Navigating the CESR Route

Paper with some text with stethoscope and pen

To work as a substantive consultant in the NHS, you will need to gain entry onto the Specialist Register. For clinicians who trained in the UK, entry can be gained through completing CCT – though for international medical graduates (IMGs), entry via this route can involve additional exams.

However, the GMC will recognise and certify IMGs who can demonstrate sufficient qualifications and experience through a process known as Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR).

Read on to find out if you are eligible to apply, and what the process is like!


Are you Eligible to Apply for the CESR Route?

If you have not completed a GMC UK approved training programme, you can apply for specialist registration via the CESR route.  All applicants are required to have either been awarded a specialist qualification, which is equivalent to one that is needed to apply for the Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT), or have undertaken specialist training for at least six months.

CCT is the pathway for doctors who completed a full GMC UK approved training programme from year one.

CESR-CP is the pathway for doctors who entered a GMC-approved UK training programme after year 1, usually in year 3 and 4, and have therefore partially completed a GMC UK approved training programme.

To embark on this journey, it is a necessity for you to submit a portfolio of evidence. To ensure a successful application from the outset of this six to nine months process, an extensive amount of guidance should be sought.


Guidance for CESR Applications

The evidence provided as part of your application should be distributed under the following domains:

Domain 1: Knowledge, Skills, and performance – 75%
Domain 2: Safety and Quality – 20%
Domain 3: Communication, Partnership and Teamwork – 5% (combined for both domains 3 & 4)
Domain 4:  Maintaining Trust – 5% (combined for both domains 3 & 4)
If you would like specialty-specific guidance on evidence required, please click here.

In accordance with the GMC and the user guide, you should submit approximately 1000 pages of evidence (150 documents) as part of your application.


Top Tips for Applying for CESR

Please ensure that:

  • Evidence of qualifications provided were awarded in the last five years. These qualifications will be allocated a higher weighting by the Royal College.
  • Evidence is uploaded as a word, PDF, or Excel document.
  • The resolution of all uploaded documents is clear.
  • Evidence is varied as providing the same evidence under one domain will not make up for lost evidence under another.
  • The title of each document uploaded includes:

-The type of document it is
-The date of the document
-The institution the document is from

  • If the title includes one of the following characters, this document will not be reviewed: -/:*?”<>

Applications for Specialist Registration made via CESR are viewed holistically and assessed on their own merits. Some evidence that is older than 5 years may be accepted if it is highly relevant to your specialty, though may be weighted less than more recent experience.

If you want to find out more about the CESR route, or moving to the UK to work in the NHS, register with us here!

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