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Healthcare Professionals

Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR)

The CESR is for doctors who wish to join the Specialist Register, whose specialist training, qualifications or experience was partly or completely acquired outside of an approved CCT programme. It is equivalent to a CCT and certifies that the recipient has all the competences defined in the CCT curriculum, and so is eligible for admission to the Specialist Register.

Who can apply for a CESR?

Doctors who have training, qualifications and experience in dermatology but have gained these partly or completely outside of an approved UK CCT training programme (e.g. have trained outside the UK, moved abroad, taken a career break) may apply for a CESR in a CCT specialty.

CESR in the UK CCT specialty of dermatology requires demonstration of competences according to the CCT curriculum, which includes acute dermatology, paediatric dermatology and community dermatology.

CESR in a non CCT specialty

Doctors who have overseas training, qualifications and experience in a sub-specialist area of dermatology may apply for a CESR in a non-CCT specialty. Doctors following this route are listed on the Specialist Register in their chosen sub-specialist area only, and will need to consider whether there are consultant posts available in the NHS before pursuing this option.

Qualifications, or at least six months continuous specialist training in the sub-specialist area, must have been gained outside the UK. A CESR in a non-CCT specialty requires demonstration of competences consistent with practice as a consultant in the NHS.

CESR Researchers and academics

Doctors who have not followed conventional specialist training, but have focused on a specific area of narrow research and have made a significant contribution to their academic field may apply for a CESR in academic and research medicine. Applicants must demonstrate their contribution to their academic field and that they have achieved the knowledge and skill consistent with practice as a consultant in the NHS.

Before you apply

All intending CESR applicants are advised first to contact the JRCPTB Certification team at and the GMC to discuss the collection and collation of evidence.

  • FAQs on Dermatology CESR applications have been drawn up by the BAD to provide guidance on the most commonly asked questions by our interested members.
  • Core and higher specialty training for dermatology are presented in separate curriculum documents on the GMC website. The 2010 approved documentation for Dermatology incorporates both the specialty curriculum and blueprinted assessment system. These documents shows the full range of competences expected of a doctor attaining either a CCT in dermatology and thus for a successful CESR applicant.
  • JCRPTB training assessment tools may also be adopted by CESR applicants to assist in the assessment of existing or new dermatology competences. The dermatology curriculum makes specific reference to these assessment tools against the relevant competence.
  • Specialty specific guidance on evidence to be submitted with your dermatology application. This applies particularly to applicants for the CESR in a CCT specialty, but most non-CCT CESR applicants should also consult it for examples of evidence. All the specialty specific guidance documents are based on the latest curricula and information provided by the RCP.
  • JRCPTB Handbook for CESR applicants (PDF) provides a comprehensive overview of the CESR process along with other information needed to complete a successful CESR application.

How to apply

Applications are first made online, through the GMC website. This application will need to be supplemented by supporting evidence and structured reports from six nominated referees.

Evidence for CESR applications

CESR applications will be supported by a hard copy of your documentary evidence. The GMC and the JCRPTB evaluating your application must be certain that the evidence you provide is a true and accurate reflection of your training and experience. Each page of your evidence must clearly refer to you by name.

The GMC has set out clear guidance when gathering your evidence in terms of authenticating and verifying your documentation:

Evidence overview

All applicants should consult the above information thoroughly when considering making an application. CESR applications are often unsuccessful because applicants have not submitted sufficient, recent evidence (i.e. within the past five years) to cover the full breadth of the Core and Specialty CCT dermatology curriculum.

CESR in a CCT specialty applicants must ensure they can provide primary evidence of their competences in their training and experience in acute general and community dermatology, neonatal medicine and safeguarding children. If you have not covered a specific area of the curriculum it is advisable to postpone an application until you have been able to gain this experience.

CESR in a non-CCT specialty applicants will need to submit primary evidence that particularly addresses the competences expected within their sub-specialty. Such applications may not require evidence to the same standard for all other competences outside of their sub-specialty. Nevertheless, applicants should address all competences required in the application, to the standard defined in the curriculum of their chosen sub-specialty.

CESR in academic and research medicine applicants will need to submit primary evidence that particularly addresses the competences expected within their area of research. Nevertheless, applicants should address all competences required in the application, to a standard appropriate to their research. Applicants to this CESR are expected to submit evidence of additional experience related to research and academia.

Guidance on selecting referees

Applicants must provide the names and details of four referees who the GMC can contact to ask for structured reports.  Please make sure when nominating your referees that:

  • you have their approval before submitting your application
  • they are willing to complete a structured report for you
  • you have made them aware of the information they will be asked for
  • you give them a copy of your CV.

Before choosing your referees, please read the GMCs guidance to referees to see what they are required to do. Additional guidance is available for selected referees on completing the structure report.   

Application outcomes

All CESR applications are decided on by the GMC, based upon recommendations by the College. Once the College receives an application from the GMC for evaluation, it can take two to three months for the GMC to determine the final outcome.

Unsuccessful applicants

As of 1 May 2014, the GMC no longer offers unsuccessful applicants the option of a reapplication over three years. Applicants now have twelve months (rather than three) to submit a review application. 

You can apply for a review within 12 months of receiving our decision on your application if:

  • You have additional relevant documentary evidence that addresses the shortfalls set out in our decision that you have not previously submitted


  • You have completed the top-up training set out in our decision


  • You consider that there has been a procedural error or other unfairness in the way we have processed your application or made our decision.

Read guidance on how to apply for a review.

Appealing a decision

You may have a right to appeal our decision on your application, or our failure to provide a decision, under very specific circumstances.

You can choose between:

  • A written appeal
  • An oral appeal

Appeals are handled by the Appeals team, who are not involved in making decisions relating to entry to the Specialist Register.

There are strict time limits placed on appeals which must be made within 28 days of receiving the GMC’s decision.

Read guidance on appeals.

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