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Frequently asked questions about the CESR(CP) process

GMC information on the CESR (CP)

If you were issued with a CESR (CP) and wish to apply for a retrospective CCT under the 2020 policy change, please see the GMC guidance here:

GMC change of policy regarding the CESR (CP)

Update November 2020

The GMC issued new guidance (May 2020) for doctors on the combined programme who have completed the minimum amount of time training in the UK. These doctors will qualify for a CCT on completion of training. Combined programme trainees who do not meet the minimum UK training time, will be issued with a CESR (CP).

These changes apply to trainees on the combined programme who have spent the minimum amount of time training in the UK approved training programme. The minimum training time as defined by EU legislation is 4 years (GMC website) for O&G.

‘Training’ can include previous training posts, undertaken prior to entry to the training programme, such as LAT and FTSTA posts. These posts can be considered towards the minimum four years training time as agreed by your trainers.

MTI posts are not GMC-recognised training posts and therefore cannot be counted as part of the minimum requirement of 4 years training.

Your Deanery/HEE will provisionally confirm your application route on appointment. If you were appointed above ST1 and will be applying for a CCT on completion of training, this will need to be registered and confirmed by the GMC following your first Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP). The registration process is as follows:


Is a CESR(CP) equivalent to a CCT?

The CESR(CP) is equivalent to the CCT and certifies that the recipient is eligible for entry onto the Specialist Register. Applicants for a CESR(CP) are assessed against the standards required for the award of the CCT in O&G. CESR(CP) holders can apply for substantive consultant posts in the UK.


Is the CESR (CP) transferable outside the UK?

The key difference between a CCT and a CESR (CP) is that doctors who are awarded a CCT, and are EEA nationals, are currently entitled to recognition of their qualifications within EEA member states. In some countries, the CESR (CP) is not transferable. However, should a doctor require a letter confirming their training, the GMC is able to provide this.


Who’s eligible to apply for a CESR(CP)?

Doctors who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply for a CESR (CP):

  • Have been appointed to the approved specialty training programme and have been awarded a national training number (NTN)
  • Appointed to a level above ST1
  • Will not have the minimum duration of four years approved training on completion, and will therefore be counting non-GMC-approved posts towards their training
  • Have successfully completed all curriculum competencies of the RCOG training programme and have been issued with an Outcome 6.


What’s meant by a ‘non-GMC-approved post’?

Non-GMC-approved posts are posts that have not been formally educationally approved by the GMC. These may include LAS (locum appointment for service), staff grade, clinical fellow, and overseas posts.


Do all trainees who are appointed above ST1 need to apply via the CESR(CP) route?

No, only those doctors who have been appointed above ST1 and will not meet the CCT requirement of four years approved training, on completion, will apply via the CESR (CP) application route.


Are training posts in EEA countries recognised by the GMC?

Currently, specialty training undertaken within the European Economic Area (EEA) is recognised by the GMC provided that the specific posts had the approval of the competent authority (the GMC equivalent) in that country. You must provide written evidence of this from the competent authority. If you have this approval, you’ll follow the CCT route rather than the CESR(CP).


How much time spent in non-GMC-approved posts can I count towards my training?

The amount of time spent in non-GMC-approved posts may vary from as little as 3–6 months in basic training to several years of experience in countries outside the UK. Your School/Deanery will need to assess whether your previous experience is suitable to count towards specialist registration.


Can additional non-GMC-approved training be recognised once I have been appointed to the programme?

You cannot ask for the training to be recognised. However, you can request that your CCT date be brought forward by X months due to previous experience and the evidence you have accrued during the training year. For example: recruited at ST3 and, at ARCP at the end of that year, you have completed all competencies for ST4 as well, so wish to enter ST5, you can make a request for your CCT to be advanced by 12 months.


Can I extend my training time to convert from the CESR(CP) to the CCT route?

No. It’s not possible to extend your training time halfway through your specialty training programme for the sole reason of changing from the CESR(CP) to the CCT route. You can only extend your training time as a result of inadequate career progression on an outcome 3, or to undertake out of programme activities and so on.


Is there a minimum amount of time a trainee must spend in the UK specialty training programme to be eligible for the CESR(CP) route?

No, although for patient safety reasons it’s extremely unlikely that the RCOG would appoint a trainee to the specialty training programme above ST5 level.


Find out more

If this page doesn’t answer your questions, or you need more information, please please email


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