Specialty specific guidance for CESR in Medical Microbiology

The new curriculum for Medical microbiology has now been published. Due to the significant changes that have been made to the curriculum we will be offering applicants the opportunity to make a CESR application against either the new curriculum or the previous version of the curriculum. 

This option of dual running of curricula will be available until 31 August 2023.

Specialty Specific Guidance

The Royal College of Pathologists and the GMC have produced guidance documents for each version of the curriculum.

2021 Curriculum

The GMC designed its new standards for postgraduate medical curricula Excellence by Design and its framework for Generic Professional Capabilities, published in May 2017, to help postgraduate medical training programmes re-focus trainee assessment away from an exhaustive list of individual competencies, towards fewer broad capabilities required to practice safely as a day-one consultant.

In the new Medical Microbiology 2021 curriculum, trainees are eligible for entry to combined infection training following satisfactory completion of post-foundation core training programmes. CESR applicants must show equivalence to this training as well as the specialty specific elements of the Medical microbiology training.

  • two years of Stage 1 Internal Medicine plus MRCP(UK)
  • Acute Care Common Stem (ACCS) plus MRCP(UK).

The 2021 Medical microbiology curriculum contains 13 capabilities in practice (CiPs) describing the professional tasks or work within the scope of Medical microbiology. Six CiPs are generic, with applicability to doctors in all specialties, and seven are specific to specialists in infection.

The six generic CiPs cover the universal requirements of all specialties as described in the generic professional capabilities (GPC) framework.

1.    Able to function successfully within NHS organisational and management systems.

2.    Able to deal with ethical and legal issues related to clinical practice.

3.    Communicates effectively and is able to share decision making, while maintaining appropriate situational awareness, professional behaviour and professional judgement.

4.    Is focused on patient safety and delivers effective quality improvement in patient care.

5.    Able to carry out research and manage data appropriately.

  1. Acts as a teacher and clinical supervisor.

The seven specialty CiPs describe the laboratory and clinical tasks or activities which are essential to the practice of Medical Microbiology.


  1. Able to provide clinical leadership and support to the laboratory.
  2. Able to use the laboratory service effectively in the investigation, diagnosis and management of infection.
  3. Able to advise on infection prevention, control and immunisation.
  4. Able to manage and advise on important clinical syndromes where infection is in the differential diagnosis.
  5. Able to lead and advise on treatment with and stewardship of antimicrobials.
  6. Able to provide continuity of care to inpatients and outpatients with suspected or proven infection.
  7. Able to manage and advise on imported infections.

Any CESR applications made against the 2021 curriculum must meet all the standards of that curriculum which will include this new content. Your specialty specific guidance gives you more information about what evidence you should submit.

If you choose to make your CESR application against the 2021 curriculum you may find it helpful to contact the College at training@rcpath.org for further advice before you submit your application.

How to apply

You can apply through your GMC Online account. There is one application form which includes sections for both versions of the curricula. You should declare which curriculum version you wish to be assessed against in sequence one and only provide evidence in the sections of the application relevant to your curriculum.