Frequently Asked Questions - National IDT

To view the FAQ’s, please expand the relevant chapters. A download of this guidance is also available in the Resource Bank.


What is the National Inter Deanery Transfer process?

The National Inter Deanery Transfer (IDT) process aims to support medical trainees who have had a significant and unforeseen change in circumstances since their commencement to training, enabling consideration to be given to a possible transfer to another training region.


Why has the process been established?

The national process is aimed at delivering a user-friendly and transparent transfer process, ensuring consistent and robust decision making and providing a single source of information for all stakeholders.


When can I apply?

There will be two windows per year in which trainees can submit a request to transfer. There will be a transfer window in February of each year which will allocate transfers for August to October of the same year and then a transfer window in August of each year which will allocate transfers for February to April the following year.


You must have completed 9 months on your current training programme at the point of application and have at least 12 months remaining at the point of transfer.

Can I apply for a transfer between windows?

The National IDT team can’t process applications outside of transfer windows and all applications must be received during one of these windows.

Trainees can subscribe to the National IDT e-newsletter for announcements regarding when the next window will open:

What are the eligibility criteria?

The eligibility criteria relate to certain changes in personal circumstances. ‘An unforeseen, significant change in circumstances’ should relate to:

  • personal disability as defined by the Equality Act 2010 or
  • primary carer responsibilities or
  • parental/guardian responsibilities or
  • a committed relationship

You must also have been on a training programme for at least 9 months at the point of application and have at least 12 months remaining at the point of transfer.

Other criteria and supporting document requirements must also be fulfilled. For full details on the eligibility criteria, please read the Trainee Guide to IDT which can be found here:

It should be noted that the National IDT process can’t facilitate transfers for trainees who wish to move for training or career purposes.


How flexible are the eligibility criteria?

In order to remain consistent to all trainees and to ensure we operate a transparent and robust service, the National IDT team will not be able to depart form the nationally set criteria. This means we are unable to be flexible with the implementation of the eligibility criteria when checking applications.

I do not meet all of the eligibility criteria, should I submit an application anyway?

It would be best to first contact the National IDT team to discuss your particular circumstances before completing the application process. We will be unable to tell you if you are eligible or not or if you should apply or not but we will be able to signpost relevant sections of the eligibility criteria that may help you make a better informed decision.

You can send us your query by e-mail to:


My change of circumstances occurred prior to the start of my training, can I apply?

In order to be eligible to transfer, a change of circumstances must have occurred after the start of your training i.e. the first day in your current training post for which you hold your current National Training Number or Deanery Reference Number.

It will not be possible to support the transfers of trainees who experienced a change in personal circumstances after accepting their training post but before their first day in that post.


My change of circumstances has not yet occurred, can I apply?

In order to be eligible to transfer, a change of circumstances must have already occurred and it willnot be possible to facilitate transfers for trainees who have not yet experienced a change ofcircumstances.

This is because vacancies available through the transfer process are limited and it is intended thatthese will be allocated to those trainees who need immediate support in transferring to a differentgeographical region.


My Partner has been offered a job in another region and I would like to move with him/her, can I apply?

You can now apply for IDT if your partner has received a job offer in another location. You must beable to provide evidence of this with your application.

If your partner is a medic, please send a confirmation of training letter from the training region they willbe joining that includes their start date. If your partner is not a medic, please send a letter headed joboffer from the organisation they will be employed by, that also confirms their start date.


I am a LAT/LAS, can I apply for IDT?

The National IDT process only applies to those trainees on specialty training programmes and does not deal with those doctors on fixed term contracts.


I am currently training Less than Full Time (LTFT), can I apply?

LTFT trainees are able to apply via the National IDT process but it can’t be guaranteed that LTFT status will be continued should a transfer be possible. If a LTFT vacancy exists in a new region then this can be offered to a trainee. However, if only fulltime vacancies exist within a region then trainees will have to negotiate LTFT status and will have to follow local processes for confirming this.

