Specialist registration with the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom is recognition of the higher specialist competencies of a doctor. Before attaining a substantive consultant post in the UK, doctors must be included on the specialist register of the GMC. Most doctors will attain their specialist registration through the CCT (certificate of completion of training) pathway which is the standard training pathway for doctors in the UK after their primary medical qualification. Many doctors, both from the UK and overseas also have the option of using a non-training pathway leading to CESR or certificate of eligibility for specialist registration.
The CESR pathway has origins in legislative changes which took place in 2005 which recognised that many doctors could not complete the standard training pathway for personal reasons. They went on to take non-consultant, non-training jobs, which offered stability in job patterns. Even though they were not in standard training pathways, over years they gained immense knowledge, skills, and experience which in effect meant that they had higher curricular competences. Many of these doctors would have done locum consultant jobs. Others take on consultant level responsibilities and are extremely valuable members of their clinical teams. The CESR pathway was created to give such doctors a non-training route to specialist registration through a one-time portfolio presentation to the GMC. The other group of doctors who benefit from the CESR pathway are overseas doctors with wide and long-term experience in their countries who would be more valuable as consultants in the UK rather than repeat training in their specialties.
In a CESR portfolio doctors present documentary evidence of having the competences of a consultant in the UK. The GMC works with Royal Colleges to evaluate the quality of this evidence and assess whether the doctor is ready for specialist registration or not.
This book by Professor Nandini Chakraborty elaborates on the evidence required to satisfy the requirements of a CESR in psychiatry. New legislation is due to come into effect from November 2023 which will focus on a KSE (knowledge, skills, and experience) rather than CCT requirements strictly, but doctors will still be expected to satisfy higher learning outcomes (HLO) detailed in specialist curricula. The book expands on each individual HLO in the six specialties of psychiatry (General adult, old age, child and adolescent, forensic, medical psychotherapy, intellectual disability) to help guide prospective applicants to make CESR applications in psychiatry to the GMC.
THE book also includes useful tips on how to stay focused, common mistakes, and life after attaining CESR, drawing on real life examples. Professor Chakraborty draws on her long experience as a once upon a time applicant, following on to CESR evaluator and subsequently national lead in CESR in psychiatry in her role as associate dean for equivalence (2016-2021) in the Royal College of Psychiatrists. She has worked with other experienced doctors with various roles in the CESR process in making this book a comprehensive document, the first and only of its kind available presently.
This book will potentially benefit any doctor considering a CESR application in psychiatry, wherever they might be in their journey. They might be in two minds and the book will help them to decide when they know the details of what is required of them. They might be considering a start and find themselves with little guidance as to how to make that crucial first step. They might be mid-way or progressed in their application and this book will help them tie up loose ends and fine tune their portfolio.
The book will also be of use to supervisors and mentors, many of whom might have little idea of the CESR pathway, having done their specialist registration through a CCT. Clinical and medical directors considering setting up CESR support schemes in their NHS trusts will also gain valuable guidance in the requirements of a CESR portfolio in order to give promising doctors the appropriate opportunities.
At a time when the NHS needs consultant psychiatrists to treat patients, supervise trainees and lead multi-disciplinary teams, all pathways to the specialist register need appropriate support and guidance to fill vacant posts. This book fills an important gap and will be of immense value to individual applicants and organisations alike.
Author: Nandini Chakraborty