This section covers some helpful advice for those looking to seek certification equivalence.

In order to work in a substantive consultant post in the UK, doctors must be on the Specialist Register of the UK General Medical Council [GMC]. 

To start your application you must first contact the GMC. All CESR applications should be made directly to the GMC (not to the Faculty).

On 6th November 2018 the GMC have introduced a new online application system for CESR applications.

You must make your CESR application through your GMC Online account.

You will be able to use the online application like a portfolio to gather your evidence electronically. 

The GMC have also published a comprehensive user guide to aide applicants along each step of the online application here

Specialists who trained both in and outside the EEA or completed a non-European recognised specialist training programme within the EEA can apply to the GMC for a Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration [CESR] for Intensive Care Medicine. Please note that there is no 'direct entry' onto the GMC Specialist Register for Intensive Care Medicine (as there is for larger specialties such as anaesthesia); even if doctors qualified in the EEA, they must still undertake the CESR process. This is because ICM is only recognised as a standalone specialty in a small number of countries. 

Equivalence describes the process of assessing an applicant's training and experience against the current UK CCT training programme requirements in order to gain a CESR. The process involves submitting a body of evidence of training and/or competence, skills and knowledge to the GMC. Once the GMC has collected what it considers to be a satisfactory range of evidence, it will send the application to the Faculty for consideration. The FICM Equivalence (CESR) Sub Committee will assess the application against the most recent GMC approved Curriculum before providing a recommendation to the GMC, who will then make a final decision.

Equivalence procedures are the responsibility of the General Medical Council. Initial enquiries should be made to the GMC. Applicants should ensure that they have read the GMC-approved Specialty Specific Guidance for ICM CESR applications, as well as the GMC's generic guidance for the types of evidence required to support a CESR application (both available in related downloads)

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions page for further information - click on 'CESR and Equivalence Queries'.



The January 2019 edition of Critical eye put a spotlight on the Equivalence process and Dr Louie Plenderleith provided an account from an assessors persepective.


The GMC have provided useful information pages about the CESR process.


This guide is for employers, supervisors or colleagues who have been asked to help with a doctor’s CESR application.


This is the GMC and FICM detailed guidance for ICM CESR applications.