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Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration

The Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration is an alternative certification of competence and a route to joining the GMC’s specialist register, in order to practice as a consultant in the NHS.

The Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) is suitable for doctors who have not completed the Ophthalmic Specialist Training (OST) programme but would like to practice as an ophthalmology consultant in the NHS. If you have gained the equivalent qualifications, training and experience outside of the UK or the OST programme you may be eligible to apply to join the General Medical Council (GMC) specialist register.

CESR applications are assessed and approved by the GMC.  The RCOphth works closely with CESR Assessors who are College members and ophthalmologists, we independently evaluate the application and send a recommendation to the GMC where appropriate.

We also offer training days for those working in ophthalmology who are thinking of applying. This day covers eligibility, how to prepare applications, and guidance on commonly asked questions. View our Events page to find out the next date.

Contact [email protected] with your specialty specific questions.

How to apply for CESR

Applications should be sent direct to the GMC. You should direct any queries related to the application process to the GMC also. You can access the application form and GMC guidance on their website.


CESR and Curriculum 2024

This statement has been developed to assist current CESR applicants and those who are considering their application in light of the introduction of the new curriculum (Curriculum 2024). The statement has been reviewed and approved by the GMC.

RCOphth CESR Guidance

We have produced a range of RCOphth resources to support your application for CESR. We urge anyone thinking of making an application to read the guidance available here and on the GMC’s website. Applications can fail on the lack of evidence presented; attention to detail is the most important part of a successful application.

OST Curriculum

Assessment of your suitability for specialist registration is made against the OST Curriculum’s Learning Outcomes. These are the competencies you need to demonstrate to successfully be awarded the CESR.

Frequently Asked Questions

This document gives an overview of the application process and answers some of the most frequently asked questions.

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RCOphth Education

Education in Ophthalmology is the development of knowledge, practical skills and professional competencies, and this includes personal and professional development.

Find out more