Applying for specialist or GP registration
This guide explains the process for making an application to join the Specialist Register or GP Register. In order to be granted specialist or GP registration doctors must hold full registration with a licence to practise at the point specialist/GP registration is awarded.
It focuses on the application routes that use the Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration or the Certificate of Eligibility for General Practice registration (CESR/CEGPR) route.
For guidance on applying via CCT, CESR/CEGPR (Combined Programme), a Relevant European Qualification or for sub-specialty recognition you should use our application route finder.
Before you start your application
Before you start, it’s useful to look at the curriculum for the specialty you’re applying in.
Each curriculum has its own specialty specific guidance (SSG), which provides details about the evidence you need to submit to us. The online application form gives a brief overview of what’s required for each area, but the SSG has much more information.
Make sure your CV meets our guidance for specialist applications and accurately reflects your employment history.
Starting your application
When you start your application, we will send you guidance and support for your specialty.
Building your application
You have up to a year to do this stage.
You should submit evidence to us, which shows how you meet the speciality specific guidance (SSG). A successful application:
- groups evidence together
- contains no more than 150 uploads (this should be no more than around 1,000 pages of evidence)
- contains evidence which meets the requirements of your specialty
- has clear descriptions of any documents
- has titles which match what is written on the proforma.
Reflect the specialty specific guidance
It’s important to make your evidence easy to follow. If your evidence isn’t clearly labelled, we will return it to you. Be sure to follow any naming conventions provided in the SSG (these may vary between specialties).
Don’t provide the same piece of evidence more than once. You can cross-reference evidence in the summary you provide.
Bear in mind that reviewers will be looking to see how your evidence meets the SSG and curriculum requirements.
We require that you have a verifier for the evidence you submit. A verifier is someone in a position of clinical leadership who can confirm that the information in a document reflects what you have done. Make sure your verifiers see the guidance when they agree to be your verifier, so they know what will be expected of them.
Make sure you nominate four to six referees for your application. Your primary referee must be your current clinical or medical director.
It’s important that you anonymise your evidence. We have a responsibility as an organisation that handles data to make sure that information about patients and trainees isn’t shared. As such, we can’t share any evidence that doesn’t meet anonymisation requirements with the royal college or faculty who assess your application.
If you have certificates from overseas, make sure you get them authenticated by a solicitor or the awarding body.
Working with your adviser
Once you have submitted your application to us, you’ll be introduced to an adviser. Your adviser will review your application within 30 days and give you advice to make sure you have the best chance of succeeding.
The clearer your evidence, the easier it is for your adviser to make sure it meets the requirements.
Improving your application
Following feedback from your adviser, you will have 60 days to improve your application.
Your adviser will be an expert in this process. You have a better chance of getting a positive response where you take advice and use this as an opportunity to improve your application.
Submitting your application to a royal college or faculty
Once you and your adviser are happy with your application, you’ll need to close the application. We then prepare it to be submitted to your royal college or faculty.
They will assess your application and send their recommendation to us. Based on that recommendation, we’ll either add you to the specialist or GP medical register or inform you why you haven’t been successful.
If your application is unsuccessful
If you are unsuccessful and you believe your evidence hasn’t been appropriately assessed, you can either:
- Appeal the decision within 28 days of the decision being made
- Resubmit an updated application, which you can do working with our advisers. You have 12 months in which to resubmit your application and in the majority of cases is successful.
Find your application route and apply
For more detailed, step by step guidance on submitting your application or if you’re ready to apply you should use our application route finder.