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Applicant guidance

To view the applicant guidance, please expand the relevant chapters below or download a copy from the resource bank.

This applicant guide is intended to help you make the best possible applications, starting with your specialty choices and continuing through the entire application process. In addition to reading this guide you must also ensure that you read the specialty specific guidance for the specialty/specialties to which you are considering making an application. Specialty specific guidance will be available from the recruitment leads for the individual specialties.

The majority of specialty recruitment is organised nationally by one of the Royal Colleges or by a lead HEE local office/Deanery on behalf of all local offices and deaneries. This means that you complete one online application and state your preferred local office/Deanery, rather than submitting multiple applications.

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This applicant guide is intended to help you make the best possible applications, starting with your specialty choices and continuing through the entire application process.  In addition to reading this guide you must also ensure that you read any specialty specific guidance for the specialty/specialties to which you are considering making an application.  Specialty specific guidance will be available from the recruitment leads for the individual specialties.

Most specialty recruitment is organised nationally by a lead HEE local office/devolved nation Deanery on behalf of all local offices and deaneries.  This means that you complete one online application and state your preferred geographical location/s, rather than submitting multiple applications.

Please note: Throughout the 2022 specialty recruitment process, most recruitment will be conducted online and virtually.  Individual specialty lead recruiters will be able to advise on the exact processes being used.

There will be no interview process for General Practice ST1, Core Psychiatry CT1 or Child and Adolescent Psychiatry ST1.  Selection decisions will be made solely on performance in the Multi Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA).

The following table shows the lead recruiters for 2022:

Specialty

Level

Lead Recruiter

Acute Medicine

ST4

HEE - London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

ACCS Emergency Medicine

ST1

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Allergy

ST3

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Anaesthetics and ACCS Anaesthetics

CT1

HEE – West Midlands

Audiovestibular Medicine

ST3

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Cardiology

ST4

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Cardiothoracic Surgery

ST1 ST3

HEE – Wessex

 

Chemical Pathology

 

ST3

HEE – East Midlands

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

ST1

HEE – North West

Clinical Genetics

ST3

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Clinical Neurophysiology

ST3

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Clinical Oncology

ST3

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics

ST4

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Clinical Radiology

ST1

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Combined Infection Training

ST3/4

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Community Sexual and Reproductive Health

ST1

HEE – East of England

Core Psychiatry Training

CT1

HEE – North West

Core Surgical Training (including Improving Surgical Training)

CT1

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Dermatology

ST3

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Diagnostic Neuropathology

ST3

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Emergency Medicine – Direct Route of Entry

ST3

HEE – Yorkshire and the Humber

Emergency Medicine

ST4

HEE – Yorkshire and the Humber

Endocrinology and Diabetes

ST4

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Gastroenterology

ST4

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

General Practice

ST1

GP National Recruitment Office

General Surgery and Vascular Surgery

ST3

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Genitourinary Medicine

ST4

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Geriatric Medicine

ST4

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Haematology

ST3

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Histopathology

ST1

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Immunology

ST3

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Intensive Care Medicine

ST3

HEE – West Midlands

Internal Medicine Training and ACCS Acute Medicine

CT1

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Medical Oncology

ST3

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Medical Ophthalmology

ST3

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Neurology

ST4

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Neurosurgery

ST1 ST2

HEE – Yorkshire and the Humber

Nuclear Medicine

ST3

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Obstetrics and Gynaecology

 

ST1

 

HEE – North West

Occupational Medicine

ST3

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Ophthalmology

ST1 ST3

HEE - South West

Oral and Maxillo Facial Surgery

ST1 ST3

HEE - South West

Otolaryngology (ENT)

ST3

HEE – Yorkshire and the Humber

Paediatric and Perinatal Pathology

ST3

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Paediatric Cardiology

ST4

HEE – Wessex

Paediatric Surgery

ST3

HEE – Yorkshire and the Humber

Paediatrics

ST1, ST3, ST4

HEE – West Midlands

Palliative Medicine

ST4

HEE – London and Kent Surrey and Sussex

Plastic Surgery

ST3

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Psychiatry – Higher Training

