Updated: June 26, 2020
The GMC has now confirmed that eligible doctors on the CESR-CP pathway will now be awarded CCT upon completion of training instead of CESR. This was first mentioned in a letter to the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) and it has now been confirmed.
But what does this mean and why does it matter?
Being on the GMC Specialist Register is required if you want to apply for a permanent Consultant post in the UK. CCT, CESR-CP and CESR are the three routes to the GMC Specialist Register, and they differ by how much of your training was completed in a GMC approved training programme.
- CCT is the pathway for those who entered a GMC-approved UK training programme from year 1 and completed a UK training programme in full.
- CESR-CP is the pathway for doctors who entered a GMC-approved UK training programme after year 1, usually in year 3 or 4, and therefore partially completed a UK training programme.
- CESR is for those who never entered a GMC-approved UK training programme at all and did not complete any part of a UK training programme. This means they completed all of their training outside the UK or through UK non-training jobs.
Related: The 4 types of GMC registration
While the UK considers all 3 equivalent, CESR is often considered inferior to CCT by several medical authorities overseas. Some countries will not recognise those on the CESR-CP pathway as being Consultants because the certificate given to them at the end actually states “CESR”.
This has been a sore point for many IMGs who may have plans to migrate after completing some of their training in the UK. Why should CESR-CP be recognised as equal to CCT in the UK but not elsewhere?
Fortunately, the GMC recognises the difficulty that IMGs have faced and will now award a CCT instead of CESR for those on the CESR-CP pathway.
The original letter from the GMC to BAPIO proposing this change:
The announcement confirming this change can be found in this BMA news article:
Questions you might have
So who is eligible for CCT under the new rules?
Doctors who complete the minimum number of years in UK specialty training as required by European legislation.
What is the minimum time required for CCT in European legislation?
The GMC has listed the minimum number of years that you need to complete in UK training or order to gain CCT. You can review the list here:
If your specialty does not have a minimum number of years, then unfortunately you cannot gain CCT, the only option is CESR.
What if you don’t complete the minimum number of years?The main entry point for training programmes after year 1 is in year 3 or year 4. This means you would still have 4-6 years of UK training to complete so you are still likely to meet the minimum requirements for CCT. However, if you join training later than ST3/ST4, and do not meet the minimum number of years required for CCT, then you will be awarded CESR instead. Related: What IMGs need to know about applications to specialty training (residency) in the UK
What if you were awarded CESR in the past but were on the CESR-CP pathway?The GMC has confirmed that these changes will be applied retrospectively. So if you were previously awarded a certificate of CESR even though you were on the CESR-CP pathway, you can now apply to have this changed to CCT. You can review the GMC guide on how to do this here: The COVID-19 pandemic in the UK and IMGs
Changes to the Savvy IMG website
As a result of this announcement, we will need to update our many parts of our website. Please bear with us as the following articles are updated:
Changing the certificate of those on the CESR-CP pathway from CESR to CCT is a big step for IMGs who join UK training mid-way. This is excellent work by BAPIO and we hope that more changes will come to improve the working conditions and prospects for IMGs in the UK.
Rules and policies are changing quickly, all favorable to IMGs. Read our article on 8 ways the UK has made it easier for IMGs in the past 2 years.