GMC Specialist Registration
There are several routes available to doctors who wish to apply to the GMC for entry onto the Specialist Register or the GP Register. A doctor will normally apply through a certificate of completion of training (CCT), certificate of eligibility for specialist registration (CESR), or a certificate of eligibility for GP registration (CEGPR).
What is a CCT?
A CCT is a certificate of completion of training given to doctors who have completed their medical training in an approved training programme in the UK.
What is a CESR?
A CESR is a certificate of eligibility for specialist registration. This route enables doctors who have not trained in an approved programme, to demonstrate that their knowledge, skills and experience are the equivalent of doctors who have trained in an approved programme. Doctors need to evidence that their clinical skills are the equivalent to that of a consultant in the UK health services.
What is a CEGPR?
A CEGPR is a certificate of eligibility for GP registration. This route enables doctors who have not trained in an approved programme, to demonstrate that they are of an equivalent standard to doctors who have trained via an approved programme.
Your options if the GMC refuse your application to the specialist register
If the GMC decides not to include your name in the GP or specialist register(s) they will write to you to explain the reasons for their decision. The GMC may give you a list of recommendations of further training to compete.
At this stage if you are not content with the GMC’s decision, you have 3 options;
- Ask the GMC for a formal review of their refusal decision;
- Submit an appeal; or
- Submit a fresh application in due course.
Requesting a formal review of the GMC’s decision to refuse your application to the specialist register
You can ask the GMC to undertake a formal review of their decision, which you can do before you submit a formal appeal. You can apply for a review, by submitting your application to the GMC Specialist Applications Team, within 12 months of receiving the GMC’s decision on your application if:
- You have additional relevant documentary evidence that addresses the recommendations in the GMC’s decision, which you have not previously submitted;
- You have subsequently completed the top-up training set out in the GMC’s original decision;
- There was a procedural error or other unfairness in the way the GMC processed your application or made their decision. A procedural error may include having overlooked or incorrectly assessed the evidence which you provided.
If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of a review, you can appeal that decision to the GMC Registration Appeals Panel.
Appeals to the GMC Registration Appeals Panel
You may appeal against the GMC’s decision to refuse your application to the specialist register to the GMC’s Registration Appeals Panel. You do not have to make an application for a formal review of the GMC’s decision prior to appealing. The GMC’s Registration Appeals Panel will make their own independent decision about your application.
Submit a fresh application in due course
This is always an option and something you may wish to revert to later on in your career.
FAQs regarding appeals to the GMC’s Registration Appeals Panel
What is the deadline for submitting an appeal to the GMC’s Registration Appeals Panel?
You will need to submit an appeal within 28 days of receiving the GMC’s decision.
How do I submit an appeal to the GMC’s Registration Appeals Panel?
You need to complete a notice of appeal form (AP1) which you can download for free, from the GMC’s website and pay the appropriate appeal fee to the GMC. In your notice of appeal, you will need to tell the GMC if you wish to have your appeal dealt with as a written or oral appeal.If you wish to be legally represented in your appeal, you will also need to complete and submit an AP3 form.
What documents do I need to provide to the GMC’s Registration Appeals Panel?
You are required to provide the GMC Appeals Team with all the documentation that you intend to rely on in support of your appeal. This documentation must be sent to the Appeals Team no later than 56 days after the last date for giving notice of appeal.
You must also ensure that any documentation you submit complies with data protection legislation and the GMC’s confidentiality guidance. For example, any records with reference to patients should be redacted to ensure anonymity.
What happens after I have submitted my bundle to the GMC Registration Appeals Panel?
Your documentation will be sent to the GMC for their response, which they have a further 56 days to provide. They will usually decide to defend an appeal, although it is possible that they will accept your application after considering any new evidence you have submitted.
If the GMC are defending your appeal, they will provide you with a copy of any documentation which they wish to rely on.
What happens with a written and an oral appeal of the GMC Registration Appeals Panel?
Written appeals (also referred to as appeal meetings) are held in private. The appeal is conducted at a meeting of the Appeal Panel, without the doctor or the GMC being physically present and is usually conducted by a teleconference. In a written appeal, the Panel will only hear evidence which has been submitted in writing. A written appeal is likely to be concluded in one day.
Oral appeals (also referred to as appeal hearings) are generally held in public, although it is rare for anyone unconnected to the appeal to attend. The doctor has a right to attend in person and to be legally represented. The GMC will always be legally represented before the GMC’s Registration Appeals Panel. Doctors can represent themselves but may prefer to be legally represented, to be on an equal footing to the GMC. In an oral hearing the Panel may hear oral evidence from relevant witnesses.
Who will sit on the GMC’s Registration Appeals Panel for an appeal against a refusal of a doctor’s application to the specialist/GP register?
Your appeal will be heard by four panel members; a legally qualified chairperson, two medical panel members and 1 non-medical panel member.
Where will the GMC’s Registration Appeals Panel hold a hearing?
The GMC Registration Appeals Panel sits in Manchester.
How long will a hearing before the GMC’s Registration Appeals Panel last?
Specialist registration appeal hearings tend to last between 1 and 3 days, although they may take longer depending on the circumstances of your specific case.
The Appeals Team will notify you of when your meeting or hearing is to be listed. You will get at least 28 days’ notice of this. If your case is to be considered at a hearing, then the GMC will liaise with you in relation to your availability and that of your representative, if you have one, to ensure that the hearing is scheduled for a date when you and your representative can attend.
What decisions can the GMC’s Registration Appeals Panel make?
The GMC’s Registration Appeals Panel can:
- Dismiss your appeal;
- Allow your appeal overturning the original decision;
- Make any new decision which could have been made by the original decision-maker; or
- Remit your application to the original decision-maker, with directions from the Appeals Panel.
When will I know the outcome of my appeal to the GMC’s Registration Appeals Panel?
After the doctor and the GMC have presented their case, the hearing will close, and the Panellists will make their decision in private. The Chairperson will make a written record of their decision and the reasons for their decision, which will be sent to the doctor and the GMC by the Registration Appeals Team within 28 days.
If I am successful before the GMC Registration Appeals Panel will the GMC pay my legal fees?
Costs are not routinely ordered in favour of the winning party in proceedings before the GMC’s Registration Appeals Panel. The Panel will only order one party to pay the other party’s legal costs in exceptional circumstances, such as if the other side has acted unreasonably in bringing the appeal, or during the appeal process. Any costs application needs to be submitted at least 24 hours before the appeal is heard.
Can I appeal against a decision made by the GMC’s Registration Appeals Panel?
Yes, you have a further right of appeal to the county court, which needs to be made within 28 days of the Panel’s written decision.
For advice and representation regarding a review or appeal to the GMC’s Registration Appeals Panel, please contact our lawyers in total confidence for a discussion about your case.
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