Notice for RSQ applicants.
Please be aware you can only apply for the Recognised Specialist Qualification pathway from 15 May 2024 at 09:00am

References for Recognised Specialist Qualification

This is guidance for doctors applying for specialist or GP registration with a recognised specialist qualification, and their referees.


Who should I nominate as a referee?

You should provide a structured report which covers your most recent period of practice in the specialty you have applied in.

It’s important that this is completed by a colleague who has worked with you at consultant level in the specialty you are applying in.

There may be scenarios where you need to provide a reference from more than one colleague. This could be:

  • If you have not practised in the specialty you have applied in for more than three years, you may also wish to provide a structured report from a colleague who has worked with you more recently. Ideally this would be in an affiliated specialty, for example if you have subspecialties your practice since being awarded your recognised specialist qualification.
  • If our recognised specialist qualification list indicates a structured report is needed from a specific period of your training or practice.

References from family members will hold less weight and where possible should be avoided.


How do I act as a referee for an applicant?

You should complete the structured report based on your direct observations and experience of working with the applicant.

You’ll be asked to comment on:

  • How the applicant has demonstrated the knowledge, skills and experience of a specialist or GP in the time you have worked with them
  • How their current practice is relevant to the specialty they are applying in (if no longer the same specialty)
  • How the applicant is keeping up to date in their specialty.

You should support any comments made with examples of direct observations.

You should check with the applicant if the report needs to cover or comment on a specific period of their practice.

Once you’ve completed the report, please give this to the applicant who will submit it as part of their application evidence.

What happens after the applicant applies?

When the application is submitted, we’ll contact you to verify the report.

If you are GMC registered this will be through your GMC registered email. If you are not registered with GMC, we will contact you on the details you provided on the report.

We’ll ask you to respond to our email within five working days.