Blogs > Introduction to the NHS / GMC Registration / Life in the UK

How to get CCT and onto the Specialist Register

  • October 22, 2019

To work as a permanent Consultant in the UK, you will need to evidence your specialist knowledge, skills and experience via one of three pathways to get onto the Specialist Register.

This blog post explains the difference in the three pathways and how you can obtain a Certificate Completion of Training (CCT).

What is the Specialist Register?

The Specialist Register was introduced on 1st January 1997. It is a public list of doctors who are eligible to take up appointment in any fixed term, honorary or substantive Consultant posts within the NHS.

Once you are on the Specialist Register, the public can view the following information:

  • The specialty and sub-specialties you are qualified in
  • The date you joined the specialist register in each specialty

Click here to access the Specialist Register.

How do I get onto the Specialist Register?

You have three pathways available to you.

1. CCT

To apply for CCT, you must have obtained all of your specialty training via a GMC approved UK training post.

Further information on what a GMC approved training is can be found below.


To apply for CESR CP award, you would have had a combination of your training done via a GMC approved postgraduate qualification and non-approved training post. For example, you would use this route if you are an international doctor who trained overseas and then joined the NHS at ST5 level because you were able to demonstrate your competencies gained outside of a GMC approved training post.


If you are a doctor who has obtained all of your specialist training overseas or within a non-approved GMC training post and your experience and qualifications are relevant to the entirety of the curriculum, you can use CESR as a pathway of getting onto the Specialist Register.

Click here to read our full guide on CESR.

What is a GMC approved training programme?

The GMC approve the curriculum and assessments for 65 different medical specialties and 31 sub-specialties. Each GMC approved curriculum is designed by the Royal College and their faculties.

Click here for a list of approved curriculum documents and training pathways.

Click here for a list of sub-specialty approved curricula.

How do I apply for CCT?

When applying, you must make sure that all of the below evidence is uploaded to your Royal College’s e-Portfolio’s Additional Evidence tab.

Documents required:

  1. Your CCT application form (this must be reviewed and signed by the Postgraduate Dean)
  2. Logbook
  3. Cumulative Data Sheet (this must be signed by the Training Programme Director)
  4. Your Educational Supervisor Reports

It is important to contact your NHS Educational Supervisor with regards to your CCT application as they will provide you with a full list of documents to collate and the appropriate steps to take.

Method of Submission

Once you have collated your documentation, you will need to email your submission to the Head of Education and Training of your Royal College.  

After this, you will then receive an email from the GMC asking for you to submit your application to them. Your evidence will sit with the GMC until they receive your Royal College’s recommendation which will trigger the issuing of your CCT certificate.

It is advised for you to apply to the GMC before your CCT date to avoid delays.

Please note, applications for CCT must be made to the GMC within 12 months of a doctor’s expected completion of training date. After 12 months from the expected completion of training date, you will have to apply for CESR to get onto the Specialist Register.

Relocation to the UK

If you are an international doctor who has decided that the UK is for you, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to the UK today.

Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 40 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS!

References (2019). GMC approved postgraduate curricula. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2019].

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists. (2019). Award of the Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) - The Royal College of Ophthalmologists. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2019].


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