What is a 'credential'?

A 'credential' is a training pathway offered to consultants who are on the GMC's Specialist Register to train in a specialist area that was not undertaken prior to the receipt of their specialist registration.

Generally, credentials are offered over a period of one year (WTE).

GMC's credentialing framework

In 2019, the General Medical Council (GMC) developed their Framework for GMC-regulated credentials.

The framework outlines two key drivers supporting the approval of credentials:

  • unregulated areas of practice where there may be significant patient risks
  • where the capacity to train doctors is insufficient to meet patient or service needs.

All four UK governments have agreed that credentials are one mechanism that will help to better support the medical workforce.

The GMC are currently working on how credentials will be embedded, including the sign-off and maintenance of credentials. Further information will be provided in due course.

GMC's 'Early Adopter' process

At present, the GMC are working with a small number of specialties, including Psychiatry, to test the framework through an 'Early Adopter' process.

In 2017 we undertook a pilot for a post-CCT credential in Liaison Psychiatry (see below). In 2019 we were selected by the GMC to apply the outcome of the pilot to the new framework. So far, we have received approval from the GMC's Curriculum Oversight Group (COG) and are working with the GMC's Curriculum Advisory Group (CAG) and approvals team towards implementation.

Read further information regarding the process

Liaison Psychiatry Credential Pilot

In 2016 in partnership with Health Education England we ran a pilot to develop a credential in Liaison Psychiatry. The pilot was aimed at consultants who already have a CCT in General or Old Age psychiatry (or equivalent) who wish to work in a liaison psychiatry service as a Liaison psychiatrist. The aim was to establish what a post CCT credential could look like, and the cost and feasibility of participating.

Currently, formal training in Liaison Psychiatry is only offered as part of higher specialist training leading to an endorsement. A recognised training route is needed for consultants working (or expected to work) in this area, who do not hold an endorsement in liaison psychiatry to meet the service demands.

The pilot is now complete and we are moving through the GMC's Early Adopter process. If you are interested in the outcome or would like to be kept informed of any future opportunities please complete our online form.

Eating Disorders Credential

RCPsych has been commissioned by Health Education England to produce an Eating Disorders credential. If you are interested in taking part, would like further information or would like to be kept informed in the development of the credential, please contact

Want to learn more about credentialing?

We are currently working towards developing further credentials, and scoping areas of work where this would be most beneficial. If you would like to know more about the process, please contact or call 0208 618 4170.


Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry