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Frequently asked questions - Certificates of Completion of Training (CCT)

This page provides common questions and answers for anyone who is a trainee and eligible to apply for a CCT.

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Click on a question in the list below to see the answer.

  1. 1. How do I apply?
  2. 2. Will my Royal College or Faculty require anything from me before they notify you of my end of training date?
  3. 3. When can I apply?
  4. 4. How can I find out the status of my application?
  5. 5. When will my name be included on the Specialist Register or GP Register?
  6. 6. When will I receive my CCT?
  7. 7. Are there any peak times of the year and will this affect when my name is entered onto the Specialist Register or GP Register or when I receive my certificate?
  8. 8. What date will be on my certificate?
  9. 9. What information appears on my certificate?
  10. 10. How should I record my CCT on my curriculum vitae?
  11. 11. What curriculum will you assess me against?
  12. 12. If I do not pass all the components of the College or Faculty (including nMRCGP) exam, how will this affect my application?
  13. 13. If I fail an exam, or other required component of my training course, or do not pass until after my original expected CCT date, what will happen to my application?
  14. 14. If I do not pass the exam before my expected end of training date, what happens to my application?
  15. 15. If I pass the exam after my initial expected end of training date, how quickly will my name be entered onto the Specialist Register of GP Register and when will I receive my certificate?
  16. 16. If I passed some of the exams relevant to my approved training programme before entry onto that programme (including within Foundation training), do those exams count towards my CCT?
  17. 17. If I do not remain in an approved training post can I still apply for a CCT?
  18. 18. Are there any posts that count towards the award of a CCT if taken up before entry onto an approved training programme?

1. How do I apply?

Your Royal College or Faculty will notify us of your completion of training date during the final year of your training. Around four months before your expected end of training date we will invite you to make your application in GMC Online.

We will wait until we have received both your application and fee and a recommendation from your Royal College or Faculty before we check your application. You will be able to track progress of your application through the My Applications section of GMC Online.

Answer a few questions in our applications section to find the right guidance for you.

2. Will my Royal College or Faculty require anything from me before they notify you of my end of training date?

Each Royal College or Faculty has their own process and you should contact them for instructions.

3. When can I apply?

You can only make your application:

  • after we send you an invitation to apply (in the final few months of your training)
  • no later than six months after your completion of training date

We strongly recommend that you apply at least three months before you need to have your name on the Specialist Register or GP Register.

We will not check your application until we receive a recommendation from your Royal College or Faculty.

4. How can I find out the status of my application?

You can check the status of your application in GMC Online.

5. When will my name be included on the Specialist Register or GP Register?

Your name will appear on the Specialist or GP register on the day we grant your application. Please note that entry dates are not pre or post dated and it is therefore important to submit your application early to ensure your entry on the Specialist or GP register reflects your end of training date.

Please note: your grant date will be within 10-15 working days following the GMC receiving both your application and your College or Faculty recommendation, but will be no earlier than your end of training date.

You can check your status on the Register in GMC Online or on the online Register.

6. When will I receive my certificate?

If your application is successful your certificate will be despatched to your registered address no earlier than 10 days before your completion of training date and no later than 15 days after we receive both your application and the recommendation from your Royal College or Faculty.

You can check and update your registered address in GMC Online.

7. Are there any peak times of the year and will this affect when my name is entered onto the Specialist Register or GP Register or when I receive my certificate?

Yes, due to hundreds of GPs completing training at the same time, peak times of the year for the Specialist ApplicationsTeam are:

  • the last week of January and the first week of February and
  • the last week of July and the first week of August.

It can take us longer at these times to process applications.

Because of the demands placed on the Specialist Applications Team during these periods, we cannot guarantee that we can process last minute applications in time to enable doctors to start practice during the first week of February or August.

We will continue processing CCTs or CESRs for specialists completing their training around this time, but GPs will be given priority as, unlike specialists, they cannot take up alternative posts whilst waiting for their name to be entered onto the GP Register. We therefore advise specialists who are making an application during these periods that it may be necessary for them to arrange with their prospective employer to take up their post in a locum capacity until their name is entered on the Specialist Register.

