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The CREST Form – Everything you need to know | What is it?

We regularly receive questions about the CREST Form in regards to application for Postgraduate Speciality Training in the UK. This blog aims to cover key points that you should know. CREST stands for Certificate of Readiness to Enter Speciality Training. This form enables applicants for Speciality Training to demonstrate that they have foundation level competences. 

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The CREST Form – Everything you need to know | What is it?

Which CREST form is valid for 2024?

Currently only the new CREST form – 2024 version – will be accepted for Speciality application. 

For a full overview of getting into UK GP Training read our blog here.
For a full overview of getting into UK Psychiatry Training read our blog here.
For a full overview of getting into UK Radiology Training read our blog here.
For a full overview of getting into UK Emergency Medicine Training read our blog here.

The CREST Form – Everything you need to know | What is it?

Who needs to fill out a CREST form?

Many International Medical Graduate doctors complete internship in their home country before coming to the UK.

To enter speciality training in the UK, applicants must demonstrate that they have a) achieved foundation level competences and have b) completed accepted clinical experience (usually 24 months in total). By completing the CREST form an applicant (who has the necessary clinical experience) can demonstrate that they have achieved foundation competences and apply directly to speciality training.

The CREST form is NOT for applicants who have:

– Completed a UK Foundation programme (within last 3.5 years) – you would need to submit a copy of your UKFPCC.
– Started but not completed a UK foundation training.
– Completed a Foundation Year 2 standalone post.

If you are in any of the last two categories then you will need to contact the dean of the foundation programme that you participated in and ask them to complete the Dean Support Pro Forma form.

The CREST Form – Everything you need to know | What is it?

Who can sign a CREST form?

Applicants should note that there is strict criteria regarding the completion of CREST forms. Failure to meet any of the criteria can result in the form being rejected and therefore impact the applicant’s chances of applying to UK speciality training.

Guidance states that the following people can sign the form:

  • Consultants
  • General Practitioners (GP)
  • Clinical Directors
  • Medical Superintendents
  • Academic Professors
  • Locum Consultants with a CCT/ CESR

AND they must have worked with you for a minimum continuous period of three months (whole time equivalent) and within the last 3.5 years of the advertised post (job) start date for which you are applying.

If the person signing the form is not registered with the GMC then they will need to provide evidence of their registration with their respective medical regulation body – and if it is not in English, a certified translated copy must be provided.

If they have previously been registered with the GMC, this will not be acceptable as evidence as the person signing will still need to provide evidence of their registration with their current medical regulation authority.

If the required evidence is not provided or is not accompanied by a certified translated copy (if necessary) the application will be rejected.

Please note the signatory cannot be someone with whom you have a close personal relationship.

The CREST Form – Everything you need to know | What is it?

Can I use a previous CREST form?

Unfortunately for all speciality training applications only the CREST 2024 form will be accepted – CREST 2020 or CREST 2021 is no longer valid.

The CREST Form – Everything you need to know | What is it?

Do I need to ensure that all the competences are signed?

Yes, an incomplete CREST 2024 form will not be accepted, as you need to demonstrate you have achieved all the foundation competences to be eligible to apply for speciality training.

For GP training applicants there is an extended deadline to submit your CREST form. Please go to the GP application website to find these dates and ensure you tick the box for submitting the form at a later date if you need the extended timeline. For a full overview of getting into UK GP Training read our blog here.

The CREST Form – Everything you need to know | What is it?

Does my signatory have to witness me for each competency?

No, you may wish to ask senior colleagues to observe you for a competency and ask your signatory to rely on their observations as evidence. Please note their contact details and professional status will need to be filled out in the form to demonstrate that they have witnessed you complete a competency. They may also be contacted to verify they have observed you for a specific area. However, this colleague must be a senior colleague e.g. ST5 or above.

A non-senior trainee e.g. FY2 or ST1 will not be accepted even if they have witnessed you achieve a specific competency.

The CREST Form – Everything you need to know | What is it?

Will the CREST 2024 form be valid for future rounds?

Yes, the form remains valid for future rounds – provided that there are no changes to the conditions prior to the new intended start date.

The CREST Form – Everything you need to know | What is it?

What about Advanced Life Support (ALS) training?

The guidance states that you need to be able to demonstrate ability in cardiac and respiratory arrest management.

Part of this evidence may be an Advanced Life Support Certificate from the Resuscitation Council UK but an equivalent to this certificate will also be accepted provided you can demonstrate the same competency for this area. The guidance clearly states however that an ALS course alone is insufficient – extra evidence may be needed.

Recent emails seen from the GPNRO however have stated that ‘the requirement for ALS has been removed from the person specification and CREST form’. If in any doubt it is worth contacting the Applications team directly.

The CREST Form – Everything you need to know | What is it?

How we can help with GP and Specialty Application

Our most popular and comprehensive MSRA Ultimate Package contains an all round and complete preparation plan for boosting your MSRA score. It contains multiple resources in one discounted bundle – 2x online video courses, Live MSRA crammer course, SJT and clinical mock exams, 2x audiobooks and 3x digital flashcard sets (clinical, pharmacology and SJT). For full contents and samples click here

For individual MSRA resources (eg mocks, online courses etc) click here

To register for our next free MSRA webinar click here: Next Free Webinar

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The CREST Form – Everything you need to know | What is it?

Final thoughts…

I would suggest that you print out the CREST form in advance and read through each competency. This will enable you to plan how to get each section completed and make the most of opportunities when they arise. All the relevant forms can be found on the ORIEL website.

If in doubt please check with the relevant recruitment team – eg GPNRO for GP training – to ensure that your form is completed correctly.

Author Bio — Dr Aman Arora

Hello and welcome to Arora Medical Education! I am a Portfolio GP with a 24/7/365 passion for helping you fly through your medical exams and maximise your career. You can find out more about me here.

I’ve been fortunate to teach over 50,000 doctors globally through a combination of face-to-face, online, audio and social teaching, helping them pass exams such as MRCGP AKT and RCAMSRA and PLAB. You can find out more about my previous roles and qualifications here.

Feel free to contact me with any thoughts, questions or ideas to help you reach your potential. I look forward to meeting you soon!

Author Bio — Dr Pooja Arora

Dr Pooja Arora is a GP with a background in Medical Politics, where she passionately focuses on improving the opportunities and working conditions for junior doctors. She is proud to hold FRCGP (Fellow of Royal College of General Practitioners).

You can find out more about Pooja’s previous roles and qualifications here.

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