Starting annually in December, the first year in the GPEP programme will see you hit the ground running as you prepare for life as a general practitioner.

Entry requirements onto the GPEP Programme

When applying for the GPEP Programme, please ensure you have met the following entry requirements:

  • Have completed two postgraduate years in rotating hospital runs (a total of 8 runs) by the time you start your first year of GPEP in December (i.e you may complete your runs the year you apply, they do not need to be completed for you to start your application). For more information about run requirements, please click here
  • Have worked for one year in New Zealand, such as completing one year of runs in a New Zealand hospital ( can be a rural hospital), working in general practice or a related primary care position. You also should have general registration in the country where you work currently (if you're from overseas.)
  • You will need to have general registration with the Medical Council of New Zealand before point of entry into the programme. (I.e. when you start GPEP Year1 in December of the year you applied for).

Preference will be given to applicants who meet the Health Workforce New Zealand (HWNZ) criteria:

  • New Zealand Citizens or Permanent Residents with no restrictions.
  • HWNZ will consider exceptions on a case-by-case basis, prerequisites can be found here. The College cannot guarantee that you will be granted an exception for the funding. If you would like to discuss, please contact the GPEP Applications team: gpepapplications@rnzcgp.org.nz

GPEP Year 1 Funding types

As a New Zealand Citizen or a Permanent Resident of New Zealand Visa holder (with no restrictions) your GPEP Year 1 programme fees will be paid by HWNZ. You will have three options:

1. College Employment

You would be employed directly by the College during your twelve months in GPEP Year 1.

During that time the College will require you to work in two difference practices (two 6-month attachments) which will be located within your training region.

You will not be able to change regions during the year.

You will be required to complete a high-needs and/or rural placement. Please expect travel of up to at least 1 hour for one of your attachments.

If you have any issues in regards to travel time please note why in your application.

This will not affect your eligibility to join the programme, however it will aid us in deciding your practice placements.

 If any issues do arise after the application and interview stages, please let us know as soon as you can.

This is the usual option for New Zealand citizens and Permanent Resident (without restrictions) Visa holders.

The expenses associated with employment and training (including your exam fees) during your GPEP Year 1 will be paid by the government to the College, with salary and expense reimbursements being passed on to you.

The terms and conditions of your employment will be governed by your employment agreement with the College.

2. Practice employed

This is an option if you are currently employed by a practice and/or wish to remain in a single practice throughout their first year of GPEP training.

You would be employed directly by a practice and work at that practice for the twelve month period of GPEP Year 1 training (i.e. you will not be required to change practices at 6 months as College employed registrars are required to do). The College does not allocate practices to practice employed registrars, you will need to find your own employment.

A practice who employs a GPEP1 registrar is required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the College.

A practice-employed registrar is entitled to the same level of educational support and assistance as College employed registrars, however you will be required to negotiate your own terms and conditions with your employing practice.

The training fees associated with GPEP Year 1 will be paid by the government directly to the College, your salary will be paid by your practice and you will need to pay for your clinical and written exam fees.

In order for a practice to employ you during GPEP 1 you must ensure the following:

  • The practice is CORNERSTONE® accredited or working towards CORNERSTONE® accreditation
  • If the practice has not had a GPEP 1 registrar in a three year period, the practice will need to have a new teaching practice accreditation visit prior to GPEP training beginning, to ensure it meets the College teaching practice standards. Please check with the College if the practice is accredited.
  • That within the practice there is a Fellow of the RNZCGP who is prepared to engage in new teacher accreditation (if required) prior to training beginning, and be available to meet the College teacher standards for the full twelve months of the programme.

If you are not a New Zealand Citizen or will not have an unrestricted Permanent Residency Visa before closing date of applications (5.00pm NZST, 06 April 2018) then we recommend that you apply for the following third option; self funded. 


3. Self-funded

Applying as a self-funded registrar means you will need to pay the programme fees ($40,000 plus GST) yourself.

You would be employed directly by a practice and work at that practice for the twelve month period of the GPEP Year 1 training (i.e. you will not be required to change practices at 6 months as College employed registrars are required to do). The College does not allocate practices to self-funded registrars, you will need to find your own employment. You will be required to negotiate your own terms and conditions with your employing practice.

The College will invoice you the training and administration fees ($40,000 plus GST) associated with GPEP Year 1, your salary will be paid by your practice and you will need to pay for your clinical and written exam fees. Payment may be made at the commencement of the programme, or alternatively in two or four instalments over the 12 month period of the programme.

A practice who employs a GPEP1 registrar is required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the College In order for a practice to employ you during GPEP 1 you must ensure the following:

  • The practice is CORNERSTONE® accredited or working towards CORNERSTONE® accreditation
  • If the practice has not had a GPEP 1 registrar in a three year period, the practice will need to have a new teaching practice accreditation visit prior to GPEP training beginning, to ensure it meets the College teaching practice standards. Please check with the College if the practice is accredited.
  • That within the practice there is a Fellow of the RNZCGP who is prepared to engage in new teacher accreditation (if required) prior to training beginning, and be available to meet the College teacher standards for the full twelve months of the programme.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Clinical experience gained before beginning the General Practice Education Programme

General practice clinical experience:

  • If you have completed specialist training in other overseas countries,

 - AND - 

If you are accepted into GPEP and become a member of the College, you can apply to have your GPEP clinical time reduced. 

We will consider your clinical experience during previous formal training, and its relevance to the GPEP programme and the New Zealand health system, when we make our decision. 

If we recognise your prior clinical learning, it can reduce your total time in GPEP by up to 12 months.

To apply for recognition of your prior learning, please complete and return the application form with all the documentation we need. 


Non-general practice clinical experience 

If you are accepted into the General Practice Education Programme (GPEP), you can apply to have your non-general practice clinical time such as rural hospital medicine or as an urgent care physician recognised as prior learning. It must be relevant to general practice to qualify.

If we recognise your prior clinical learning, you will be exempted from some of the clinical time or education components of GPEP.

To apply for recognition of your prior learning, please complete and return the application form with all the documentation we need. 

Download the Recognition of Prior Learning Application Form

Any questions? 
If you have any questions about having overseas qualifications and training recognised by us, please email margaret.needham@rnzcgp.org.nz


GPEP2/3 costs

At the completion of GPEP1 you will begin paying membership fees to the College, which can be paid by monthly direct debit. These will be invoiced separately from your GPEP 2/3 fees.

The annual fee for GPEP2/3 is $2,500 plus GST.

At the end of GPEP3 you are registered for CPD online. This is the College’s recertification Programme. We allow a six-month grace period for the completion of all GPEP requirements up to and the Fellowship Assessment visit, during this time no fee is payable. If Fellowship is not awarded during those six months a fee will then be invoiced.

This will be payable each year until Fellowship is awarded. The annual CPD online fee (if required) is $600 plus GST.

On completion of GPEP 2/3, you will have a Fellowship assessment fee of $2,100 plus GST. If you have already arranged monthly direct debit fees, all your outstanding fees (excluding College membership) will have to be paid up in full.

Find out more information about the RNZCGP Training Fees and Membership (Subscription) Fees.