General Practice Assistant (GPA)


The role of the General Practice Assistant (GPA) was developed to support GP surgeries in routine admin tasks and basic clinical duties. The GPA role has been in place in primary care for some years, however, this was added to the list of ARRS roles in 2018.  This is a hybrid role offering either administrative support, basic clinical support, or a combination of both roles to GPs.  Ultimately it is up to the Practice/PCN to determine the tasks that GPAs undertake in Practice. 

Role Responsibilities

GPAs support doctors in the smooth running of their surgery by handling the routine administration and some basic clinical duties enabling the GP to focus on the patient. Depending on the Practice’s needs a GP Assistant can be trained to help with:  

  • Sorting all clinical post and prioritising  
  • Extracting all information from clinical letters that needs coding  
  • Dealing with all routine clinical post directly e.g. Did Not Attend letters, 2 Week Wait etc.  
  • Arranging appointments, referrals and follow up appointments of patients  
  • Preparing patients prior to going in to see the GP, taking a brief history and basic readings in readiness for the GP appointment.  
  • Dipping urine, taking blood pressure, ECGs & phlebotomy  
  • Completing basic (non-opinion) forms for the GP to approve and sign such as insurance forms, mortgage forms e.g. ESA113 etc  
  • Explaining treatment procedures to patients including arranging follow up appointments  
  • Helping the GP liaise with outside agencies i.e. getting an on call doctor on the phone to ask advice or arrange admission while the GP can continue with their consultation(s)  
  • Support the GP with wound care and (subject to the relevant training and supervision – see below) 

Entry Requirements

Those applying should be an existing staff member who is already considered competent in good patient care from their experience as members of a GP practice. In addition to excellent communication skills and in practice administrative training they must also be DBS enhanced level checked.  

Training and Development

Standard Training (on entry to Primary Care)

To work as a GPA there is an accredited route – The ‘GPA Skills Certificate’ and a non-accredited route – via portfolio, however, the core competencies are the same.   

The East of England Accredited Programme Provider details are below: 

ARU Writtle: contact [email protected] Please contact them direct for further course specific information.  

Further information on the accredited and non-accredited routes can be found below: 

GPA Accredited Training prog overview 

GPA Building an evidence portfolio 

GPA learner guide final  

Core Competencies

GPAs work to a national competency framework which specifies a range of core capabilities expected of the General Practice Assistant (GPA) working within general practice/primary care.  The framework is structured around 5 key domains:  

  • Care  
  • Administration  
  • Clinical  
  • Communications  
  • Managing Health Records

Within the domains are a total of 58 capabilities. The capabilities set out what the GPA working in general practice/primary care settings should demonstrate. To further support GP practices in identifying and reviewing capabilities, specific assessment criteria has also been included in the framework. This will help GPAs to build a portfolio of evidence and demonstrate the required knowledge, skills and behaviours essential to the GPA role, and promote clinical thinking and reflection.

Additional Training

Supporting GP with basic observations as required e.g., dipping urine, taking blood pressure, ECGs & phlebotomy.

Supervision Requirements

GPAs are required to have a primary mentor who is a GP and who can undertake regular tutorials. Should a practice wish to use healthcare professionals or other colleagues to support the GPA with elements of training/learning, they must be fully endorsed by the GP practice following a risk assessment within the practice, e.g. for indemnity/insurance purposes. The practice team must also be fully confident that the healthcare professionals/colleagues are fully trained and qualified to support the learner.  

GPA Supporting resources mentors aligned to comp framework 


AFC Band 4

100% of actual salary plus defined on costs covered via ARRS Scheme.

Recruitment Information

The General Practice Assistant role has been introduced into the ARRS. PCNs can immediately start recruiting to the role, predominately through trainee positions.

Where a PCN employs a General Practice Assistant under the ARRS, the PCN must ensure that the GPA meets the ‘Minimum Role Requirements’ stipulated in Annex B of the NHSE Network DES

Please find various resources in this section to assist in the recruitment and embedding of the GPA role in General Practice. 

Additional Recourses