ST4

HEE – North West

Public Health

ST1

HEE - East Midlands

Rehabilitation Medicine

ST3

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Renal Medicine

ST4

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Respiratory Medicine

ST4

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Rheumatology

ST4

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Sport and Exercise Medicine

ST3

HEE – London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery

ST3

HEE – Yorkshire and the Humber

Urology

ST3

HEE – Yorkshire and the Humber

 

Further information on the lead recruiters can be found on the Recruitment Leads page of the Oriel recruitment system: https://www.oriel.nhs.uk/Web .

Each recruitment office is responsible for some or all of the following:

  • advertising vacancies
  • providing information on the recruitment process
  • receiving applications
  • longlisting applications against a set of agreed eligibility criteria
  • shortlisting based on set criteria and scoring systems
  • interviewing and selecting successful applicants
  • making offers and receiving acceptances

Communication should be at an acceptable professional standard from recruiters to applicants and from applicants to recruiters.  Whilst applicants might not always agree with selection processes in place, it is important that communications do not become unprofessional.

Specialty recruitment is split into five recruitment rounds throughout the year.  It is important that applicants familiarise themselves with which round the specialty that they wish to apply to is being recruited in.

  • Academic Recruitment – Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) posts in England are advertised and recruited to.  This round encompasses appointments to ACFs at all levels.

    Adverts will appear in October 2021
  • Round 1 – this encompasses recruitment to all CT1/ST1 specialty training programmes, across the UK and some run through specialties at higher entry levels.  Posts appointed in this round will normally start in August 2022 and generally no later than December 2022

    Adverts will appear in November 2021
  • Round 2 – this is the first time that ST3 and ST4 specialties in uncoupled training programmes will be advertised.  This round may also include ST3 entry level posts in run through specialties.  Posts advertised in this round will normally commence between August 2022 and December 2022.

           Adverts will appear in late November 2021

  • Round 1 Re-Advert – where training programmes advertised in Round 1 remain vacant, a second round, known as Round 1 re-advert, is run to try and fill the remaining posts.  If all posts are filled, this recruitment round will not be run.

            Adverts will appear in February 2022

  • Round 3 – this round encompasses all recruitment for posts starting later than December 2022 and no later than April 2023. Generally, posts advertised in this round will have a commencement date of February 2023.  Not all specialties will advertise in this round.  This round includes adverts for posts at all entry levels and is not limited to CT1/ST1 or ST3/ST4 like some of the earlier recruitment rounds.

When deciding which posts and specialties to apply for, applicants are advised to consider carefully the likely levels of competition involved and be prepared to be flexible about their specialty choices; not all applicants will be successful in getting a place in their first choice specialty and/or region.

The medical specialty training website http://specialtytraining.hee.nhs.uk provides direct links to competition ratios from previous recruitment rounds.

These figures do not show what will happen in 2022 but offer a broad indication of the most and least subscribed specialties and areas in the previous recruitment year.

Those applying to Academic Clinical Fellowships (ACFs) will need to meet the criteria in both the clinical and ACF person specifications.

Applicants are required to demonstrate appropriate competence in both an academic and a clinical interview for the specialty to which they are applying.

Applicants who currently hold a National Training Number (NTN) or Deanery Reference Number (DRN) which required clinical interview in the GMC specialty associated with the ACF, at the same level of training, will not be required to attend a further clinical interview.  These applicants will only be required to attend the integrated clinical-academic interview as they will have met the requirements of the clinical interview previously. 

Applicants holding a Deanery Reference Number for core training, who are applying for an academic post at a higher training level must attend and be deemed appointable at a clinical interview at the level that matches that of the ACF being applied for (e.g. CT2, ST3, ST4).  Where there is no national clinical recruitment process at the appropriate level, only applicants already holding an NTN/DRN in the specialty will be permitted to apply.

Applicants applying for NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowships who require clinical benchmarking will be required to complete and submit both an academic application form and the associated clinical application form for the specialty in which they will require clinical benchmarking.  Applicants will be asked in the clinical application form what posts they wish to be considered for; academic only or clinical and academic posts.  It is important that applicants understand the implications of their response to this question as they will not be permitted to change their answer to this at a later date, even if they realise that they have made a mistake.  It is therefore important that applicants check their application answers fully, prior to submission.  Applicants stating in the clinical application form that they only wish to be considered for academic appointments will not be considered for clinical training programmes, regardless of their performance at selection

If shortlisted, academic applicants will be required to attend an integrated academic interview, consisting of both academic and clinical questions and assessors.  Those who are considered appointable at the academic interview, who do not hold an NTN or DRN in the specialty, will be invited to attend a clinical interview in the same specialty, at the same training level, providing they have also completed the associated clinical application form.  Any academic offers made will be conditional upon meeting the appointability threshold at the clinical interview.

Further information is available from the NIHR website: https://www.nihr.ac.uk/  

 

If you are applying to enter specialty training but are unable to train full time, you may apply for less than full time training (LTFT), providing you can show that training on a full time basis would not be practical for you for well-founded reasons.  Well-founded reasons may include, for example, disability, ill health, caring responsibilities, religious commitments and unique opportunities for personal or professional development.

Less than full time training must meet the same requirements as full-time training, except that there will be fewer hours of work per week.

Please note that you will need to secure a full-time post in open competition before you can make an application to work LTFT.  You should apply for eligibility through your current HEE local office/devolved nation Deanery ahead of this and indicate your desire to work less than full time on your application form.

If you are, or will be, on a Tier 2 visa, your pro rata salary must meet the minimum salary threshold for Tier 2. Please contact the lead recruiter if you are planning to apply for LTFT training and will require a Tier 2 visa.

Applicants wishing to raise concerns about any part of the recruitment process, should forward these, in confidence to mdrs.confidential@hee.nhs.uk.  This would include, but would not be limited to, information about applicants who have fraudulently completed their application forms, provided false competence documents etc.  This would not include personal complaints about the recruitment process that fall outside the scope of the complaints policy.

Concerns raised without detail are difficult to investigate, due to the volume of applications received.  Applicants are therefore requested to provide the specialty and, where applicable, the applicants concerned.  Any information provided would be treated in the utmost confidence.

Once you have decided which specialty or specialties you wish to apply for it is essential that you first ensure that you are eligible to make an application.  Person specifications are available from https://specialtytraining.hee.nhs.uk

You should familiarise yourself with the application period, find out where and how you access the application form and make sure you read all the guidance information provided by the lead recruiter for that specialty.

We advise that you do this as soon as possible to ensure that any queries you have can be resolved in good time, ahead of you beginning your application.

See Annex A for links to further information

 

There are strict eligibility requirements when applying for specialty training, with some person specification criteria being essential.  If you are applying for more than one specialty, ensure you read the person specification for each specialty/level to which you are applying.

If an applicant makes a Fitness to Practise declaration on their application form, they must complete a form and submit it to the lead recruiter providing further information.  This must be provided at the time of application.  The approach taken will depend on the recruitment model used by the specialty to which the applicant is applying.  Applicants should provide their supporting information form by email to either the lead recruiter or the region in which they are being interviewed/considered for appointment.  Each specialty lead recruiter will advise on the process that should be followed. 

Forms are available from the resource bank on the specialty training website https://specialtytraining.hee.nhs.uk/.

Further details on the nature of the declaration may be requested and should be provided prior to the deadline for submission of applications.  Failure to provide this detail by the closing date may result in the application being rejected.

Contact details are available in Annex B

All applicants will be requested to produce valid right to work documents. 