There are some posts which are only suitable for LTFT trainees and some which are only suitable for full time trainees, though some posts could accommodate either. You should tell us exactly what you need on your application form; if you are eligible, your prospective training region will look for a post that suits your needs. If you could work LTFT or full time, please write that in your application form.

I am currently out of programme/on maternity leave, can I apply?

Trainees requesting an IDT while pregnant, on maternity leave or out of programme (OOP) must apply during the transfer window which will allocate vacancies with start dates closest to their return to work.

Prospective training regions are not obliged to continue OOP arrangements that have been agreed between trainees and other training regions and the National IDT process is unable to hold vacancies open for trainees who are not able to fill them until a future date.

This is because vacancies available through the transfer process are limited and it is intended that these will be allocated to those trainees who need immediate support in transferring to a different geographical region.


I deferred the start of my training due to pregnancy – can I apply for IDT?

Unfortunately unless you have started on your programme you will not be able to apply for an IDT. The National IDT process places trainees in immediate need into trusts that have vacancies to fill – we could not ask a trust to hold a vacancy and they could not guarantee that it would still be available after the deferral.


I hold a Tier 2 visa within a HEE region, can I apply?

Trainees who hold a Tier 2 visa within a Health Education England (HEE) region had their sponsorship arrangements changed in March 2015. HEE has become a single sponsor for all Tier 2 trainees within these regions which will mean transfers can take place between the included regions.

Therefore, Tier 2 trainees in a HEE region will hold the correct immigration status for a transfer to another HEE region once this change takes place.

If English trainees are approved to transfer to another English area then they will not need to apply for a new visa, your move will be reported to the HEE Tier 2 Manager by the National IDT Team.


I hold a Tier 2 visa and want to transfer into or out of Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, can I apply?

Tier 2 trainees who wish to transfer into or out of Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland will be unable to do so under current visa restrictions. This is because the process does not constitute ‘open competition’ and therefore the requirements of the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) can’t be fulfilled. Without passing the RLMT, trainees will be unable to receive a Certificate of Sponsorship from their new employer.

This is based on UK Visa and Immigration legislation. The National IDT team, or any organisation involved in the creation of the IDT eligibility criteria, can’t overturn this.


I am on a two year training programme, can I apply?

Unfortunately, due to restrictions on when a trainee can apply relating to time spent and time remaining on a training programme, those trainees on a full time two year training programme will be unable to apply for a National IDT. However, trainees who are in a Less Than Full Time post can apply for an IDT if they will still have 12 months remaining on their training programme at the point of transfer.

We would suggest trainees who are in a full time post to discuss their personal circumstances with  their current training region’s administrative team as they may be able to offer advice and information on alternative local support that might be available to them.


I am a trainee within the Military Deanery, how should I apply for a transfer?

Military Deanery trainees should discuss transfer arrangements with the DPMD as the Military Deanery is not included within the National IDT process. A transfer process is in place for military trainees but unfortunately we are unable to provide information on this.


I am a spouse/partner of a member of the armed forces, does the Armed Forces Covenant apply to the National IDT process?

We do apply the Armed Forces Covenant to our process but this simply means that we must prevent disadvantage for families of those in the armed forces when considering IDT, not prioritise their applications. However, you should immediately discuss your personal circumstances and your wish to transfer with your Postgraduate Dean who may be able to advise you on alternative arrangements.


My ARCP 2 or 3 or RITA D or E are not due to clinical or competence issues, can I still apply?

It will not be possible to arrange a transfer for any trainee who does not have an ARCP 1, regardless of the reason for receiving an unsatisfactory outcome. Local support arrangements should be explored, including locally implementing any remedial steps outlined through the ARCP/RITA process, for any trainee who has received an unsatisfactory ARCP prior to application. All trainees will need to have an ARCP outcome 1.


I went on maternity leave soon after starting my programme and do not yet have an ARCP; can I provide a letter indicating that I am making satisfactory progress instead of an ARCP?

If your trainers are willing to provide information to your Postgraduate Dean that you are making satisfactory progress, we will accept a letter from the Dean confirming this. Please be aware that trainers may not be willing to make this assessment if you have not been in the programme for long, therefore you would not be able to apply for an IDT.


