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What are the GP competences?

Competence means having the abilities, knowledge and skills necessary for professional practise. There are thirteen GP competences that GP trainees must demonstrate they have met by the end of their training:

Communication and consultation skills - communication with patients, and the use of recognised consultation techniques

Practising holistically – operating in physical, psychological, socioeconomic and cultural dimensions, taking into account feelings as well as thoughts

Data gathering and interpretation – for clinical judgement, choice of physical examination and investigations and their interpretation

Making a diagnosis and making decisions – a conscious, structured approach to decision making

Clinical management – recognition and management of common medical conditions in primary care

Managing medical complexity and promoting health – aspects of care beyond managing straightforward problems, including management of co-morbidity, uncertainty, risk and focusing on health rather than just illness

Organisational Management and LeadershipThis competency is about an understanding of how primary care within the NHS is organised, how a primary care team is managed and the development of clinical leadership skills

Working with colleagues and in teams – working effectively with other professionals to ensure good patient care, including sharing information with colleagues

Community orientation – management of the health and social care of the practice population and local community

Maintaining performance, learning and teaching – maintaining performance and effective CPD for oneself and others

Maintaining an ethical approach to practice – practising ethically, with integrity and a respect for diversity

Fitness to practise – the doctor's awareness of when his/her own performance, conduct or health, or that of others, might put patients at risk, and taking action to protect patients

Clinical examination and procedural skills – competent physical examination of the patient with accurate interpretation of physical signs and the safe practice of procedural skills



More detailed descriptions, including word pictures for different levels of each competence, can be found on the RCGP website here

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