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The CESR Application Process

  • September 12, 2018

If you are an international doctor who would like to become a Consultant within the NHS, you will need to apply for CESR.

CESR stands for Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration.

The process can take over six months and you will need to prepare various pieces of evidence to support your application. This guide will help you prepare your application, give tips on how to successfully apply and inform you of the GMC’s recent change to the CESR application process.

Please read our article A guide to CESR for more in-depth information on how CESR can be advantageous to your career.

In this article, we provide you with details on how to organise and submit your evidence, qualifications that need to be verified, and changes to the CESR application process.

How do I organise my evidence?

The GMC is able to deal with your application more quickly if you ensure that you only upload evidence that is directly relevant. They typically expect to see between 800 and 1,000 pages of evidence.

For example, evidence over five years old will be given less weight than more recent evidence, so you may not need to include it.

Tips – your evidence should be structured so that the GMC can assess it properly. The GMC provides an application divider pack to help arrange and present your evidence correctly. You must follow the structure of the dividers when ordering your evidence.

GMC Guidance:

  • Do not bind or staple your documents
  • A4, A3 and A5 document sizes are permitted
  • Double-sided documents are permitted
  • Do not submit books or leaflets, you must scan the relevant pages and submit
  • Do not submit your evidence in folders or plastic wallets

Once you have listed your evidence within your online application, you should print your evidence checklist, which will include all of the details you have listed. The GMC advises you to use this checklist as the first page of your bundle of evidence and tick the relevant box to show that you have included each item in your bundle.

How do I submit my evidence?

  • You must ensure that you have all the pro-formas from your verifiers to accompany your evidence before you send this to us
  • Your pro-formas must be submitted on the top of your evidence bundle and if your pro-formas are not at the top, your application may be delayed
  • Remember to provide copies of your evidence and not the original documents

How do I verify my evidence?

Only certain pieces of evidence must be verified:

  • Evidence showing registration with overseas medical regulators
  • Qualifications gained outside the UK

Who will authenticate this evidence for me?

  • A solicitor
  • The awarding body

Evidence that does not need to be verified:

  • Your CV
  • Feedback
  • Continuing professional development (CPD) certificates, courses relevant to the curriculum, evidence of attendance at teaching or appraisal courses
  • Publications (those available in the public domain)
  • Reflective notes or diaries
  • Honours, prizes, awards or discretionary points

Please note, you must still provide copies of the above evidence.

Changes made to the CESR application process

On 6th November 2018, the online application system for CESR, CEGPR and Review applications is changing.

As a result of feedback from a survey, the GMC will not require applications to be submitted electronically – this will make the application process easier and less burdensome for doctors.

Advantages to the change:

  • Quicker and cheaper for you as you will not need to print and post large numbers of documents
  • You will be able to use the online application like a portfolio to gather your evidence
  • The application process will be quicker as there will be no delays

Please note that you will still be able to submit hard-copied evidence, you will just have to inform the GMC on your online application.

References (2018). CESR CEGPR application process. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Sep. 2018].


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