NHS CESR Applications for Respiratory or Pulmonary Consultants 

  • February 18, 2022

In this article we look at the specialty specific guidance on documents to be supplied in evidence for an application for entry onto the Specialist Register for Respiratory Medicine with a Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration or CESR.

What is CESR in Respiratory Medicine in the NHS?

As a respiratory medicine or pulmonary specialist, attaining CESR will mean you are qualified to practice at consultant level in the NHS in Respiratory Medicine. Have a read through our CESR articles found in the IMG Library to understand a little more.

Do I need MRCP to attain CESR in Respiratory Medicine?

No, whilst it is always a benefit to attain MRCP and you may have already attained MRCP as by ways of registering with the GMC, you do not require MRCP to attain CESR in Respiratory Medicine. Any doctor wishing to attain Specialist Registration via the CCT route must attain MRCP (UK). 

What is the indicative period of training for a CCT in Respiratory Medicine?

The indicative period of training for CCT in Respiratory Medicine is six years full-time training and it is highly unlikely that a CESR applicant could achieve these competencies required in less time.

The structure of the CCT training programme is:

  • 2 years in Core Medical Training or Acute Care Common Stem (ACCS)

How does IMT fit into this? CMT no longer exists as of Aug 2019.

  • 4 years training in Respiratory Medicine

Applicants need to demonstrate that they have achieved the competencies in both of these areas. For complete details have a read through the Respiratory Medicine Curriculum documentation.

Submitting Evidence

Do not submit original documents – this is very important.

All your copies, other than qualifications you’re getting authenticated must be accompanied by a proformas signed by the person who is attesting to the validity and accuracy of your evidence (your verifier).

It is very important that you read an explanation of how to do this in the GMC’s important notice about evidence.

How much evidence should you submit?

The GMC recognises that doctors will often not have all the evidence required for a complete CESR application, often many doctors will start their application and delay starting their application until they are able to gather all the evidence.

The evidence must cover the knowledge, skills and qualifications to demonstrate the required competencies in all areas of the Respiratory Medicine Curriculum documentation. If evidence is missing from any one area of the curriculum, then the application will fail.

If you have a piece of evidence that is relevant to more than one domain, do not include multiple copies in your bundle. Instead include one copy and list it in your evidence list under each relevant area, stating that the document is located elsewhere. 

The GMC asks that only evidence that is strictly relevant is sent as it will help them to process the application quicker. The guidance on compiling your evidence will help you to decide what is relevant and what is not – make sure you are reading the latest version on the GMC website – here.

It is important to note that evidence that is more than five years old will be given less weight than more recent evidence, so you may not need to include it. As a general guide, an application for CESR could expect to see around 800-1000 pages of evidence. 

The types of evidence are divided into four different domains, the GMC recommends that you apportion the evidence provided as per the pie chart below:

Please note, you cannot compensate for evidence lacking in one area by providing more evidence in another area.

Make sure to anonymise your evidence:

It is very important to anonymise your evidence before submitting it to the GMC. You must remove the following:

  • All patient identifying details
  • Details of patients’ relatives
  • Details of colleagues that you have assessed, written a reference for, or who have been involved in a complaint you have submitted. This includes:
    • names (first and last)
    • addresses 
    • contact details such as phone numbers or email addresses
    • NHS numbers & other individual patient numbers
    • GMC numbers


If you have any questions or uncertainties, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the IMG Connect team. However, your official point of reference for any queries should the GMC – they can answer and provide the most updated information on CESR applications for senior Respiratory doctors looking to work as NHS Consultants in Respiratory Medicine.

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