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Are you a doctor who hasn’t completed a GMC-approved program? You can still register as a specialist in the UK if you can prove that your specialist training, experience, and qualifications are equal to that of the requirements for CCT. Let us look into the Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) in detail.
What is the Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR)?
It is a certificate awarded to doctors who have not completed a GMC-approved training program but still have the capacity to show that their experience, qualifications, and specialist training are equivalent to what the CCT in the UK requires.
Who is eligible to apply for a CESR?
In order to apply for a CESR,
- You must either possess a specialist qualification in the same specialty you are applying for.
- You must have a minimum of six months of specialist training continuously in the same specialty you are applying for.
The above are the basic requirements to apply for CESR.
Do I have to produce documents for the CESR application?
Yes, you will have to produce evidence to prove that you possess the necessary qualifications as part of your CESR application form. This could be evidence of employment or a copy of your qualification. Additionally, you will have to prove that you meet the CCT curriculum requirements in your specialty.
The GMC has listed CESR guidance for each specialty on what evidence you will have to produce. Read the respective guidance document for your specialty before starting your application.
How is my CESR application processed?
Your application will go through two stages, one and two. Below is a detailed description of what happens at each stage.
In stage one
An applications adviser will check your application to see:
- If you’re eligible
- If you provide all the documents
- If the pro-formas are present to verify your evidence
- If the referees you have nominated are of the correct type
During stage one, GMC will contact you if any of the prerequisites are missing. You will have time to produce any requested documents. They will also contact your verifiers during this stage.
In stage two
In this stage, your application will be complete once:
- You have submitted All your documents
- The evidence sample has been verified with your verifiers directly
- You have submitted all your structured reports
Upon completion, the application reaches the relevant royal college or faculty for evaluation. Disclosure of final decision can take up to three months from the day your application reaches the royal college or faculty.
What can I do to complete the application quickly?
The application process can take anywhere from three months to up to six months for completion. To get the job done quicker, you can make sure that:
- You submit any additional evidence as soon as possible.
- Before you choose your referees, it would help if you spoke with them.
- You submit your online application only after you are ready and your evidence is ready for submission.
How can I apply for CESR?
To submit your application, you must have a GMC Online account. If you have a GMC Online account, you can simply log in and start your application by clicking on “My Registration” first and then “My Applications.”
If you have never logged in but have a GMC reference, you will have to activate your account first. In case you do not have a GMC reference number, in that case, you will have to set up a new account. Please get in touch with the General Medical Council to request a reference number or advice regarding setting up an account.
You can take up to a maximum of 12 months for application submission from the date of starting it in your GMC Online account. You can also treat your application as a portfolio and upload your evidence as you acquire it. Even the GMC recommends the same.
Updating the information on the application is crucial to have your account active. Additionally, it is advisable to keep updating your application over 12 months. When updating your documents, you will have to choose to edit the information since you cannot upload documents as updates in GMC online.
What happens if I am successful (CESR)?
Suppose you’re successful with your CESR application. In that case, you will receive your CESR, and your name will be added to the Specialist Register. When you are successful, it means that you have met all the assessment standards set by the GMC.
Up next, you will receive physical copies of your certificate and GMC evaluation form in the post to your registered address. The documents you submitted to support your claims will also be sent back to your GMC registered address through secure delivery, as per the GMC website.
If you happen to change your address over the 12 months, you can simply update your GMC Online account to reflect the same. Make sure you do that in such a situation.
What happens if I am not successful (CESR)?
Do not worry if you are not successful on the first go. You will receive information on why you were not successful. You will also receive a recommendation list listing all the missing evidence and required training.
You have two courses of action you can take in this scenario.
You can submit a review application requesting a reconsideration of the decision not to grant your Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR). You get to apply for a review 12 months after receiving the decision on your application.
You can only apply for a review if:
- You possess previously unsubmitted documentary evidence.
- You have completed the necessary training.
- You think that they have processed your application unfairly and that there might have been a procedural error.
Read the guidance provided by GMC on how to apply for a review.
You also have the right to appeal against the decision of the GMC regarding your application or if you do not receive any decision at all. The team that handles the appeals process is not involved in the decision-making regarding entry to the Specialist Register. It is to ensure that the decision-making process is fair.
The window to appeal is 28 days from receiving the GMC’s decision.