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CESR specific guidance for Medical Oncology

  • December 15, 2021

This article aims to help doctors who are applying for entry onto the Specialist Register with CESR in Medical Oncology.

It is extremely important to note here that the CESR process is lengthy and requires an abundance of documentation and evidence. To ensure a smooth application process we highly recommend that you continually collect the evidence that will be required of you whilst you are still working overseas in order to ensure that you can effectively and efficiently continue to collect evidence when here in the UK.

The guidance given here on documents to supply is not exhaustive and you may have alternative evidence.

Evidence breakdown

As a general guide, they 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. If you have a piece of evidence that it relevant to more than one domain, do not include multiple copies in your bundle. Instead, include one copy and list it in your evidence list under each relevant area, stating that the document is located elsewhere. (For example you might state: “document included in teaching and training section”.) Including irrelevant or duplicate copies will only slow down your CESR application process.

Types of evidence

Domain 1 - Knowledge, skills and performance

- Primary medical qualification (PMQ) (Do not need to submit if you already hold GMC)

- Specialist medical qualification(s) Applicants must demonstrate an appropriate test of knowledge to that required for the CCT which is the Specialty Certificate Examination in Medical Oncology.

- Specialist registration outside the UK

- Honours and prizes

- Other relevant qualifications and certificates

-Appraisals and assessments (For non-training posts you should provide evidence of ongoing evaluation of your performance).

- RITAs, ARCPs and training assessments. If you have undertaken training outside the UK you must provide evidence of formal periodic assessment during your training. This evidence must have been completed at the time the training was undertaken (if it is completed retrospectively less weight will be given to the information provided). If you do not supply formal assessment documents, you must provide the curriculum to demonstrate how you were assessed. A detailed letter of verification from an educational supervisor would satisfy this requirement.

- 360 ̊ and multi-source feedback

- Awards and discretionary points letters

- Personal development plans (PDP)

- Logbooks; photocopies of operating lists and theatre record books are not satisfactory evidence of procedures. If you did not complete a logbook at the time you undertook the procedures, you should create a logbook from the information you have. It should contain the following information:

  • only procedures that you were personally involved in
  • age and gender
  • date of the procedure
  • full name of the procedure
  • your role in the procedure (assisted, performed personally, performed under direct supervision of someone more senior, supervised a junior)
  • any critical incidents
  • name of the hospital or clinic where procedure was performed
  • outcomes data.

For guidance on the most appropriate format for your logbook please refer to where you can obtain a copy of the electronic logbook.

- 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

- CPD record certificates, certificates of attendance, workshops and at local, national and international meetings or conferences

- CPD registration points from UK Medical Royal College (or equivalent body overseas)

- Membership of professional bodies and organisations

- Teaching timetables / Lectures

- 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, you will need to provide evidence to support awareness and following Health and Safety requirements. This can be demonstrated by:

  • declaration of health on your application form
  • attendance at appropriate course
  • involvement in infection control (membership of committees etc)
  • logbook information on infections
  • audit on infections and subsequent changes in activity.

Domain 3 – Communication, partnership and teamwork

- You will be expected to provide evidence to support your communication with colleagues, both within your immediate team and the wider team (including non-clinical).

- You will be expected to provide evidence to also support your communication with patients. This area could be demonstrated in a number of ways including:

  • thank you letters and cards from patients
  • 360° feedback.
  • complaints and responses to complaints.

This may include complaints received against your department or a colleague where you have been involved in the resolution. This is to demonstrate how you handle complaints. Having a complaint made against you will not adversely influence your application. You must anonymise colleague information from this evidence.

All evidence in this area must be anonymised for individual patient data.

-Evidence of working in multidisciplinary teams

-Management and leadership experience

-Chairing meetings and leading projects

Domain 4 – Maintaining trust

-Demonstration of honesty and integrity

-Equality and human rights (including disability, human rights, race, religion and ethnicity awareness and equal opportunities)

-Data protection, you can demonstrate this with attendance at relevant courses (please provide details of course content) and feedback from patients and colleagues

-Testimonials and letters from colleagues

-Thank you letters, cards from colleagues and patients

-Complaints and responses to complaints

Submitting your evidence

Do not submit original documents. All your copies, other than qualifications you’re getting authenticated must be accompanied by a proforma signed by the person who is attesting to the validity and accuracy of your evidence (your verifier). It’s very important you read an explanation of how to do this in the important notice about evidence.

You will also need to submit translations of any documents that are not in English. Please ensure the translations you submit meet the translation requirements.

It is important that you anonymise your evidence before you submit it. 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

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 medical oncology are able to support you with this CESR application process. If you would like to speak to our Specialist Oncology department about opportunities please do send your CV to [email protected].


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