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The difference between CCT and CESR

  • October 29, 2018

There are three types of Specialist Register certificates in the UK issued by the GMC, which will allow you to work as a UK Consultant:

  1. The Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT)
  2. The Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration via the Combined Programme (CESR (CP))
  3. The Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR)

The type of certificate you will receive will depend on what training route you are on.

What is CCT?

A CCT will confirm that a doctor has completed an approved training programme in the UK and is therefore eligible for entry onto the GP Register or the Specialist Register.

To be eligible to apply for a CCT from the GMC, your entire training (including your internship/foundation years) must have taken place in GMC approved training posts, or in posts undertaken in the EEA/Switzerland and approved by the statutory authority in that country.

What is CESR CP?

CESR CP is a process for doctors appointed to a training programme intended to lead to a CESR for Specialist Registration. CESR CP is awarded by the GMC to those doctors who enter a GMC approved training programme (above the first year) having undertaken training in a non-approved post prior to entry.  

You will be placed on the CESR (CP) route to Specialist Registration if you gained your core competencies:

  • Outside of the UK
  • In the UK, but not as part of a GMC approved training programme or
  • In the EEA/Switzerland but in posts that were not approved by the statutory authority in that country

What is CESR?

This route is for doctors who are not eligible for CESR (CP) and for those who have never been in a GMC approved training programme. These doctors will apply directly to the GMC for an assessment of their training, skills, knowledge and experience against the CCT curriculum.

For further information on CESR please click here and for guidance on how to apply please click here.

Assumption: CCT is better than CESR

This is incorrect.

Some doctors assume that CCT is the only route to becoming a UK Consultant, or the better route. No route is better as they both lead to being on the UK Specialist Register – a globally recognised achievement.

If you would like further information or advice on the above topic please email [email protected] and we will be happy to help.

Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor – here you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional support and the chance to meet other IMGs!


CCT or CESR (CP). (2018). [ebook] Health Education England. Available at: [Accessed 29 Oct. 2018].


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