I started my training programme in October, have completed 9 months of my training but do not have an ARCP – can I apply for IDT?

If your trainers are willing to provide information to your Postgraduate Dean that you are making satisfactory progress, we will accept a letter from the Dean confirming this in lieu of an ARCP. We would expect, as per the terms and conditions on the application portal, that you would update us when you do receive your first outcome. If this is unsatisfactory, Postgraduate Deans may discuss the validity of the transfer.


Do you accept Interim Reviews?

Unfortunately, we cannot accept an Interim Review as they do not result in the issuing of an outcome. Trainees will need to submit their most recent ARCP outcome 1 when applying for an IDT.


I am a Foundation trainee; can I apply for Inter-Deanery Transfer?

Foundation training is not covered by the National IDT process but you can apply for a transfer through your local Foundation School. I’m afraid we cannot give you any further information about this process, please contact your local foundation team or administrator.

I am in a committed relationship/planning to get married/engaged to be married but do not live with my partner and we do not yet share any financial responsibility – what evidence can I provide for my application?

The National IDT Team recognises that sometimes people will not live together before they get married but this should not exclude them from the NIDT process. The following is a comprehensive list of all the evidence that can be provided under Criteria 4 – Committed Relationship:

EITHER a marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate.

OR 2 pieces of evidence of shared financial responsibility (Joint bank account statements, utility bills, joint mortgage/tenancy agreement)

OR 1 Piece of evidence of shared financial responsibility and any one piece of evidence from

the list below

OR Any two pieces of evidence from the following list:

Evidence of regular transfer of funds to partners account on bank statement (two or more transfers over a few months would be sufficient)
  • Letter of intent from mortgage lender/rental company
  • Letter of intent to marry from religious leader
  • Evidence of travel to partner’s location on several occasions (train/coach/plane confirmation emails or tickets that show date of travel and destination. Two or more over a few months would be sufficient. Petrol receipts are not accepted)
  • Beneficiary documents
  • Wedding/venue deposit receipts
  • Phone records that show calls to partner over a period of time (Partner’s number must also be proven)
  • If you are unsure whether something can be used as shared financial responsibility, please contact

    If you are applying because your partner has a job offer in another region you will also have to supply evidence of this in addition to the above.

    • If your partner is a medic, please provide confirmation of training letter including start date

    • If your partner is non-medic, please provide official job offer letter or contract, including start date

    You can also find this list in the Trainee Guide to IDT.


    What should I do if I am unable to upload my evidence to the online application portal?

    Please e-mail the National IDT team at your documents and they will be checked during the eligibility stage. Alternatively, post them to:

    National IDT Team
    3rd Floor
    32 Russell Square
    WC1B 5DN

    Please notify us by email if you have posted documents to us.


    Will I have to go through the process again if I’ve previously submitted an application?

    Yes. You will be required to submit an application form and relevant supporting documents in eachwindow should you wish to transfer. It will not be possible for the National IDT team to carry overapplications or documents from previous windows.

    I applied in the last window, can I submit the same supporting documents as before?

    All trainees will be required to submit new versions of the Deanery Document and the Supporting Document which relates to their application criterion if it is their first time of applying. Those who have applied before and who are applying under the same set of changed circumstances can use the coversheet document on top of a previous windows supporting document.

    If circumstances have changed or reapplication takes place under a different criterion, a new supporting document must be used.

    All evidence, including certificates of birth, marriage or civil partnership, must be re-submitted in each window..


    Do you accept electronic signatures for supporting documents?

    Yes we do accept electronic signatures; what we mean by electronic signature is a digital representation of an actual signature, not a typed name. For reasons of verification, we cannot accept typed names.


    I have found a doctor in the region to which I want to transfer who is willing to swap with me, can I transfer?

    No. The Deans have agreed that all transfers will be managed centrally. This is to make sure that the process is fair and consistent for all applicants in need and not to favour those who have found someone with whom to swap. This national process also helps maximise the number of potential transfers.


    Who will view my application and supporting documents?

