What is the GMC Specialist Register?

This extract has been taken off the GMC Website at http://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/register/information_on_the_specialist_register.asp:

"The Specialist Register (a register of doctors who are eligible for appointment as substantive, fixed term or honorary consultants in the health service in the UK) was introduced on 1 January 1997. From 1 January 1997, all doctors taking up a post as a substantive, fixed term or honorary consultant in the health service in the UK, are required to be on the Specialist Register.

The GMC is required by law to maintain the Specialist Register. Since 1 January 1997 a doctor may not take up appointment to any post as a consultant in the National Health Service (NHS) unless their name is included in the Specialist Register. An exception to this requirement is any doctor who held a post as a consultant in oral and maxillo-facial surgery in the NHS immediately before 1 January 1997.

Doctors need to apply for entry onto the Specialist Register and meet the criteria set down in legislation. Some will have completed a period of formal specialist training in the UK certified by the GMC, or the organisations previously responsible for this, the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board (PMETB, 2005-2010) or its predecessor the Specialist Training Authority (STA, 1996-2005)."