Medical Specialty Recruitment 2022

Specialty recruitment will proceed for posts commencing from August 2022, although the timeframes and delivery methods will differ from previous years.

Below is a recording of the specialty recruitment webinar that was held on 15 September 2021. More information on the changes to specialty recruitment and answers to the questions submitted can be found in these FAQs.



Applying for Specialty Training

Applications to specialty training programmes will be made using Oriel.  A new version of Oriel is being used for 2021 recruitment which will require all applicants to register for a new account, even if they have had an Oriel account previously.

The new version of Oriel can be accessed at  Please note, no vacancies will be advertised on the previous version of Oriel.

Recruitment Timelines

Recruitment has previously been delivered through distinct, separate recruitment rounds.  For posts commencing in 2021, there will be a much greater overlap of the recruitment rounds than in previous years.

The timelines for each of the recruitment rounds is as follows:

Recruitment Activity

Round 1

(CT1/ST1 and some run through specialties that recruit at ST1 and ST3 level)

Round 2

(ST3/ST4 uncoupled specialties)

Advertisements appear



Application window

05/11/2020 to 01/12/2020

26/11/2020 to 17/12/2020

Interview window

04/01/2021 to 16/04/2021

04/01/2021 to 04/05/2021

Initial offers to be made by



Hold deadline



Upgrade deadline



General Principles for Specialty Recruitment Delivery

Following wide consultation with trainees, recruitment teams, statutory education bodies and the Royal Colleges, a number of general principles have been developed that all specialties must follow for selection:

  • Applicants should be aware of the selection process in place before they submit an application
  • Recruitment plans have been developed with the anticipation of further COVID disruption and are deliverable regardless of social distancing or restrictions in place
  • Where self assessment is used, evidence should be verified
  • Where application numbers exceed interview capacity, shortlisting processes can be adopted
  • There will be no face to face, in person interviews throughout the duration of the 2021 recruitment process
  • Interview processes will be undertaken digitally, as a single interview panel.  Multiple mini interview panels will not be used
  • Interview panels should consist of a minimum of two panel members, one of whom must be a consultant.  This can be reduced to a single consultant of clinical pressures necessitate this. 
  • Lay representatives should be available to undertake quality assurance checks on a proportion of the interviews taking place


Each specialty has developed two approved recruitment plans, known commonly as Plan A and Plan B.

Plan A is the specialty’s preferred selection process and will include a combination of selection processes including, but not limited to the Multi Specialty Recruitment Assessment, verified self assessment and a digital interview.

Plan B will be adopted, on a specialty by specialty basis, should delivery of Plan A become impossible.  There will be no global decision that moves all specialties into Plan B delivery.

Where Plan A delivery appears undeliverable, the recruitment lead should escalate the concern to the national Medical and Dental Recruitment and Selection team who will work with the recruitment team to find a solution to the issue to ensure that delivery of the Plan A process can continue.  The Lead Dean for recruitment and the BMA JDC will be involved in the discussions and determining the recommendations.

Where, following escalation, delivery of Plan A is deemed impossible, a recommendation to the four statutory education bodies to move to the Plan B process will be made.  In order for Plan B to be enacted, all participating nations must be supportive.

Applicants affected by a move to Plan B will be contacted directly to inform them of the change.

Further Information

Further information on the recruitment and selection process can be obtained from the specialty training and Oriel websites, together with specialty specific information available from the lead recruiters.

In addition, a specialty recruitment webinar is being held on 21 October 2021 at 19:00 hours which will outline the process, give tips for avoiding difficulty in application and will be an opportunity to ask the panel process questions.  You can join the webinar here.

MDRS Recruitment Group Statement on Named Courses

MDRS Recruitment Group Statement on redelpoyment due to COVID-19

Cancellation of R1R Recruitment 2021

Round 1 recruitment has seen a substantial increase of around 35% in the numbers of applications. It is therefore anticipated that there are unlikely to be any vacant posts remaining to be filled at the end of Round 1, and thus no posts requiring advertisement in the Round 1 Re-advertisement recruitment round.  Therefore there will be no further round of recruitment advertised for posts starting in August 2021. We appreciate that some applicants may have planned to apply for the re-advertised round however, where there is no anticipation of available posts to be re-advertised, we do not feel that it would be fair to falsely raise expectations nor put candidates through the process of an application and recruitment. 

This is as a direct result of increasing application and applicant numbers across all specialties, and not of any reduction in post numbers; indeed the numbers of posts declared for recruitment in 2021 are currently 5% higher than the average over the last 5 years.  Details of the current numbers available can be found on Oriel and recruitment numbers over the last 5 years can be found here for comparison. The number of advertised vacancies for 2021 may continue to increase as further posts become available. Additional posts declared will be added to this recruitment round and offered to appointable applicants.

The next opportunity to apply for specialty training will open for applications in July, with posts starting from January/February 2022 .The recruitment timeline can be found here. Should there be any posts not filled by the relevant specialty from Round 1 these will be added to this round.