CESR and Equivalence

Introduction to CESR

Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) is the process that enables doctors who don't hold a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) to join the GMC's specialist register and therefore be eligible to take up substantive consultant posts.

The process involves applicants submitting a body of evidence to demonstrate they have the equivalent knowledge, skills, and experience to a CCT holder in Anaesthesia, as per the 2021 curriculum in Anaesthesia. The specific requirements are defined in the Specialty Specific Guidance, published by the GMC.

Who is eligible for CESR

The process is open to anyone who has obtained their qualifications and/or experience outside of the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA), or who has achieved their competencies outside of a GMC-approved approved training programme within the EU. Please see the GMC Website for further information.

The role of the GMC

The CESR process is owned by the GMC and applications are made to them. Applications are then assessed the the College's Equivalence Committee who, based on the evidence presented, make a recommendation to the GMC; the GMC subsequently issue a decision.

The role of the College

The Equivalence Committee meet once a month to discuss applications received from the GMC. A minimum of two evaluators review each application. Committee members prepare for the meeting by reviewing the application and forming a provisional decision, before attending the meeting to discuss their findings with other assessor(s). Once a decision has been made the College secretary completes an evaluation form and makes a recommendation to the GMC on behalf of the Equivalence Committee.

The ultimate decision is legally the GMC’s and they can ask for clarification regarding elements of the recommendation prior to implementing the recommendation. They have review committees for QA which look at whether the evidence College evaluators rely on supports the conclusions they draw. The review committee has the power to reverse the recommendations.

The College can provide advice on the type of evidence required but will not review any application before submission nor provide any indication as to the likely success of the application.

The College does not arrange additional training for any areas of practice that an applicant believes requires further development. Applicants in the UK should speak with the College Tutor in their hospital to discuss the options for obtaining any additional training.

CESR application in a non-CCT specialty

Some doctors may be eligible to apply for a CESR in a non-CCT specialty, which if successful leads to specialist registration in that specialty. Non-CCT CESR applicants will be expected to submit much the same evidence as those applying for a CESR in Anaesthetics. More information can be found on the GMC's CESR application in a non-CCT specialty page.

To be eligible to apply you must have either a specialist qualification from outside the UK in any non-CCT specialty or at least six months continuous specialist training outside the UK in any non-CCT specialty.

Guidance for non-CCT CESR applications in:

Tests of knowledge

Applicants need to demonstrate that they have a test of knowledge as part of their application. If your qualification is not in this list, evidence should be provided including a validated certificate of completion, with the full details of the curriculum and assessment criteria in force at the time of the award. This should be in English and validated by the institution.

Please note, there is no direct equivalent to the FRCA and it is College policy not to comment on the 'equivalence' of the FRCA to other qualifications.

Awarding country/body Qualification(s)
Australia Fellowship of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists
Bangladesh Fellowship in Anaesthesia of the Bangladesh College of Physicians and Surgeons (since 1997)
Canada Fellowship of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
Egypt MD in Anaesthesia from Ain Shams University

European Diploma in Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care

Hong Kong Fellowship of the Hong Kong College of Anaesthesiologists (since 2001)
India Please refer to the National Medical Commission of India website for accepted Colleges for the MD in Anaesthesiology in India and for the Diplomate of the National Board (DNB) in Anaesthesiology
Japan Diploma in Anesthesia from the Japan Society of Anesthesiology (since 1986)
New Zealand Fellowship of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists
Pakistan Fellowship in Anaesthesiology of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan (since 1998)
Republic of Ireland Fellowship of the College of Anaesthetists in Ireland
Singapore Master of Medicine in Anaesthesia from the National University of Singapore
South Africa

Fellowship of the College of Anaesthetists South Africa

MMed in Anaesthesiology from University of Stellenbosch

South Korea Diploma in Anaesthesiology Korean Society of Anaesthesiologists
Sri Lanka MD in Anaesthesiology from the University of Colombo
United Kingdom Fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists
United States of America Certificate of the American Board of Anesthesiology
Zimbabwe Masters in Anaesthesia from University of Zimbabwe (since 1992)


If you would like to contact us, you can email the Anaesthetics Curriculum and Equivalence Team on training@rcoa.ac.uk or call on 020 7092 1550.

Please let us know what you think. If you feel the information on this page could be improved, please get in touch with us.

Last reviewed: 31 December 2022
Next review due: 1 January 2024