Equivalence (CESR)

What is CESR?

In order to work in a substantive consultant post in the UK, doctors must be on the Specialist Register of the UK General Medical Council. 

Specialists who trained both in and outside the EEA or completed a non-European recognised specialist training programme within the EEA can apply to the GMC for a Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) for Intensive Care Medicine. Please note that there is no 'direct entry' onto the GMC Specialist Register for Intensive Care Medicine (as there is for larger specialties such as anaesthesia); even if doctors qualified in the EEA, they must still undertake the CESR process. This is because ICM is only recognised as a standalone specialty in a small number of countries.

Equivalence describes the process of assessing an applicant's training and experience against the current UK CCT training programme requirements in order to gain a CESR. The process involves submitting a body of evidence of training and/or competence, skills and knowledge to the GMC. Once the GMC has collected what it considers to be a satisfactory range of evidence, it will send the application to the Faculty for consideration. The FICM Equivalence (CESR) Sub Committee will assess the application against the most recent GMC approved Curriculum before providing a recommendation to the GMC, who will then make a final decision.

Slide showing the roles and responsibilities of individuals and organisations in the CESR pathway
Roles and responsibilities of individuals and organisations in the CESR pathway

ICM-specific guidance

A new ICM Specialty Specific Guidance (SSG) document has been produced for CESR applications to align with the new ICM Curriculum: Supporting Excellence that was published on 04 December 2020. The new ICM SSG lists all the High Level Learning Outcomes (HiLLOs) of the new ICM curriculum, the expected capability levels and includes suggestions for the kinds of assessments that can be submitted as evidence against each HiLLO, so please use this as the main reference when collating information for your CESR application.

Initial equivalence enquiries

Equivalence procedures are the responsibility of the General Medical Council (GMC). For Initial enquiries and to start your application you must first contact the GMC (not the Faculty). 


Supporting Doctors through the CESR process

The GMC has produced a guide is for employers, supervisors or colleagues who have been asked to help with a doctor's CESR application.

The GMC have an online application system that requires you to register prior to making your CESR application. It also has an e-Portfolio functionality to help you collate and organise your evidence. 

The GMC have also published a comprehensive user guide to aide applicants along each step of the online application.

    Further Resources

    Want to know more?
    Visit the GMC's pages about the CESR process.