Specialist registration (CESR)

Please note that in providing you with any advice and guidance in respect of your CESR application, the RCR cannot give guarantees or opinions as to the likelihood of your application being successful, nor can any such advice guarantee success in any application.

20 July 2022 - our revised Specialty Specific Guidance (SSG) has been published, with some clarifications particularly in respect of the radiology-specific CiPs.

Doctors must be registered on the GMC’s Specialist Register to take up a substantive (permanent), fixed-term, or honorary NHS consultant post.
If you haven't completed training in the UK or don't have an acceptable EEA or Swiss qualification (see below), you should apply for a Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) to obtain specialist registration. Please see below for information about the CESR processes.

You need to make your CESR application to the GMCThe GMC has a dedicated online application process for CESRs.  To make a CESR application you will need to open a GMC Online account and upload all your evidence electronically as requested in the online application. Anything recorded in Kaizen or in any other ePortfolio won't be transferred into a CESR application.

The GMC will send your completed application to us for specialist evaluation. We make a recommendation to the GMC as to whether or not the application should be approved, but the GMC makes the final decision.

We are happy to assist with queries by email about our specialty-specific guidance.  Please send us a copy of your CV when you email. Please think about structuring your CV in accordance with the GMC's CESR CV advice, and see this article about preparing a medical CV. Your questions may be answered in our advice and documents on this page, so please do have a look at these first.

Queries about the application form, fee, or general application process should be directed by email to the GMC

The application form, fees, guidance, and criteria are subject to change; please refer to the General Medical Council's (GMC) website for current information. 

CESR in the CCT specialty of Clinical radiology

This is the most appropriate route for most applicants and most people apply for a CESR in Clinical radiology.  

In the UK, Clinical radiology trainees complete about five years of specialty training according to the current training curriculum. When they successfully complete training they are awarded a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in the specialty of Clinical radiology. The CCT allows them entry to the GMC specialist register. 

To be awarded this CESR,  you need to submit a range of evidence to demonstrate that your specialty training, qualifications and experience taken together are equivalent to the CCT in Clinical radiology, as set out in our specialty training curriculum. A CESR allows you entry to the GMC specialist register.

To be eligible to apply under this route, you must have either a specialist qualification in the specialty you apply in or at least six months of continuous specialist training in the specialty you apply in.

Please look at the documents to the right of this page, in particular:

  1. the current specialty training curriculum to which you must demonstrate equivalence;
  2. the Specialty Specific Guidance published by the GMC which sets out what evidence you must supply in your application.  When getting your evidence together, you can use it as a checklist to make sure you include all the documents we need.

CESR in a non-CCT specialty

The usual route to a CESR is an application in the CCT specialty of Clinical radiology as set out above, which if successful leads to specialist registration in Clinical radiology.

Some doctors may be eligible to apply for a CESR in a non-CCT specialty, which if successful leads to specialist registration in that specialty. A non-CCT specialty is a narrower medical specialty than “Clinical radiology”; (for example, breast radiology, neuroradiology, paediatric radiology, interventional radiology and so on).  It must be a specialty consistent with NHS consultant practice.

To be eligible to apply, you must have either  a specialist medical qualification from outside the UK in any non-CCT specialty or at least six months of continuous specialist training outside the UK in any non-CCT specialty.  

Your application must demonstrate that your qualification and/or training, along with your subsequent experience, gives a level of knowledge and skill consistent with practice as an NHS consultant.

Please consider very carefully whether you are eligible to apply. Simply because you have worked in one area of expertise for some years will not necessarily mean that you are eligible to apply for a non-CCT CESR. You must have completed a dedicated period of training outside the UK (such as a Fellowship; rotations in your general radiology training are unlikely to count) or obtained an overseas specialist qualification in a non-CCT specialty.  A successful applicant is likely to be practising independently in their field at NHS consultant level, so please consider any potential differences in your practice and what is expected of an NHS consultant in the UK.

Specialist registration in a narrow area may limit your employment options and you should check whether you are likely to obtain employment in that area.  You must check with the GMC as to your eligibility and whether the specialty in which you intend to apply is acceptable. You can also contact the RCR for advice by email. Please attach a copy of your CV. Please think about structuring your CV in accordance with the GMC's CESR CV advice

NHS consultant practice includes all the areas set out in the CCT curriculum, so we expect that a non-CCT CESR application will reflect the 12 CiPs in the curriculum. Please see the links to our advice and guidance on the right, including our Specialty Specific Guidance. The main difference is that the clinical elements of your evidence (such as the radiology reports you must submit) are likely to cover the specialty areas of the CCT curriculum (2021) relevant to that non-CCT specialty, rather than across the  breadth of the curriculum.

A non-CCT CESR application is evaluated against the four Domains of Good medical practice. Otherwise, the application process is the same as for the CESR in a CCT specialty and you will have to provide the same range of evidence as in the Specialty Specific Guidance (SSG).  

Each CiP in the SSG has a range of suggested evidence to support it. If you apply for a CESR in a non-CCT specialty, make sure that you submit a good range of evidence by referring to what the SSG asks for in each CiP to support each Domain as follows -

Domain 1 – see CiPs 2, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. If you apply for a non-CCT CESR in Interventional radiology, you also need to see CiPs 13 and 14 and requirements in the Interventional radiology subspecialty curriculum (2021) 

Domain 2 – see CiPs 3 and 4

Domain 3 – see CiPs 1, 6 and 12

Domain 4 – see CiP 1

CESR in Academic or Research Medicine

This route is designed for those who are nationally renowned leaders and are known internationally in their field through their academic or research activity.

Applicants must show that the knowledge and skills they have gained through academic or research work are consistent with practice as a consultant in any of the UK health services.  Successful applications tend to be submitted in very specific areas. This is because it would be difficult to demonstrate academic or research work to the required standard in a broad area such as a CCT specialty. 

This application needs to show two things – that your academic or research work has given you knowledge and skills to the standard of an NHS consultant and that your clinical knowledge, skills, and experience of the specialty you have applied in are equivalent to the standards of an NHS consultant.

The range of evidence requested here is different from the other CESR pathways, as you can see in the GMC academic CESR guidance. You will have to provide evidence of your academic or research activities, as well as evidence of your clinical skills in the area in which you apply - the clinical elements are likely to cover the relevant specialty areas of the CCT curriculum. You must check with the GMC as to your eligibility and whether the specialty you intend to apply in is acceptable under this route.  

EEA qualifications

Please see the GMC's information for doctors about Brexit 

If you have an EEA or Swiss primary and/or specialist medical qualification classed as a "relevant European qualification", you may be able to apply for GMC full and/or specialist registration using those qualifications.  It is the qualification you hold and not your nationality that determines whether you can use these qualifications to obtain registration.

See apply for full with specialist registration with a relevant European qualification