You will need to have certain documents to hand when you start booking work, and certainly by the time you arrive at the surgery. Some of these will take some time to organise, so it’s a good idea to get your applications in first so that they can be processed while you are getting on with other things – like finding work.

The CQC specifies a list of required documents which you can view at Nigel’s Surgery on GP locums.

However, practices don’t usually request all of these. We believe the following list satisfies the CQC requirements and also reflects what you’re likely to be asked for.

1) Up to date CV

There are plenty of free websites to help create a professional looking CV.

Worth a look if you are unsure where to start?  A good example of one is at

2) Evidence of inclusion on The National Performers List

If you trained in the UK, you will likely already be on this list as it’s a requirement for GP registrars soon after starting their reg post.

You can apply for inclusion online in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

You (or the practice) can check your inclusion online in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  In Scotland there is no single searchable list as each NHS Board holds its own.

Even if you are already on the performers list, you will need to notify a change of status to GP locum. Here is the ‘change your status’ form for England.

Historically there have been delays for some GPs changing their status. PCSE have posted a statement regarding this on their website, essentially stating that as long as you are registered with the GMC as being fully qualified and have completed your CCT, then there should be no reason not to be able to practice independently.

For Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, we would recommend contacting your host local health board.

3) Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT)

A CCT confirms that a doctor has completed an approved training programme in the UK and is eligible for entry onto the GP register.

The GMC has further details and you can apply for your CCT certificate online

4) Evidence of registration on the GMC GP register.

Once you have your CCT certificate, you will need to present it to the GMC to be included on the GP register.  Again, the GMC has details and you can apply online.

Once you’re on the register, practices will check your GMC details online before engaging you as a locum.

5) Criminal Records Checks

This will have been obtained during your training. It’s a necessity for inclusion on the National Performers List.

Usually, for permanent employees, a check is performed by a prospective employer who will then have their own policy as to how long this check remains valid.

There are different systems for England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.


England & Wales

Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS- formerly CRB check)

As a locum, the LMC sets policy in this area so if you’re unsure how long your certificate will be considered current, you should check with them.

New certificates are usually obtained via your LMC from the Disclosure & Barring Service. Once you have your new certificate, you have a window of 19 days to apply for an automatic update service which keeps your registration updated for £13 per year.

If you miss the window, you’ll have to wait for your next application to join the update service – so it’s worth doing straight away.

Practices can check your DBS certificate on line. Details here



The service is provided by Disclosure Scotland. There are full details of the scheme as it applies to locums here


Northern Ireland

The service is provided by AccessNI.

6) Medical indemnity certificate.

Contact your Medical Defence Organisation (MDO) to let them know of your change of status to locum, and how many sessions you plan to work. With some organisations you can alter this retrospectively if you find you have taken on more or less work than expected.

Locum Organiser can tally up how many sessions you have actually worked and how many you have booked in the future to help you get the right level of cover.

In his blog article, Dr Naeem Nazem, a medical adviser at MDDUS, has tips on protecting yourself as a GP Locum

7) Proof of hep B status

8) Copy of passport or alternative photo ID

9) References – usually two

Your documents can be easily uploaded and stored on LO, and emailed to practices as and when required.

10) Set up your tax

As well as the paperwork required by the practice, you’ll need to do some admin on the financial side too.

When the time comes you can complete your tax return online, though most take the easy route of getting an accountant to do it for them. To help you get your figures to your accountant, you can download your data in spreadsheet form using Locum Organiser.

Some locums consider setting up a limited company to aid with tax planning, but be aware that work performed through a limited company is not eligible for inclusion in the NHS pension scheme.

This is therefore a decision not to be taken lightly and you should take advice from a financial advisor who is familiar with the NHS scheme.

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