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FAQs: CESR entry to the Specialist Register

Find answers to frequently asked questions about CESR entry to the GMC Specialist Register.

Why is there a route/pathway to CESR

While some doctors may have chosen not to undertake formal training to CCT, others may have wanted to do so and been unable to, but still wish to obtain specialist status. Some may aim to do so from the time when they commence work in the specialty. This route enables you to work towards specialist registration at any time after you enter the specialty without undergoing a full formal training programme.

How long do I have to work in Occupation Medicine before I can apply for a CESR?

The minimum is four years’ (or whole time equivalent) work in Occupational Medicine, as for specialty training, but there will be no maximum period of time or deadline for the achievement of all competencies.

Do I need any postgraduate diplomas before entry

No. It is not essential to have obtained any postgraduate diplomas before entering this pathway, although if you have not obtained any, you will need to be able to demonstrate the equivalent achievement of the competencies of core training (medicine, surgery or other suitable specialties or general practice).

What qualifying criteria will I need to meet before entering this pathway?

You will still need to have completed, as a minimum, both Foundation Years and at least two years in a range of fields of medicine by way of core training (the person specification indicates which fields are acceptable, although others may be considered) and provide evidence that competencies have been achieved (but without necessarily having had to pass postgraduate exams).

Will I need to apply to NSOH and obtain a training number?

No. Neither is required in order to follow this pathway.

What if I do not meet the criteria for entering this pathway? 

You would not be able to obtain a CESR, but will still be able to work in Occupational Medicine and obtain the Diploma in Occupational Medicine (DOccMed) Occ Med. You may also be able to obtain the AFOM if you meet the criteria to enter that examination.

Do I have to obtain a GMC approved training post?

No. Any post you work in will not require GMC approval.

Will I need to be supervised?

This is recommended. It is advisable to have a more senior occupational physician (with at least the MFOM qualification) to act in the same way as an Educational Supervisor does for a specialty trainee. He or she will ideally be trained in order to undertake this role. At the very least, you should have a senior occupational physician to mentor you. They may or may not work for the same organisation as you, but you are recommended to interact regularly with them and you will need an occupational physician in your organisation who is able to observe your work.

How will I collect and maintain evidence?

The Faculty of Occupational Medicine e-portfolio tool, PReP may become available for this purpose, as it is for specialty trainees, but the FOM logbook (in the Trainee Handbook) is an alternative. It is advisable to collect and keep evidence as you go along.

What kind of evidence will I need to collect and how much?

The Specialty Specific Guidance document for OM, on the GMC website, and the FOM document list give indications of what is required, although the Occupational Physician supervising or mentoring you will also be able to guide you.

What curriculum will I need to follow?

The current version of the FOM specialty training curriculum, just as for specialty training.

Will I need to undertake Work Based Assessments/Supervised Learning Events?

This is recommended, although not currently essential (as for specialty training). These will need to be in the same format as for specialty training. The FOM website gives information about how these are to be done and the forms to be used.

Will I need to pass exams?

Yes. FOM will not require you to pass the MFOM Part 1 (this exam is identical to part of the DOccMed exam) and Part 2 exams as for specialty training, but you will need to pass the exams which enable you to obtain the equivalent DOccMed and AFOM qualifications.

What if I have taken the Irish MFOM exams?

If you have passed the Irish MFOM exams and have not taken the FOM’s AFOM exams, you will not need to do so. The FOM Council considered this question and concluded that the Irish exams were currently considered equivalent to the AFOM ones.  This position may be subject to periodic review.

Will I need to carryout research?

Yes. As you will need to demonstrate that you have met the all of the same competencies as a trainee working towards a CCT you will have to meet the research competencies in the same ways. You may have to undertake a dissertation ‘for purpose’ unless you have already done an MSc on a suitable subject. Find out more about FOM dissertations.

Will I have to have ARCPs?

No. You will not have to attend any formal reviews with NSOH or any LETB. An appraisal process you already participate in can incorporate an assessment of your progress towards application for CESR if the appraiser is willing to carry it out.

Will it be possible to enter formal specialty training midway through this pathway?

Yes, this will be possible and you may be able to enter a combined programme, leading to the award of a CESR.

Can I work towards a CESR if working less than full time?

Yes, if your employer(s) agree. You will still need to have worked at least four years WTE (whole time equivalent) in Occupational Medicine before you apply for a CESR.

Where will I be able to obtain advice and support once I have commenced?

This will be primarily available from your supervisor, but can also be obtained from your nearest RSA and from the FOM CESR advisory group. In addition, the SOM has a CESR support group.

What happens if I do not complete my “training” for CESR?

This will not affect your employment and you may be able to resume training later if you choose, with what you have previously done being able to count towards your application for a CESR if you choose to make one. Please note, that the GMC indicate that preference is given to evidence which is not more than five years old at the time you make an application for CESR.

Where can I find more information about CESR?

Visit the CESR page on the FOM website and the GMCs specialist applications page for further information. You can also make enquiries by contacting the FOM Training department at training@fom.ac.uk or call 020 3116 6914