Certificate of eligibility for specialist registration (CESR)

Psychiatry 2022 curricula SSGs now live

Please note that the new 2022 RCPsych curricula SSGs are now live on the GMC website:

For CESR applicants, all six psychiatry specialties will dual-run against the old and new curricula until the transition deadline of 30 November 2023.

When applying through their GMC Online account – CESR applicants are asked to choose their specialty and then the curriculum version they wish to be assessed against - either the old version or 2022 curriculum. The online application structure is tailored to the old and new curricula SSG version.

Where CESR applicants have an in-progress GMC Online application (yet to submit to the GMC) in the 4-domain style and wish to apply against the 2022 curriculum, they should withdraw this and start a new application online to benefit from the new curriculum structure. We’ll be emailing any doctors in that situation shortly.

What is CESR and what are the eligibility requirements?

The CESR provides a route for doctors 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 practicing, 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 and 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 our curricula and guidance section.

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 All of the recommended guidance in the statement above is still valid and correct but the timelines are now out of date.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 Neeraj Berry, 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 specialty is available from the GMC.

Further information

Contact us

For further information, contact specialistregistration@rcpsych.ac.uk.

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