Gaining Entry to the Specialist Register


Doctors who consider that they have sufficient training in anaesthesia / anaesthesiology but have not completed their training through the National Specialist Training Programme administered by the College can apply for inclusion in the Specialist Division of the Register for Anaesthesiology based on their current educational qualifications and experience. This is known as the ‘Credentials route’.


Q 1. I qualified as a doctor in a country outside the European Union. How do I apply for entry to the Specialist Division of the Register?

A. You need to contact the Medical Council to determine your eligibility for inclusion in the Specialist Division of the Register for Anaesthesia. The contact details are:

Website at:

Telephone No:  00353 1 498 3100

The Medical Council provides a pack containing the information you need and will outline the steps you need to take should you decide to proceed with an application. The pack includes a guidance document outlining the anaesthesiology competencies and courses that should have been completed as part of your training.

Q 2. How can I get the experience required without being on the National Training Programme?

A. By applying for stand-alone positions within the hospitals, e.g. vacancies advertised through or If you are successful in obtaining a stand-alone position, you will still be supervised by a Consultant. It is important for any future application through the Credentials route that you maintain full records of your training and you should seek confirmation of any competencies completed at the end of each post.

Q 3. Can I get any credit for my overseas training? 

A. The College has recently amended its Guidance Document to allow for recognition of one year of overseas training in certain circumstances. Where an applicant is undertaking training in Irish hospitals accredited for training by CAI, holds the FCAI or equivalent and has previously completed anaesthesiology training overseas (in a teaching hospital of sufficient size and complexity equating to Level 3/4 hospitals in Ireland), consideration will be given to recognising one year of the 6 year requirement subject to provision of satisfactory structured references relating to the overseas training.  The references, which must be on the standard form and signed by a consultant in the relevant hospital/s, will be reviewed by the CAI assessors and where the assessors are satisfied with the references and the FCAI or equivalent qualification, they may recommend recognition of one year’s training in lieu of the overseas training. 

Q 4. How do I get sign off for competencies completed? 

A. Every time you complete a module or competency, you should arrange for your supervising consultant to write a letter confirming that you have completed the module to the required standard and have been assessed as satisfactory in the module / competency. You should also ensure that satisfactory completion of the module is reflected in the Structured Reference that relates to your rotation in that hospital. 

Q 5. Are other courses accepted in lieu of the College run Mandatory and Simulation courses? 

A. At present, only the College run courses are recognised. If you complete a course that you feel is equivalent to the College run course, you should submit sufficient information regarding the course to enable it to be assessed for equivalence. This documentation should be submitted together with your certificate of attendance as part of your application to the Medical Council.  The College will maintain a record of any courses deemed equivalent on its website (Professional Competence / Gaining Entry to the Specialist Register). 

Q 6. If I succeed in gaining entry to the Specialist Register, will the College provide me with a certificate confirming completion of training?

A. No. The College can only issue Certificates of Satisfactory Completion of Specialist Training (CSCST) to trainees who completed their training on the National Specialist Anaesthesiology Training Programme.  Entry to the Specialist Register enables you to apply for consultant posts in Ireland. 

Q 7. Where can I find a list of training hospitals accredited by the College? 

A. In the new e-Curriculum CAI e-Curriculum, see table in Appendix 4 and at this link.

Q 8. What’s the maximum time I can spend in one hospital?

A.  The maximum time in any one hospital that can be recognised will depend on recognition by the College based on subspecialties available. The relevant timelines for recognition are published here. A minimum of 2 years should be spent in Model 3 hospitals and a maximum of 4 years in Model 4 hospitals. 

Q 9. Where can I find a list of competencies and the hospitals accredited for them?

A. In the new e-Curriculum CAI e-Curriculumsee table in Appendix 4. 

Q 10. What hospitals are accredited for Senior (3rd) on-call?

A. See the list published here. 

Q 11. How many structured references do I need? 

A. The Medical Council stipulate a minimum of 5 structured references. However, you do need to provide a structured reference for EVERY post for which you are seeking recognition. 

Q 12. Can the College provide blank structured reference forms to the hospitals so I can get one completed before I leave? 

A. No. The Structured Reference templates are provided by the Medical Council as part of your application pack.