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Scottish Medical Training

Scotland - the home of medical excellence

Scottish Targeted Enhanced Recruitment Scheme (TERS)

Extra support for GPSTs to make a difference in practice

GP training in Scotland offers unrivalled opportunities, and training in all parts of Scotland rates highly in the annual GMC survey.

We value all our trainees and continue to invest in them so that the population of Scotland has access to the best clinical care from highly trained and motivated doctors, working in the communities in which they trained.

The Scottish Government continues to give priority to the development of primary care as the first and vital contact with patients.

The Primary Care Fund has been in place since June 2015 and continues to provide investment in primary care services across Scotland and across professions. As part of this policy to support primary care, 100 new GP training places were created for February 2017 start with some posts receiving a financial boost to help trainees work outside the main cities and central belt.

Please note: The process and rules of applying to the Targeted Enhanced Recruitment Scheme in Scotland may differ to other parts of the UK. For more information on applying to the TER Scheme in England and Wales please refer to the GPNRO website:

FAQs about the Scottish Targeted Enhanced Recruitment Scheme (TERS)

These Frequently Asked Questions are intended to provide information on the Scottish Targeted Enhanced Recruitment Scheme to support decision making by applicants. They do not consititute any binding terms and conditions and do not form part of the contractual agreement for the Scheme.

1. What is the Scottish Targeted Enhanced Recruitment Scheme?

This scheme will offer a one off Grant of £20,000 (gross) to GP trainees committed to working in one of the identified training posts in Scotland that are in areas and programmes that have in the past proven difficult to recruit to. These areas often have an extremely good track record for education, but are initially less popular simply because of their geographical location. However, those trainees that do come usually stay on after training, as they discover these locations’ hidden attractions. Our ambition is that once they have the experience of working in these areas, the new GPs will want to stay and work there after CCT.

2. Where are the hard to recruit training posts?

The Programmes in the Scheme can vary. The page for the specific intake will have specific details of the Programmes that are included.

The programmes are normally those in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and in the West of Scotland in areas outside Glasgow.

3. What kind of training can these posts provide?

There are a variety of reasons why these areas find it more difficult to attract trainees. Some are relatively remote from large towns, and as a result are not routinely used for medical school placement so are unfamiliar to doctors in training. The quality of placements in such areas are at least equivalent to all other placements and are often more highly rated by trainees who work there.

Your hospital training experience will be across a variety of settings for example, rural General Hospitals, small District General Hospitals and larger hospital systems.  These will provide a wide experience of managing patients with a variety of presentations increasing your breadth of training.

Your practice placements will provide access to opportunities not routinely found in other training posts. GP in rural Scotland are responsible for managing a diverse range of conditions with a commitment to keep patients near their family and friends for both rehabilitation and palliation. Community hospitals provide alternative experience, for example pre-hospital care is a vital part of your training – stabilising acutely unwell patients for transfer to hospital. 

As these placements are often in smaller communities where a greater number of services need to be delivered locally rather than relying on large teaching hospitals, doctors working in these areas often receive an increased breadth of training and many more opportunities for diverse practice. Once you get there, you may well find that the lifestyle is much more attractive  than in our big cities.

Many parts of Scotland where these programmes are located are very beautiful and offer great opportunities for climbing, hiking, sailing, watersports and other outdoor pursuits. Many have great historical and cultural heritage too. The distances from larger towns and cities may be offset by more affordable housing and less pressured schools.

Distance may not be as big a barrier as you might consider. Scotland has good road and rail networks and most of these areas are accessible by public transport - Scotland’s airport and ferry network also provide regular links to more outlying communities. We think these programmes are a fantastic, challenging but rewarding opportunity in GP training.

4. How do I find out more about working in these areas?

Information on all areas is available from the Living In Scotland page on this site and by following the links below. Please note that not all the areas listed are included in the Scheme and you should check the specific intake page for details of which ones are included. See more details about the current Scheme in the side bar to the right.

West of Scotland -  Ayrshire & Arran - Dumfries & Galloway – Lanarkshire - Glasgow/Clyde Valley

North of Scotland - Caledonian  - Inverness Shetland - Argyll - Grampian - Aberdeen - Orkney - Western Isles

East of Scotland - Dundee & Angus - Perth & Kinross

South East of Scotland - Edinburgh & Lothians - Fife - Borders


Talent Scotland has some information on working and living in all parts of Scotland.

