency framework and role description.

  • Is there any support offered/monitoring of progress or will this be down to the GP practice? How will learners complete if no evidence has to be submitted?

GPAs can choose to take part in the formal accreditation programme. If they do not, they will be expected to develop competencies, under the supervision of a GP, in line with the competency framework.  

  • What are the implications on indemnity and public liability insurance and/or arrangements?

GPAs will operate under the contract, guidance and supervision of GPs, as with other ARRS roles. GPs hold responsibility for services delivered under their contract.  

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