    Your application and supporting documents will be viewed in their entirety by the National IDT team who form part of the Operations Department in Health Education England London. The information you submit will be viewed by administrative staff with the intention of checking your application< against the eligibility criteria and as such will be processed accordingly.

    Anonymised data will be sent to training regions after eligibility checks have been completed in order for them to go and try and find you a vacant post. The information shared will be:

    • Application ID
    • Specialty
    • Level of Training at point of application
    • Level of training at point of transfer
    • Current region and any specific location requests
    • If applied under Criterion 1
      • LTFT request
      • Training completed
      • Training to complete
      • Return date if currently OOP or on Maternity Leave

    Further information regarding the sharing of your personal data can be read on our Privacy notice, published on our website here


    What if I forget something regarding my application?

    If during eligibility checking the National IDT team discovers that you have missed a document, signature or piece of evidence, they will inform you and give you 48 hours to provide the missing information. The information must be provided in this timeframe in order not to delay the process, failure to do so will result in the withdrawal of your application.

    Can I ask to be transferred to a nearby training region if my first choice isn’t available?

    Yes. The National IDT process allows trainees to choose up to three regions in total. When it comes to training regions looking for a post for you, all three regions will be considered equally. When we get vacancy returns from training regions, we will offer you your most preferred region.


    Can I specify where within the region I would like to be transferred to?

    Yes, you can say where in the area you would most like to go after entering the region on the application form. We cannot guarantee that if you are accepted for a transfer that it will be in that exact location, but regions will try and meet your preferences. This information will be discussed between trainees who have been allocated a transfer and their prospective training region.


    Is it possible to change my preferences after allocations have been made?

    No. If all trainees were allowed to change their preference information after the allocation stage had been completed, we would have to go back and unpick all allocations previously made and conduct the stage again which is not feasible.

    Instead, allocations are conducted based on the information submitted by trainees at the application stage and it will not be possible to change this once allocations have been confirmed and offers have been sent.


    The regions I would like to apply to have now merged, how do I list them on my application form?

    While some regions have merged (North West and South West) you will still have the same choice when it comes to selecting your training region. That means for the purposes of National IDT you will still be able to list both South West Peninsula and Severn and both North Western and Mersey.

    Programmes within larger geographies may be administered by only one region, please check local information regarding who runs which programme before applying. We have links to websites here or you can find out through local IDT contacts (


    How does a post become available?

    The National IDT process can’t create new placements for transfers.UK training regions retain full control over their posts and programmes and must be sure when looking for a post for you that the vacancy exists from point of entry to the end of the training programme.

    The National IDT team will send anonymous details of eligible applicants to the training regions for which they have applied, those training regions will then try and find you a vacancy in your specialty and inform the National team either way. The national team will then make conditional offers on this basis.


    Who should I contact to find out about available posts?

    All communications of this type should be directed to the National IDT team and trainees are strongly advised not to contact colleagues in prospective regions to find out about vacancies. Contacting  prospective colleagues can unfortunately create misunderstanding or raised expectations regarding vacancies, which is something we’re very keen to avoid. If you are eligible, your listed training regions will look for a vacancy for you but they will not be aware of your allocation ranking or your name.

    Therefore, having a single point of contact for trainees on matters such as these will ensure that a consistent level of information is received.


    Can I find out which vacancies are available in my preferred region prior to submitting an application?

    Vacancies for the IDT process are highlighted at a local level by individual training regions and these are declared to the National IDT team after the relevant application window has closed. This is to ensure the National IDT team is able to collect the most accurate and up-to-date information from regions prior to allocating vacancies to eligible trainees.

    The National IDT team is therefore unable to provide vacancy information before the application deadline.

    An indication of the level of vacancies that might be available can be found in the ‘Facts and Figures’ section of the website but these numbers will only be indicative. Training regions actively look for a post for you once we have sent your eligibility information.


    Will there be a vacancy for me if I’m eligible?

    Possibly not as vacancies are declared by training regions depending on their capacity and by deciding how they wish to fill their vacant placements. There is no obligation for regions to prioritise the National IDT process over national recruitment rounds and some may choose to fill all their vacancies with new recruits rather than through transfers, though we encourage them to fill with IDTs.

