Portfolio Pathway to the Specialty Register

The Portfolio Pathway: your route onto the GMC’s Specialty Register.

Previously known as CESR, the Portfolio Pathway is one of two routes currently available for those who wish to gain specialist registration in Community Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (CSRH), the other being the 6-year Specialty training programme. Working to the GMC’s Specialty Specific Guidance (SSG) document, Portfolio Pathway applicants have to collate a comprehensive portfolio of evidence, which highlights knowledge, skills and experience as defined in the CSRH specialty curriculum.   

Portfolio Pathway: Your route onto the GMC's Specialty Register

Who can apply?

Doctors who wish to join the GMC’s specialty register as a specialist in CSRH, who haven’t completed a GMC approved programme of training in this specialty and who can show all the required knowledge, skills, and experience required to fulfil the curriculum can apply.  

The Portfolio Pathway process: the need-to-know

Role of the GMC

The GMC’s actions include: 

  • Hosting of the portfolio submission: When an applicant registers to start an application via the Portfolio Pathway route they are able to securely upload their portfolio of evidence to the dedicated area of GMC Connect. When ready candidates will submit the evidence they have uploaded to the GMC for processing. 

  • Conducting initial checks of the applicant’s portfolio: Once the GMC have received an application, the applicant is allocated a GMC advisor who conducts preliminary checks, this includes confirming suitability of certificates, qualifications, validation.  

  • Submission to the relevant College or training body: The FSRH are notified that an application has been made and provided with an estimated upload date. Once checks are completed, the application is sent to and evaluated by FSRH assessors against the specialty curriculum. The time frame for this is 39 working days. 

  • Grant outcome: Once FSRH have reviewed the portfolio, it submits a recommendation to the GMC of acceptance or rejection. The GMC review and then grant either an ‘Accepted’ or ‘Rejected’ outcome. If rejected, clear recommendations are made for resubmission. 

Role of the FSRH

The GMC has defined responsibilities within the Portfolio Pathway process for the FSRH. Our role is as follows: 

  • Developing and maintaining the Specialty Specific Guidance (SSG): The SSG provides advice for Portfolio Pathway applicants and lays out expected evidence to fulfil the key skills for each CiP of the CSRH Curriculum. The SSG is kept under review to keep in line with any curriculum or clinical changes.  
  • Providing clinical evaluators to review submitted portfolios: We’re proud to work with educational leaders within the CSRH specialty, who act as portfolio evaluators. Portfolios are reviewed and a recommendation submitted to the GMC within the defined submission period of 39 working days.  

How to apply

Before applying

Consult the Specialty Specific Guidance (SSG): The guide is a comprehensive overview of GMC expectations and the evidence, mandatory and otherwise, of the knowledge, skills and experience the portfolio demands.

Access the Specialty Specific Guidance.

Review the CSRH curriculum: To ensure your application is submitted in line with the specification listed within the SSG, read the CSRH curriculum thoroughly and cross reference key themes with your portfolio of evidence.  

Review the CSRH curriculum.

Gather your evidence: We recommend using the gap analysis tool to see what evidence you already have and where there are evidence gaps. Compile your evidence as you go along (using the FSRH ePortfolio if wish) to submit to the GMC. Evidence includes certificates of training, workplace-based assessments, colleague and patient feedback, personal reflection, relevant cases and correspondence, and evidence of governance, teaching and research. Further details can be found in the SSG. Once you start an application with the GMC, you have one year to submit your complete portfolio, so it is advised to have most of your evidence gathered before doing so.  

How to apply

Apply via GMC Online: Register your intent to submit your portfolio by applying for the Portfolio Pathway. Find more information about the application process on the GMC website

Submit evidence within one-year: Once you feel your collated evidence meets the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience within CSRH needed to gain entry onto the specialty register, transfer your files to GMC Connect and submit your full portfolio.

FSRH ePortfolio

How to log your evidence

We offer access to an online ePortfolio — a comprehensive online filing system which allows you to properly organise evidence of competency, and upload/complete forms such as OSATS and reflective practice. The ePortfolio is an opportunity to collate and structure evidence, review CSRH knowledge requirements, and access digital tools such as workplace-based assessment templates and our self-reflection gap analysis tool.

You can purchase access to the FSRH ePortfolio at any time while you collate your evidence for your submission to the Portfolio Pathway. Any evidence collated on the ePortfolio will need to be transferred to GMC Connect when you are ready to start your application.  

Want to know more about the ePortfolio? Email the specialty team at specialty@fsrh.org for more information.

Not using the ePortfolio? To ensure you keep up-to-date with Portfolio Pathway news and learning opportunities, join our mailing list and keep in the loop.


Specialty Specific Guidance (SSG)

The GMC has developed a comprehensive guide for Portfolio Pathway applicants on what evidence is required for your portfolio application, which is available the GMC website.  

Access the Specialty Specific Guidance

ePortfolio access

You can collate your evidence for portfolio submission on the FSRH Training ePortfolio, a useful tool which allows you to capture competencies, reflection, and workplace based assessment forms in one place. Contact specialty@fsrh.org for more information.

Templates: Forms & Assessment tools

Gap Analysis Tool 

The Gap Analysis Tool enables you to self-assess what knowledge, skills and attitudes you will need to acquire and evidence, beyond your current competencies, for the Portfolio application. This tool can also be used to monitor these acquisitions. 

Portfolio Pathway Gap Analysis Tool


The forms below may be useful non-assessment tools to gather evidence for your portfolio.

Procedure log General log 

Meeting form Personal Development Plan (PDP)

Workplace-based assessments

There are a number of workplace-based assessment tools that can be used to evidence competency. 

Summative OSATS Formative OSATS CbD form

Mini-CEX form TO1 form SO1 form 

Reflective Practice form Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire

Applicant Referee resources

The below document has been development by CSRH clinicians to aid Portfolio Pathway applicant referees in the completion of a structured report, with reference to each individual CiP within the CSRH curriculum.

CiP Guide for Portfolio Pathway Referees


Please explore our Support Portal and FAQs, where you will be able to search for the main questions and topics related to the Portfolio Pathway.

If you still cannot find an answer to your query, you can use the Support Portal to submit a ticket which can be addressed by our Support Team.