Portfolio Pathway: Changes to CESR name and evaluation

The GMC has revised the methods for evaluating Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) evidence. As of 30 November 2023, CESR is renamed Portfolio Pathway.

Applicants will no longer have to demonstrate full equivalence to the CCT programme. Under the new approach, evidence will need to show that the applicants have achieved the Knowledge, Skills and Experience (KSE) required for practising as a Consultant in the UK. 

The framework for evaluating KSE reflects the Higher Level Learning Outcomes (HLLOs) achieved by UK trainees in paediatrics or the relevant paediatric sub-specialty. 

Portfolio Pathway: how the CESR will change at RCPCH

Under Portfolio Pathway, the GMC no longer requires applicants to demonstrate ‘equivalence to CCT (Certificate of Completion of Training)’. The outcome of the process will not change, ie a successful applicant will still be entered on the Specialist Register and can apply for UK substantive consultant positions in any specialty.

Portfolio Pathway applications will be evaluated according to the applicant's Knowledge, Skills and Experience (KSEs), as demonstrated in their submitted evidence. Applicants will not need to address the full detail of the curriculum, but the expected Higher Level Learning Outcomes (HLLOs) for the new process will reflect the outcomes achieved by CCT trainees.

RCPCH has used this opportunity to be creative and flexible in the way we assure ourselves that the requirements of the HLLOs have been met. With greater flexibility around the type and quantity of evidence, applicants will have greater scope to use their clinical background and experience to more effectively match the KSEs.

It is imperative that the new processes are still fair and robust, which categorically must determine an applicant’s abilities to work as a "day one" consultant.

What does this mean for new applicants?

The types of evidence required are still the same under Portfolio Pathway as they were under CESR. The major difference is that through Portfolio Pathway your evidence can be evaluated with greater flexibility.

Each HLLO will be linked to your evidence via Knowledge, Skills and Experience.

We are looking for quality evidence, not quantity. RCPCH therefore will not set indicative numbers of evidence as this can be misleading for applicants. Guidance can be found on the RCPCH Portfolio Pathway page.

What does this mean for applicants who had already started gathering evidence for CESR?

The evidence that an applicant currently has amassed will still be relevant for Portfolio Pathway. The change in method should make the process more flexible and adaptable to each applicant’s clinical background and experience.

Some specialties at other Colleges may require evidence to be presented differently, but this will not apply to Paediatrics or any of its sub-specialties at RCPCH.

We strongly recommend that current applicants in the system continue with their submission of evidence as normal. Rushing to get it through now or waiting until later will not put applicants at a greater advantage (please note you may be working with the GMC on your application post submission for some time before it being sent to the College).

The legislation requires all applications to be assessed and decisions issued against the new learning outcomes and knowledge, skills, and experience from 30 November 2023 – so from this date on, Colleges will need to start evaluating the evidence in this way.

Applications sent to RCPCH for evaluation on or after 30 November 2023 will have their evidence evaluated against the updated specialty requirements which align with the new KSEs. Applicants won’t need to do anything - you won’t need to gather more evidence or meet additional requirements because of the changes, and you won’t be disadvantaged by this change.

The GMC is updating prospective applicants with further information on their website. Updated guidance for applicants is on our Portfolio Pathway guidance page.