Substantive consultant

Consultants can only be appointed through a regulated process called an Advisory Appointments Committee (AAC) and the NHS Appointment of Consultant Regulations 1996 (Statutory Instrument no 1996/701) set out the rules for this.

A consultant is the most senior of grades and have successfully completed all aspects of their training in their speciality and appear on the GMC’s Specialist Register (CCT).

It can take six to eight years to become a consultant after graduating from medical school. It is not possible to become a consultant unless you have completed your competencies and gained your Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) and  appear on the GMC’s Specialist Register.

Doctors who have not had the opportunity to go through the training route are able to get onto the Specialist Register by undertaking a CESR. Specialty specific guidance for CESR and CEGPR can be found at – GMC ( Consultants have great responsibility and as well as being clinicians they are team leaders, managers, teachers, and researchers. They are responsible for managing the junior and SAS doctors.


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