8. What date will be on my certificate?

The date that appears on your certificate is:

  • Your completion of training date (if we have received your application and Royal College or Faculty recommendation at least four weeks before your expected end of training date and we are able to evaluate your application in advance of your completion of training date)

Or

  • The date that we make our decision on your application. This will be the same date we issue your certificate. Sometimes we have to make a decision after your completion of training date because for example; we receive your application or your Royal College or Faculty recommendation less than four weeks before your expected end of training date or we need to seek additional information.

Therefore, the date on your CCT, CESR or CEGPR should be within 10 working days of when we have received a completed application and a recommendation from your Royal College or Faculty which confirms that you have successfully completed the GMC approved programme including passing all parts of the GMC approved assessment system (including all parts of any exams) before you have left the training programme.

9. What information appears on my certificate?

The following will appear on your certificate:

  • your registered name
  • your primary medical qualification
  • the specialty in which your CCT is awarded
  • the date that you were awarded your CCT
  • details of the legislation under which you have been awarded entry onto the Specialist Register or GP Register.

10. How should I record my CCT on my curriculum vitae?

Until you receive your CCT you should record your completion of training as an expected CCT date. When you have received your CCT you may record your award of CCT as the date that appears on your certificate or alternatively you may wish to record your date of entry to the Specialist Register or GP Register. Recording in any other way is misleading and may be reportable.

11. What curriculum will you assess me against?

You will be assessed against the curriculum in place when you began your training unless you transfer to a different curriculum. It is your responsibility to ensure that your College or Faculty is aware that you have transferred curricula.

12. If I do not pass all the components of the College or Faculty (including nMRCGP) exam, how will this affect my application?

Providing you retain your national training number (NTN) and remain in an approved training programme, we will defer making a decision on your application until the next sitting of the exam.

13. If I do not pass the exam before my expected end of training date, what happens to my application?

When six months have passed from your initial expected end of training date, we will close your application as incomplete and your application fee will be returned to you with an administration fee deducted from it. Once you have been successful in the relevant exam you may submit a new application. The type of application you are eligible to make will depend on your circumstances.

You can find out what type of application you are eligible for in our applications section.

14. If I do not pass the exam that is a requirement of the CCT curriculum will I be able to apply for entry onto the Specialist Register or GP Register?

If you do not meet all the requirements of the specialty curriculum and assessment system prior to leaving the training programme, including passing the exam, then you have not completed the programme, and you are not eligible to apply for entry onto the Specialist Register or GP Register with a CCT or with a CESR or a CEGPR through the combined programme.

However, you may still be eligible to apply for entry onto the Specialist Register or GP Register with a CESR or a CEGPR through the specialty equivalence route.

Read more about specialty equivalence.  

Answer a few questions in our applications section to find the right guidance for you.

15. If I pass the exam after my initial expected end of training date, how quickly will my name be entered onto the Specialist Register or GP Register and when will I receive my certificate?

If you have already applied through GMC Online, as soon as we receive the recommendation from your Royal College or Faculty that confirms that you have successfully completed the GMC approved training programme (including all assessments prior to leaving the programme), we will begin the approval process. We aim to complete this within 10 working days of having both your completed application and the recommendation from your Royal College or Faculty. We recommend that you plan your employment to allow for these timeframes.

16. If I passed some of the exams relevant to my approved training programme before entry onto that programme (including within Foundation training), do those exams count towards my CCT?

Yes. The GMC has taken legal advice on this issue and we are satisfied that there is scope for us to take a flexible approach in these circumstances. For further details, please refer to the GMC's statement of 18 June 2010.

17. If I do not remain in an approved training post can I still apply for a CCT?

CCTs can only be awarded to applicants who have successfully completed a GMC approved course of training. If you leave the training programme or training post without having successfully completed all assessment elements of the programme (including national professional exams) you will need to apply instead for entry onto the Specialist Register or GP Register with a CEGPR or a CESR through the specialty equivalence route.

Read more about specialty equivalence.

Answer a few questions in our applications section to find the right guidance for you.

18. Are there any posts that count towards the award of a CCT if taken up before entry onto an approved training programme?

Yes. Locum Appointments for Training (LAT), Fixed Term Training Appointments (FTTA) or Fixed-term Specialty Training Appointments (FTSTA) will have prospective approval for training in the relevant specialty and, therefore, competencies achieved including exams or assessments can count towards the requirements for a CCT providing they are progressive (if more than one year), you have completed them satisfactorily including the relevant assessment requirements and subsequently enter a specialty training programme in open competition and successfully complete it.

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