Advice for applicants

Quarterly Blog

July 2018

Tips for successful Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) applications

by Dr Liz Fellow-Smith, Vice Chair of the Equivalence Committee

The College recognises that applications for CESR requires a lot of preparation and can seem quite daunting. This is the first in a series of articles aimed at helping doctors planning to engage in this process.

The CESR is awarded by the GMC and applications are made to them. The College assesses the evidence an applicant submits to the GMC. The assessment is to assure the GMC that the applicant has gained the equivalent level of competence as a ST6 trainee making application for CCT via the ARCP process.

The CESR applicant must demonstrate competence against all Intended Learning Outcomes in the curriculum of the specialty of their choice via the written evidence submitted.

The CESR certificate is awarded only on the written evidence provided by the applicant. It is not granted on the basis of references or experience. Clinical contemporaneous primary evidence is the key to a successful application. 

We hope the Top Tips and Common Errors below help you in planning you application... 

5 common errors

  1. Evidence is > 5 years old
  2. Evidence is from core training – must be higher training equivalent
  3. Not demonstrating higher level experience in psychological therapies
  4. Evidence does not demonstrate full biopsychosocial assessments, formulation, differential diagnosis and care plan
  5. Not demonstrating range of evidence across all psychiatric conditions, range of social\cultural backgrounds & all settings\ages

 10 top tips

  1. Map evidence to all aspects of the curriculum 
  2. Present evidence clearly showing which curriculum ILO it satisfies
  3. Check and check again
  4. Take advice from GMC, RCPsych and others about your application
  5. Primary evidence is essential
  6. Must be current and ST6 equivalent
  7. WPBAs are important but not sufficient by themselves
  8. Use reflective notes to triangulate evidence
  9. Gather evidence from your daily work as you go along 
  10. Validate at the time​
Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry