NHS CESR Applications for Clinical Oncology Consultants 

  • May 02, 2022

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

What is CESR in Clinical Oncology in the NHS?

As a Clinical Oncology specialist, attaining CESR will mean you are qualified to practice at consultant level in the NHS in Clinical Oncology. Have a read through our CESR articles found in the IMG Library to understand a little more.

Do I need MRCP or FRCR to attain CESR in Clinical Oncology?

Not necessarily. Whilst it is a benefit to attain MRCP and FRCR, and you may have already attained MRCP or FRCR as your route to GMC registration, you do not necessarily require both or either to attain CESR in Clinical Oncology.

Any doctor wishing to attain Specialist Registration via the CCT route must attain MRCP(UK) and then FRCR. 

What is the indicative period of training for a CCT in Clinical Oncology?

The indicative period of training for a CCT in Clinical Oncology is six years and it is highly unlikely that you would achieve the competencies required for a CCT in a shorter period of time.

This training consists of the following:

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


  • Five years training in Clinical Oncology comprising:
    • 3 years core/intermediate clinical oncology training
    • 2 years advanced clinical oncology training

Advanced training covers tumour site specialisation and trainees are expected to specialise in and acquire advanced competencies in at least two tumour sites. The minimum period required for site specialisation is at least six months in each site specialty.

CESR applicants must demonstrate that they have achieved the competencies in each of these areas. The list is given for example purposes and is not exhaustive. For the full list refer to the Clinical Oncology 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 Clinical Oncology Curriculum. 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

In Summary:

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 overseas Clinical Oncologists looking to work as NHS Consultants in Clinical Oncology.

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