Certificate of eligibility for specialist registration (CESR)

What is CESR and what are the eligibility requirements?

The CESR provides a route for doctors who do not hold a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) to obtain specialist registration. They must satisfy the GMC that their specialist training or specialist qualifications, when considered together, are equivalent to a CCT in the specialty in question. Doctors who have undertaken a minimum of 6 months training or obtained a specialist qualification and acquired specialist medical experience or knowledge as a psychiatrist within a non-training post, and are currently practising, may apply to the GMC for assessment of their competencies.

New curricula and CESR

We are currently conducting an extensive revision of all psychiatric training curricula and this will impact on CESR applicants as early as next year. We are working on documentation to make the transition as smooth as possible. For further guidance on how and when the curricula review will impact on CESR please read the Curricula Review Project & CESR statement written by the College in collaboration with both the Curricula Review Working Group and the Equivalence Committee.

For more information on the curricula review project please see the curricula and guidance section of the website.

Due to the ongoing pandemic the decision from the GMC was delayed which has delayed CESR implementation. The decision has been returned with a request for more information prior to GMC approval. All of the recommended guidance in the statement above is still valid and correct but the timelines are now out of date. As we do not have a fixed deadline on when we will receive curricula approval, we cannot at this current moment offer specific guidance as to when it will be implemented for CESR. 

We will update the website and via Twitter as soon as we have more information.

Role of the College

The College’s role is to evaluate individual applications for Specialist Registration in Psychiatry and send recommendations to the GMC. The College works closely with the GMC to ensure that a robust system of assessment is established.

To achieve this, the College:

  • determines criteria reflecting training requirements for doctors applying for the inclusion in the Specialist Register
  • evaluates individual applications for the inclusion in the Specialist Register, the Equivalence Committee and Associate Dean for Equivalence, Dr Nandini Chakraborty, are responsible for evaluating CESR applications.
  • must be satisfied that the applicant demonstrates an equivalent level of competence to that of a UK qualified specialist holding a CCT (Certificate of Completion of Training).

The College has produced Guidance Notes for CESR Applicants, and hosts blogs from previous applicants sharing their advice and experience of the process.

Applying for a Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR)

CESR applications are made to the GMC, rather than to the College. Further information about how to apply can be found on their website:

Specialty Specific Guidance (SSG)

Specialty Specific Guidance detailing the evidence requirements for each speciality is available from the GMC.

Further information

The Equivalence Committee

Become a CESR Evaluator

Guidance for CESR Fellowships

Advice for Applicants

    Liz Boxall
    CESR and Training Co-ordinator
    The Royal College of Psychiatrists
    Email: elizabeth.boxall@rcpsych.ac.uk 

    Get in contact to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry