Blogs > Life in the UK / NHS Recruitment Process / GMC Registration

Tips on applying for CESR (Article 14)

  • July 25, 2019

CESR stands for “Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration” and it’s what allows internationally qualified doctors (who have not completed a GMC approved training programme in the UK) to join the Specialist Register as part of their GMC registration – this is required for recognition as a fully qualified Consultant in the UK and without it a doctor is not able to hold a permanent position as a Consultant in the NHS. In order to gain CESR, candidates are asked to demonstrate that their specialist training, qualifications and clinical experience are equivalent to the requirements of the Certificate of Training (CCT) award.  

Please note, if you are an international doctor who currently works at Consultant level overseas, you can work in a Locum Consultant post before you apply for CESR and get onto the Specialist Register and take up a permanent/fixed-term post.

In this blog post, we provide you with a general overview of the evidence required to apply for CESR, how your application will be assessed and some top tips to ensure your CESR application is successful.

What are the basic application requirements that I will need to evidence?

Typically, you will need to evidence your knowledge and skills within the following areas:

Knowledge, skills and experience, research and presentations, mandatory courses, honours and prizes, appraisals and assessments, training assessment, 360 degree and multi-source feedback, awards and discretionary points letters, personal development plans, logbooks, consolidation, cumulative data sheets, summary lists and annual caseload statistics, medical reports, case histories, referral letters discussion patient handling, patient lists, departmental workload statistics and annual caseload statistics, rota’s, timetables and job plans, portfolio, employment letters, research papers, grants, patent designs, publications within specialty field, presentations, poster presentations, CPD record certificates, certificates of attendance, workshops, CPD registration points from UK Medical Royal College , 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, audits, reflective diaries, service improvement and clinical governance meetings, health and safety, management and leadership experience, chairing meetings and leading projects, complaints and responses to complaints.

Please click here to gain access to your specialty’s CESR curriculum, as each specialty’s requirements differ.

How will my CESR application be assessed?

To apply for CESR you must provide a detailed application form supported with validated evidence covering all of the above.

You will also need to provide the details of five referee reports.

Your application will then be sent to the GMC Specialty Advisory Team, to ensure all of the curriculum has been evidenced. These applications are assessed in conjunction with the relevant Royal College.

It is important to note that the process of organising and completing your CESR application will be an arduous task that will need to be completed in your free time or pre-agreed personal development sessions worked into your rota – for this reason, if you intend to pursue CESR it is important to ensure any hospital you join is able to support you both with the documentation and any additional clinical exposure you may require in your field.

Doctors who have gone through the CESR process estimate that it takes 6-12 months of regular weekend work to produce and organise the evidence needed, but timescales are dependent on each individual and their experience to that point.

How much will my CESR application cost?


Tips to ensure your CESR application is successful

  1. Begin with your relevant Specialty’s curriculum and plan how each of the relevant sections can be demonstrated
  2. Request the help of a Clinical Supervisor/Mentor/Educational Supervisor already in the NHS (usually your departmental lead)
  3. Encourage others who have used CESR as a pathway to Specialist Registration to provide you with support and assistance
  4. Use your evidence from your yearly appraisals over the last five years
  5. Collating your evidence is time consuming and a lengthy process, consider breaking it down into chunks
  6. Attend a CESR workshop run by the GMC, relevant Royal College and your local Deanery

If you would like to have an in depth discussion about applying for CESR for your relevant Specialty, please do get in contact with your Recruitment Consultant and they will be able to provide you with further information.

Relocation to the UK

If you are an international doctor who needs support relocating to the UK and joining the NHS, we can help you on your journey. We can aid you with securing an NHS post, applying for your Tier 2 visa to finding school places for your children.

Send your CV to [email protected]

IMG Advisor

Are you a member of our Facebook Group IMG Advisor? We publish regular relocation blog posts, the opportunity to receive professional guidance and support and the chance to meet other IMGs.

References (2019). [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Jul. 2019].


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