The Postgraduate Board of the GMC is responsible for the regulation of postgraduate medical education and training (PMET) in the UK. In regulating PMET, the GMC must approve programmes of specialty training, the curriculum used for specialty training and the assessment system. Approval is granted when it is demonstrated that the proposed programme, curriculum and assessment system meet the GMC’s standards for curricula and assessment systems. An approved programme consists of a set of hospital rotations approved by the GMC which uses the approved curriculum and assessment system. Trainees are appointed to a programme within a School of Anaesthesia and issued with a training number. While in possession of the training number, the trainee is considered to be ‘in programme’. (A training number is either a national training number or a core trainee number issued by the deanery).

For trainees who lose their training number due to examination failure and subsequently pass the FRCA, the GMC has agreed special arrangements where an individual will be eligible for a CCT providing they re-enter training within 7 years of completing the examination and have completed all the other requirements for the CCT ‘in programme’. The previous requirement of re-entering training by 31 October 2013 no longer applies.

A trainee who loses their training number while on the 2007 Curriculum and subsequently passes the FCARCSI examination, will also be eligible for a CCT under the special arrangements described above as long as the trainee re-enters training within 7 years of completing the examination and completes all remaining programme requirements ‘in programme’.

As the identified competent authority by law, the GMC award trainees who have successfully completed an entire approved programme while ‘in programme’ with a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT). The CCT allows the individual to be entered onto the specialist register held by the GMC and apply for substantive consultant posts across the UK. The CCT is also the recognised European qualification for graduates from the UK.

The Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (Combined Programmes) (CESR[CP]) is a simplified application process for doctors appointed to a training programme intended to lead to a CESR for specialist registration. It is awarded by the GMC to those trainees who have not completed a GMC approved training programme in its entirety. For example, if a trainee enters the UK anaesthetics programme at CT2 because they have anaesthesia training from Sri Lanka, the trainee is only completing part of their training in the UK and so would only be eligible for a CESR[CP]. For other examples, please see the FAQs page.

CESR is a process that specialist doctors can apply to the GMC to be assessed for possible specialist registration. The process itself is defined in UK law and requires the doctor to demonstrate equivalence to the 2010 UK Curriculum for a CCT in Anaesthetics through evidence of training and/or experience. For more information see Equivalence (CESR).

A CCT in Anaesthetics provides its holder with recognition of this qualification within Europe provided that:

  • The holder is a national of an EU member state or has EU community rights eg. a spouse of an EU national; and
  • The holder has an EU recognised primary medical qualification.

Additionally for both CCT and CESR holders:

  • If the individual is an EU national or has EU community rights, and has worked for 3 out of the last 5 years as a specialist in the UK then this can be recognised in Europe regardless of where their primary medical qualification was obtained. (A certificate is required from the GMC as proof – Article 3(3) compliancy certificate)

If the above criteria are not met, the individual will have to apply for recognition through the European State’s process equivalent to the UK CESR process.