5. When will the grant be paid?

Applicants who accept an offer of one of the posts attracting the payment will be offered the payment subject to successful processing of their employment application.  You will be able to sign the payment agreement at the time of signing your contract.  The payment will then be made as a lump sum.

The payment will be administered by NHS Education for Scotland (NES). It is normally made within 3 months of your start date.


6. I want to defer my start date until a later date, can I still get the grant?

The payment will only be paid at the point of taking up employment, but trainees who are successful in deferring their start date up to 12 months, will still be eligible for the payment.

 It should be noted that you must have been offered a place in a programme which attracts a grant for that recruitment round qnd then defer - you are not eligible for a grant if you defer from a post in a programme which was not part of the Scheme and one is subsequently offered for the next intake in that programme.

7. Is the grant subject to tax?

This is dependent on individual circumstances but the payment will be subject to tax and National Insurance for most applicants. Applicants are advised to seek independent advice on tax implications based on their individual circumstances.

The Grant is a one off payment and as such is not pensionable.


8. How do I apply for the Scheme?

Applicants who accept an offer of one of the posts attracting the payment will be offered the opportunity to take up the payment subject to successful processing of their employment application and will be able to sign the payment agreement at the time of signing their contract. You will be required to complete an application form and sign an agreement, and be subject to terms and conditions before payment is made.


9. Am I eligible?

Applicants must obtain one of the posts in the programmes included in the Scheme to be eligible for the payment. The other programmes on offer do not attract the payment.

Applicants must meet the person specification and criteria for the post, be offered and accept a post and complete all pre-employment checks, and  be accepted onto the performers list before being offered the grant. It is anticipated that the payment will be paid within the first three months salary by BACS.

Applicants who are currently holding an NTN in Scotland in an existing GP training programme are not eligible for the payment if they apply for one of the eligible GP training posts in a Scheme programme.


10. What happens if I leave the Scheme early?

You will only receive your payment once you have signed an agreement to complete the three or four year programme without transfer to another programme. Should you leave your training place before completing your training, the repayment will be:-


Repayment will be dependent on the amount of time completed in training:

Time in training                                   % of grant to be repaid
0-6 months 100%
6-12 months 75%
12-24 months 50%
24-36 months 25%



For those who enter GP Training from BBT - repayment will be as follows:

Time in training % of grant to be repaid
0-6 months                                      100%
6-12 months 75%
12-24 months 50%


Repayment may be waived under exceptional circumstances and at the absoulte discretion of NES. For those working less than full time, the time in training completed above will be caluculated on a 1 WTE basis. For example, a trainee working 0.75 WTE who has completed 12 months will be treated, for the purposes of the calculation, as having completed 9 months at 1 WTE.


11. What if I don’t make the repayment owed?

NES reserves the right to follow policies on recovering bad debts, and to report to appropriate Government, health or professional bodies.


12. What about all the other terms and conditions of employment?

All other terms and conditions are the same as for any post in recruitment. Applicants are eligible for the same expenses and salary as applicants to posts without the Grant. All training posts are subject to Scotland Deanery policies and NHS for Education employment policies. The Applicant’s Guide applies to all posts in this round of recruitment.


13. What contract applies to these posts?

The Scottish Government have confirmed that Scotland will continue to service the current New Deal contract for all doctors in training in Scotland. The Scottish Government remains committed to working in partnership with the BMA to continue to drive forward improvements in how our junior doctors work. GPSTs in the Scheme have the same contractual arrangements as other GPSTs in non-eligible programmes.


14. How were the training posts identified for the Scheme?

GP training programme directors have identified those programmes that would benefit from a targeted incentive to encourage applications. These recommendations are confirmed by Scottish Government.


August 2021 intake: Programmes (subject to change)

The Scottish Government will fund a £20,000 incentive payment for trainees choosing to train in the following programmes:

  • Ayrshire & Arran 
  • Caledonian
  • Dumfries & Galloway
  • East of Scotland (Eastward)
  • Lanarkshire 
  • Rural Track
  • East of Scotland (Westward)

 Visit the August 2021 intake TERS page.