    Although we would prefer all regions to give vacancies to the National IDT process ahead of any other means, decision making on matters such as these will be conducted by each individual region in order to retain control of workforce planning and rotation management.


    If there are more applicants than posts, how will the successful applicants be selected?

    Priority will be given to trainees with a significant change in circumstances due to their own disability.

    Applications from trainees with change in circumstances related to caring or parental/guardian responsibilities or committed relationships will be considered equally afterwards.

    Training regions will look for vacant posts according to the eligibility information they receive. They will tell the NIDT team if they have a vacancy for you. If there are not enough posts and you are equally weighted and could fill the same post as another IDT applicant, the trainee who gets the post will be randomly selected for transfer using a validated randomisation algorithm. This method, supported by the BMA, means allocation outcomes can be reached objectively and equal opportunity to transfer is given to all eligible applicants, which creates an equitable and fair process. This process takes place in the presence of a BMA representative and a lay representative.


    I put a specific location/trust on my application form but I have been offered a post somewhere else – why was I not given the trust I wanted and put on my application form?

    Regions will do their best to find a post for you in your desired location but this is not always possible.

    Remember you are joining a training programme that is probably already almost full and certain  locations are already coveted within programmes. It may well be the case that there simply is not a space in your desired location. If this is the case but you can still be accommodated within the programme, we think it is better to offer you this than not offer it to you – you can then decide whether or not to take the offer. If you do not take the offer, this will not affect any future application.


    Why are applications from trainees with changes in their primary carer and parental responsibility and committed relationship treated equally after trainees with a disability?

    It is a reasonable adjustment (in line with the Equality Act 2010) to prioritise trainees with a disability which is why this is carried out with regard to the National IDT process.

    All other applications are treated equally afterwards to ensure that consistency can be maintained and to ensure that subjective decisions on who is more ‘deserving’ of a transfer or which trainee’s application is more ‘important’ are avoided. Instead, all decisions will be made on an objective basis and eligible trainees applying for Criteria 2, 3 or 4 will be given equal opportunity to transfer.


    If I met the eligibility criteria last time but couldn’t transfer due to a lack of posts, will I be put on a waiting list until a post becomes available?

    Trainees who have not been able to transfer due to lack of suitable vacant posts will have to re-apply when the next transfer window opens.

    Unfortunately we are unable to operate a waiting list system as the proliferation of waiting trainees would soon overtake the new applications we receive in each window. Currently, we find posts for between 48% and 55% of eligible trainees (though in the February window we managed almost 70%).

    We are always trying to increase this percentage and will look at waiting list systems we could use in the future if this percentage increases. We feel the best way to give all doctors a fair and equal chance is to treat each window as wholly separate from the last. This ensures consistency for all trainees within each window and also ensures that trainee’s personal circumstances are current each time an application is submitted.


    I was eligible for a post but was told there were no vacancies, however, I contacted the local training region and they told me they had gaps on their programme – why was I not given this vacancy?

    There are a variety of ways in which a Dean or Training Programme Director can choose to manage vacancies on their programmes and it is up to each local Dean and TPD to decide how they do this.

    While there may be gaps for a particular year, that gap could exist because someone has taken time out of programme or gone on maternity leave – this may mean they only need to fill a vacancy for the time that trainee is OOP or on leave and does not necessarily create a full time gap on the programme that would allow them to submit a number to the IDT process. Numbers will only be submitted where the whole duration of training can be accommodated from your particular point of entry.

    We do ask trainees not to contact training regions precisely to avoid this kind of misunderstanding regarding vacancies.

    How will I be made an offer to transfer?

    If you are eligible and it has been possible to allocate you to a suitable post in a new region, you will receive a conditional offer by e-mail from the National IDT team. You will have to respond to this conditional offer within 48hrs, as indicated on the e-mail.


    What information will the conditional offer contain?

    The conditional offer will inform the trainee in which region they have provisionally been allocated a place on a training programme.

