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CESR Specialty Specific Guidance for Haematology

  • July 20, 2022

This guidance is to help doctors who are applying for entry onto the Specialist Register with a CESR in Haematology. The indicative period of training for a CCT in Haematology is seven years and it is unlikely that you would achieve all the learning outcomes required for a CCT in a shorter period of time.

It is worth noting that it is sometimes more difficult to make a successful CESR application if you have not worked in the NHS. This is because key features of training and practice in the NHS are not always covered in the same way outside it. If you require help finding an NHS position that will support your CESR application, please do get in touch by sending across your CV to [email protected]

This article will outline the documents that can be used for your application. This guidance on documents to supply is not exhaustive and you may have alternative evidence. You do not necessarily have to supply every type of evidence listed, but you must submit sufficient evidence to address each of the required learning outcomes and the associated capabilities.

Evidence breakdown

Evidence that is more than five years old will be given less weight than more recent evidence, so you may not need to include it. As a general guide, we would usually expect to see around 800 - 1000 pages of evidence. Types of evidence are divided into four different domains. We recommend that you apportion the evidence you provide with your application as shown below.

Domain 1: 75%

Domain 2: 20%

Domains 3 and 4: 5%

It is important to note that you will not be able to compensate for shortfalls in your evidence of training and experience in a particular area of the curriculum by providing extra evidence in other areas.

Types of evidence

Domain 1 – Knowledge, skills and performance

Primary medical qualification (PMQ)

Specialist medical qualification(s)

Curriculum or syllabus (if undertaken outside the UK)

Specialist registration outside the UK

Honours and prizes

Appraisals and assessments

RITAs, ARCPs and training assessments

360˚ and multi-source feedback

Awards and discretionary points letters

Personal development plans (PDP)


Consolidation, cumulative data sheets, summary lists and annual caseload statistics

Medical reports

Case histories

Referral letters discussing patient handling

Patient lists

Departmental (or trust) workload statistics and annual caseload statistics

Rotas, timetables and job plans

Courses relevant to curriculum

Portfolios (electronic or revalidation)

Employment letters and contracts of employment

Job descriptions

Job plans

Research papers, grants, patent designs

Publications within specialty field

Presentations, poster presentations

Membership of professional bodies and organisations

Teaching timetables


Feedback or evaluation forms from those taught

Letters from colleagues

Attendance at teaching or appraisal courses

Participation in assessment or appraisal and appointments processes

Domain 2 – Safety and quality

Audits undertaken by applicant

Reflective diaries

Service Improvement and clinical governance meetings

Health and safety

Domain 3 – Communication, partnership and teamwork

Letters from colleagues

Thank you letters and cards from patients

Job plans which indicate teamwork

Management and leadership experience

Chairing meetings and leading projects

Domain 4 – Maintaining trust

Statements from your referees

Evidence of attendance at relevant courses


Data protection - your application and evidence being appropriately anonymised

Complaints and responses to complaints


Submitting your evidence

It is important that you anonymise your evidence before you submit it to us. You must remove:

• All patient identifying details

• Details of patients’ relatives

• Details of colleagues that you have assessed, written a reference for, or who have been involved in a complaint you have submitted.

This includes:

• Names (first and last)

• Addresses

• Contact details such as phone numbers or email addresses

• NHS numbers

• Other individual patient numbers

• GMC numbers

The following details don’t need to be anonymised:

• Gender

• Date of birth It is your responsibility to make sure that your evidence has been anonymised. Evidence which has not been anonymised will be returned to you. More information can be found on their website.

- Testimonials and letters from colleagues

- Thank you letters, cards from colleagues and patients

-Complaints and responses to complaints

Our top tips for a smooth CESR application process

  1. Understand the time and effort that is required to make a successful application. You are asked to provide evidence that you have fulfilled all the learning outcomes defined in the curriculum. Doctors who have gone through the formal training programme will normally have taken around eight years to gain these outcomes, so it is not something you can gather overnight.
  2. Recognise that you will need others to support you in the application process. Think about who can help, explain to them what help you need and ask if they can support you
  3. CESR places most emphasis on evidence gathered in the last five years. If you are providing evidence from before this time, think about what you can do now to show that you still have these capabilities. For example, if you still have contacts in that unit you could ask if they would be prepared for you to go back and have some workplace-based assessments in that area. The Trust would probably want you to have an honorary contract for this.
  4. Choose the referees for your structured reports carefully. The GMC provides guidance on who should give structured reports, but you should also think about who values you enough to put in the time and effort to ensure that their report provides the information you need.
  5. Make sure you understand which evidence needs to be verified and that you follow the correct verification procedure, to ensure that all your evidence is accepted and does not need to be resubmitted. If in doubt, the GMC can advise on what needs to be verified and what types of verification can be accepted
  6. Take care to arrange your evidence following the order it is set out in this guidance, so it is easier for assessors to find the evidence they need for each of the sections.
  7. Finally: keep going and don’t lose heart! There will probably be a point in the middle where the task feels huge. When this happens, allow yourself a couple of weeks off CESR then look at it afresh.

How we can help

Many of the positions we have in Haematology subspecialities are able to support you with your CESR application. If you would like to speak to our team about these opportunities do send your CV to [email protected].

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

Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 100 videos covering everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS.

Listen to BDI Resourcing on the go with IMG Advisor the Podcast! You can listen to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Buzzsprout. We have a number of episodes with tips and advice on relocating to the UK and the routes you can take to achieve this.

Finally, we also have Instagram, so if you are a member, feel free to follow us to view our posts and IGTV: @bdiresourcing


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