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The Network of GP Trainees (NGPT) is a dynamic organisation of trainees focused on improving all aspects of the training experience in general practice. It was formerly known as the National Association of GP Trainees. All GP trainees in the Republic of Ireland automatically become cost free Network members on entering training. The Network Committee is comprised of trainees from across all 14 training schemes. There are three co-chairs who are elected at the NGPT AGM (at the ICGP National Trainee Conference) each autumn. The NGPT formally meets 2-3 times annually in addition to the AGM.

Over the past number of years, trainees have become increasingly active on the Network. During this time, the NGPT has grown in many ways due to the hard work and enthusiasm of past and present members, as a vibrant component of the ICGP. This has allowed trainees and the NGPT to become involved in a broader range of activities within the ICGP and other bodies. In line with the increasing workload, the Network has developed from having a single chair to three co-chairs. This strengthened leadership allows better and more effective trainee engagement in a vast array of areas relevant to GP training. In 2015, the NGPT committee produced and adopted a document defining the aims and structure of the organisation. In addition to guiding the activities of the Network on an ongoing basis, it also provides a foundation for development in order to meet the challenges that trainees may face in the future.

The NGPT does not represent trainees on issues of contract, remuneration or conditions of work.

Trainee involvement in the planning, administration and evolution of training is ever growing. Through the NGPT, trainees' views are given a voice on the ICGP Council (the core representative body of the College), the Postgraduate Training Committee (PGTC; the Committee which oversees training), the National Coordinating Committee for Training (NCCT; a sub-committee of the PGTC, acts as a national steering committee for training), along with many other committees and working groups. 

Through the NGPT, trainees have been able to contribute to many of the policy documents contained within this handbook, and continue to feedback on the practicalities of their implementation for trainees. The NGPT believes that this type of representation is essential to ensure that the future of training in general practice is trainee focused and driven by an ethos of autonomous adult learning. This approach facilitates trainees in attaining the necessary skills to continue to develop professionally over the course of a career in general practice.

In addition to this, involvement with the Network is a fantastic way to meet and collaborate with trainees from across the country. The NGPT also affords trainees the opportunity to become more familiar with the ICGP and the formal structures around education in general practice in Ireland. This engagement promotes a closer relationship between the College and its future members, establishing connections and opening a door for trainees into the body tasked with promoting clinical and professional excellence in their chosen career. This connection is of course two way, and also provides the ICGP with access to the GPs of tomorrow, and a means to explore their educational needs, as well as examining changing expectations and concerns within the profession.

While the NGPT has a strong focus on the positive future of GP training, it is also available to members as a conduit to raise and address trainee concerns within the ICGP. Over the past number of years, the NGPT has been active in raising awareness of both local and national issues affecting GPs in training. By bringing attention to these types of issues at a national level, the NGPT works to alleviate some of the worries affecting individual trainees through solidarity and clear open communication with the ICGP. In this way, the NGPT works as a collaborative for trainees to positively affect the course of GP training now and in the future.

One of the highlights of the annual trainee calendar is the National Trainee Conference. The NGPT is delighted to have a subcommittee which is active in working with the ICGP and National Director of Training to shape the programme for the conference. This trainee involvement promotes a conference that meets the educational needs of trainees at various different stages of training, and encourages a stimulating and engaging social side to the meeting. This philosophy produces a fun, interesting and inviting environment for trainees to learn and network with colleagues from other training schemes.

Outside of the ICGP, the NGPT also provides GP trainee representation on the Trainee Forum of Postgraduate Training Bodies. This forum is made up of trainee representatives from all of the medical sub-specialties, and works on issues affecting all doctors in training in Ireland. This offers GP trainees a voice in wider debates around postgraduate medical education in Ireland, and affords an opportunity to build and develop relationships with our colleagues from other specialties. Facilitating this type of trainee representation demonstrates an ever increasing commitment by the ICGP to encourage trainees to put themselves at the centre of the training process and to drive training forward to the benefit of trainees, GPs and patients alike.

The trainee journey in general practice is complex and challenging. The Network of GP Trainees is an organisation run by trainees offering support, collaboration and representation on issues of education for all GP trainees in Ireland. If you would like to get involved or to contact us, please email