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Portfolio pathway (formerly known as CESR)

Doctors who haven’t completed a GMC approved programme of training but can show they have knowledge, skills and experience equivalent to the approved curriculum for your specialty may be able to apply for the Portfolio pathway (formerly known as CESR)

A Portfolio pathway application is made to the GMC and any queries about general application matters including legislation, forms, documentation, process and fees should be referred to the GMC. The GMC website contains a wealth of information and guidance about submitting a Portfolio pathway application.

The JRCPTB and its Specialist Advisory Committees (SACs) have produced advice for Portfolio pathway applicants in the physicianly specialties. This includes:

Changes to the curricula and implications on Portfolio pathway applications

As a result of drivers for change such as the Shape of Training review, a new model of physician training was developed to meet future healthcare needs of patients. Internal Medicine Training (IMT) stage 1 forms the first three years of post-foundation training, replacing Core Medical Training (CMT). For the main specialties supporting acute medical care - identified as group 1 specialties - an indicative 12 months of further Internal Medicine (IM stage 2) will be integrated flexibly with specialty training in a dual training programme. This model enhances training in internal medicine to prepare doctors for the challenge of managing acutely unwell medical patients, who may also have complex presentations based around chronic disease and comorbidities.

In addition, the GMC introduced new standards for the development and design of postgraduate medical curricula in 2017 which required new curricula describing generic, shared and specialty-specific outcomes. Curricula must also be mapped to the GMC's generic professional capabilities framework which sets out the essential generic capabilities needed for safe, effective and high quality medical care in the UK.

Group 1 specialties

New curricula for group 1 specialties include generic, specialty and clinical internal medicine learning outcomes known as capabilities in practice (CiPs). Applicants via the Portfolio pathway route will need to demonstrate all capabilities as described in the curriculum. By demonstrating these capabilities a successful applicant will be awarded an additional Portfolio pathway in internal medicine.

There is a separate curriculum for General Internal Medicine (to be renamed Internal Medicine) and it will be possible for an applicant to apply for the Portfolio pathway in GIM/IM.

Group 2 specialties

Group 2 specialties will not dual train in internal medicine and the curricula do not include the internal medicine capabilities.

Transition period for Portfolio pathway applications

The JRCPTB and the GMC has agreed a transition policy for Portfolio pathway applicants to reflect the significance of the changes to the curricula for many of the physician curricula. This will allow applicants to apply against the previous curriculum for a transition period beyond publication of the new curricula. The transition period considers the notice Portfolio pathway applicants will be given of the new curricula requirements and the significance of the curricular changes. This will range from two to three years following publication of the curricula, depending on the degree of change to the specialty curriculum. The previous curriculum will be retired on the deadline date.

The transition deadline for each specialty are given below.

Group 1 specialtiesTransition deadline
Acute Internal Medicine31 March 2024
Cardiology30 Oct 2024
Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics31 Jan 2024
Endocrinology and Diabetes Mellitus31 Oct 2023
Gastroenterology and Hepatology31 Oct 2023
Genitourinary Medicine31 July 2024
General Internal Medicine (Internal Medicine Stage 2)31 May 2023
Geriatric Medicine31 Oct 2023
Infectious Diseases31 May 2023
Neurology31 Aug 2024
Palliative Medicine30 Oct 2024
Renal Medicine31 Oct 2023
Respiratory Medicine31 Oct 2023
Rheumatology31 Aug 2024
Stroke Medicine31 Oct 2023
Tropical Medicine31 May 2023
Group 2 specialtiesTransition deadline
Allergy (Allergy and Clinical Immunology)31 July 2024
Audio vestibular Medicine30 June 2023
Aviation and Space Medicine31 Jan 2024
Clinical Genetics30 June 2023
Clinical Neurophysiology30 June 2023
Dermatology30 June 2023
Haematology30 June 2023
Immunology (Allergy, Clinical and Laboratory Immunology)31 July 2024
Infectious Diseases30 June 2023
Medical Oncology30 June 2023
Medical Ophthalmology30 June 2023
Nuclear Medicine30 June 2023
Paediatric Cardiology30 June 2023
Pharmaceutical Medicine30 June 2023
Rehabilitation Medicine31 May 2023
Sport and Exercise Medicine31 May 2023
Tropical Medicine31 May 2023


We have complied a list of helpful FAQs regarding changes to physician training curricula and what it means for specialist registration applications. Click here to download.