Certificate of eligibility for specialist registration (CESR)

After ratification by the ETC in October 2020. The Associate Dean for Equivalence, Dr Nandini Chakraborty, the Equivalence Committee and RCPsych team are happy to announce our Guidance for CESR fellowship schemes.

The RCPsych became aware of an increasing number of posts for SAS doctors with specific support towards obtaining a CESR and noted large variations in the way the schemes were run in individual trusts. This document aims to set out best practice in relation to CESR support within these schemes. We hope that organisations and doctors interested in CESR and/or CESR schemes within psychiatry will find useful pointers that will benefit both parties. 

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.

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.

Become a CESR Evaluator

The next CESR evaluator training day will be held virtually on MS Teams on the 5 February 2021. To be eligible to be a CESR evaluator, you must fulfill the following criteria:

  • be a Member, Fellow, or Specialist Associate of the College and in good standing
  • hold Specialist Registration with the GMC
  • held a substantive consultant post for at least a year
  • have a good level of computer literacy
  • be able to commit to being a CESR Evaluator for at least a year.

Applications from retired consultants are welcome.

You will also need to supply the following documents:

  • College certificate of good standing for CPD
  • confirmation of Good Standing Form
  • evidence of equality and diversity training undertaken in the last three years
  • a letter of good standing from you current Medical or Clinical Director (not required for retired applicants)
  • two anonymised tribunal/court reports, case histories, or similar documents which demonstrate your ability to write clear, thorough and detailed reports.

Additional information

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