    Information of exact placement details such as start date or hospital/location will not be contained within this conditional offer and these details will be communicated by the new region at a later stage of the process.


    Why is this offer conditional?

    The offer from the National IDT team is conditional as the transfer can’t be finalised until the new region has confirmed it can accommodate your personal and training requirements. The new region will have local knowledge of the available vacancy and they will be able to confirm that your requirements can be met.


    What happens if I accept this conditional offer?

    An acceptance of a conditional offer will confirm that you agree to a conditional allocation to the new region. An acceptance will also confirm that you agree to the National IDT team passing on your information to the new region, that you agree for your trainee file to be transferred and that you reconfirm your eligibility in relation to certain criteria (please read the conditional offer carefully for more details on this).

    Accepting this conditional offer will not result in you being obliged to transfer but will instead facilitate a discussion between yourself and contacts at your prospective region so that you can find out more details and finalise your transfer.

    It will likely take around 10 working days for your new region to contact you at the end of the offers process.


    What happens if I decline this conditional offer?

    Declining a conditional offer will mean that you withdraw your application and you will not receive any subsequent offers in that same transfer window. You will then be able to remain in your current training programme within your current region. You can reapply to transfer in the next window should you wish to.


    What is a Second Iteration Offer?

    These are conditional offers that we send based on gaps left by trainees who will potentially move after the first iteration of offers, to fill those potential gaps.

    When we send anonymous information on eligible trainees to training regions, we also send them an anonymous list of all the trainees that have applied to leave their region. This is so they can let us know, if that trainee receives a conditional offer, that they wish to fill that potential gap with another IDT.

    If you receive a second iteration offer, it simply means that we were able to offer you a post because someone is leaving the training region on an IDT that you want to join. Your ability to move may well be dependent on the trainee leaving your potential gap.

    What is contained within my trainee file?

    Your current region will hold a trainee file which will contain important information relating to your training progression to date. The transfer of this information from one region to another following an IDT is important to ensure continuity of training and support for you, for your new region to be fully aware of the trainee’s training history, to maintain patient safety and to support you in making an eventual CCT or CESR application to the General Medical Council (GMC).

    The information transferred will include:

    • Recruitment paperwork
    • Application form
    • Proof of I.D. and address as shown at the interview stage
    • Relevant certificates of degrees and competences
    • Full ARCP history including all outcome forms
    • Form Rs
    • Relevant correspondence regarding training progression including
      • Out of Programme paperwork
      • Less Than Full Time training paperwork
      • Correspondence regarding trust investigations, GMC investigations, special measures etc.

    It is likely that any transfer of information will be digital.


    Who holds my trainee file?

    Training regions hold most of this information centrally but in some instances a Lead Employer Trust may hold recruitment paperwork.


    What should I do to finalise my transfer?

    When your contact details have been passed to your prospective training region, they should contact you within 10 working days of the end of the offers process to start finalising your transfer. We send your details when we have completed the entire offers process.

    Once it has been agreed with your new region that you can transfer, you should organise a leaving date with your current training region by contacting your local specialty administrators and your Training Programme Director. You will need to stay in touch with your new training region to organise an appropriate start date in your new region. You should also inform your Royal College of your transfer.

    Please be aware that if you are returning from maternity leave, you should give sufficient notice while on leave so that you can return to work in your new training region. The notice you have to serve should be in your Terms and Conditions.


    Can I claim relocation expenses after my transfer?

    You may be able to claim relocation expenses from your new training region after you have transferred, please contact the local team in that region to see if you are eligible.


    I have been allocated a post for transfer but have an ARCP before I leave my current training region in which I may receive an unsatisfactory outcome – can my transfer still go ahead?

    We have just changed the terms and conditions (you sign these on the application portal) to say that as long as Postgraduate Deans from both regions agree, the transfer can go ahead. We realise that by the time you receive your final ARCP you will have handed in notice and done pre-employment checks for your new region, so cancelling your transfer may be detrimental to all concerned. If there is a serious concern or problem with your ARCP outcome, such that one of the deans feels the transfer is inappropriate, your transfer may still be cancelled.