Moving point of GMC registration is “out of remit” of training review body

Authors: Abi Rimmer 

Publication date:  14 Aug 2017

The body tasked with interpreting proposed changes to doctors’ training will not work on moving the point of GMC registration.

In 2013 the UK-wide Shape of Training review, led by David Greenaway, recommended that full registration with the General Medical Council should be moved from the end of the first year of foundation training to the point of graduation from medical school.[1]

The BMA has previously warned that the plans would put patients and junior doctors at risk.[2]

However, the UK Shape of Training Steering Group, which is exploring how the Greenaway review could be implemented, said that it would not work on implementing the recommendation.[3] It said that discussions had taken place between the Department of Health, Health Education England, and the GMC about the possibility of moving the point of registration but that no conclusion had been reached and that work on the move was “out of the remit” of the steering group.

The Shape of Training review also suggested that when trainees complete their postgraduate training they should be awarded a certificate of specialty training (CST), rather than the certificate of completion of training (CCT).

However, after speaking to doctors in training who raised concerns that the term CST would imply a lower standard of training, the steering group said that the term CCT should continue to be used.

Jeeves Wijesuriya, chair of the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee, said that the BMA had argued robustly for maintaining the CCT. “We insisted that amendments to training pathways, if needed, should be made by the royal colleges and faculties,” he said.

The steering group said that it had identified a simple method that meant that the process of developing post-CCT credentials could begin. In a system of credentialing, doctors would receive certification or a “credential” for their knowledge, skills, and competence in providing a particular service or performing a specific procedure.[4]

The group said that the royal colleges could use subspecialty components of their current curriculums to develop the educational content for the credentials. The GMC, as the regulator, could approve and quality assure the credentials, and the four UK statuary postgraduate medical education bodies could implement and quality manage them.

The group recommended that the GMC should bring forward proposals to further develop credentialing as soon as possible and that the colleges should work with the GMC to agree the components of their curriculums that would be credentialed.


  1. Rimmer A. UK should train more generalists and give all trainees full GMC registration, says review. BMJ Careers Oct 2013. [Link] .
  2. Rimmer A. Moving GMC registration to the point of graduation will put doctors and patients at risk, says BMA. BMJ Careers Jun 2014. [Link] .
  3. Shape of training: report from the UK Shape of Training Steering Group. Mar 2017. [Link] .
  4. Rimmer A. Credentialing could come in after changes to law governing regulators, says GMC. Mar 2014. [Link] .

Abi Rimmer The BMJ

Cite this as BMJ Careers ; doi: