How can I support an applicant?

To be successful, a doctor needs to demonstrate they have all of the competencies required by the relevant approved curriculum for their speciality.

Documentary evidence 

CESR and CEGPR applications are assessed on the basis of documentary evidence only. This means that we need to see evidence of all of the skills and competencies an applicant has – we aren’t able to make any assumptions about their abilities. It’s very important that a doctor is able to gather evidence before they submit their application.

Ways you can support a CESR or CEGPR applicant

Support, coaching and feedback from senior colleagues can be invaluable in this process. You should think about any areas that you think an applicant might currently not have evidence of skills in, and whether there’s any advice or support you could give them to help them prepare for an application.

Some particular areas where you might be able to help are: 

Access to other areas 

Applicants are sometimes unsuccessful because they have focused on a particular area of the CCT specialty they’re applying for specialist or GP registration in. We assess applicants against the breadth of the relevant curriculum, and strength in one area won’t compensate for a deficiency in another. 

Some applicants will benefit from opportunities to refresh or develop their skills in a different area from the one they generally work in. This isn’t always possible due to service demands but you may wish to consider whether this is an option for the applicant you wish to support. 

Assessments and appraisals 

We make decisions on these applications based on the documents an applicant provides. In some cases, we’re presented with lots of evidence about the volume of work a doctor has done – such as extensive logbooks of procedures completed – but very little evidence about the quality of their work. 

Applicants are much more likely to be successful if they provide relevant work place based assessments, so we can see an evaluation of how well they’ve performed. Some applicants work in positions which mean they find it difficult to access colleagues who’ll carry out these assessments with them. You may be able to help facilitate or arrange this. 

Leadership opportunities 

Applications in most specialties ask an applicant to show leadership skills. Some of these can be attained by completing relevant courses, but it can be difficult for applicants to show how they’ve applied them. You might be able to help suggest some opportunities for an applicant to do this – such as chairing meetings, sitting on appointments panels, leading rota organisation, or mentoring junior colleagues. 

Helping to choose referees

Applicants are asked to nominate referees who can comment on their knowledge and skills. We contact these doctors directly, and ask them to complete a structured report. You might wish to talk to a doctor considering an application about who they plan to nominate. The most useful references are usually provided by those who work directly with the applicant, and can comment on their current competence from personal experience. It’s also important that referees are told they are going to be nominated, as the form can take a while to complete. There’s some guidance for referees below. 

Verification of evidence

Documents submitted to us in support of CESR and CEGPR applications need to meet specific verification requirements, which require the applicant’s colleagues to review and be able to attest to evidence. Further guidance is available below.