From 1 July 2021, EU/EEA citizens will need to either provide confirmation that they have obtained EU settlement or pre-settled status, have another valid right to work visa (e.g. dependent visa) or will need to apply for Skilled Worker sponsorship. 

Please note that medical practitioners are now part of the Shortage Occupation List and the Health and Care visa route is available to medical and dental practitioners.  For applicants who require sponsorship, it is important to be aware of the Home Office requirements below.

Home Office Requirements

  • Criminal Records Certificates

The Home Office requires those applying to come to the UK as a Skilled Worker doctor or dentist in training, and their adult dependants, aged 18 or over, to produce a criminal record certificate from any country in which they have been present for 12 months or more, consecutively or cumulatively, in the previous 10 years.

If applicants are successful in being appointed to a training programme in the UK, and require Skilled Worker sponsorship, they will be required to provide the criminal record certificate to the Home Office when they make their visa application. As it can take some time to obtain a criminal record certificate, applicants should begin the process of seeking certificates, if required, at the earliest opportunity.  Please note, that this is for entry clearance applications only, so will only be applicable if applying from outside the UK.

Details of how to obtain such a check from the relevant authorities abroad is available on the Home Office website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/criminal-records-checks-for-overseas-applicants

Public bodies cannot offer to certify maintenance on the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).  If applicants are successful in being appointed to a training programme in the UK, and require Skilled Worker sponsorship, they will be required to provide evidence of maintenance (funds) to the Home Office when they make their visa application.

Full guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/skilled-worker-visa

All applicants to CT1/ST1 posts are required to provide evidence of achievement of Foundation Competence within the 3½ years prior to the intended commencement date for the advertised post(s). 

The acceptable methods for demonstrating foundation competence are:

  • Currently on a Foundation Programme

    Applicants currently undertaking a recognised foundation programme in the UK[1] which is due to finish in August 2022, will need to confirm the name of their Foundation School but do not need to submit any other evidence at the point of application. Any offer of a training programme will be conditional upon successful completion of the Foundation Programme and being awarded a Foundation Programme Certificate of Completion (FPCC) before August 2022.   

  • Already completed a Foundation Programme 

Applicants who have already completed a UK Foundation Programme will be asked to confirm that they have been awarded an FPCC , completed no earlier than 3½ years prior to the  advertised start date for the training programme to which they are applying. A scanned copy of the FPCC MUST be uploaded to the Oriel application.

[1] UK Affiliated Foundation Programmes include those in Malta.  The Maltese Foundation School awards the Foundation Programme Certificate of Competence to the same standards as other UK Foundation Schools and as such is considered equivalent.

  • Currently on a Specialty Training Programme

Applicants currently in active clinical or clinical and academic practice in a UK educationally approved training post (CT/ST/LAT or equivalent), holding either a National Training Number (NTN) or Deanery Reference Number (DRN) will be considered as having had their foundation competence assessed on entry to their current post and do not need to demonstrate these again, regardless of when foundation competences were signed off.

Applicants in this category, who relinquish their NTN or DRN between the time of application and commencement will be required to submit a Certificate of Readiness to Enter Specialty Training for the period out of training.

  • Previously resigned from the specialty of application

Applicants who have previously resigned voluntarily from the specialty to which they are now reapplying will be considered as having had their Foundation competences assessed previously, providing that they can demonstrate evidence of satisfactory progress in the form of ARCP documentation for the duration of the training undertaken.

  • Applicants who have started but who have not satisfactorily completed a 2 year UK Foundation Programme or a standalone UK Foundation Year 2 post are expected to return to the Foundation Programme to complete their training.  In exceptional circumstances, where trainees were unable to continue their training in the Foundation Programme at that time, for example due to personal illness or family caring responsibilities, applicants can provide a letter written and signed by the Postgraduate Dean where the previous training took place.  This letter must use the standard proforma available from the Oriel resource bank and be uploaded to the application form.  The letter must include the following information:
    • The dates of the previous training
    • Confirmation of the reasons for the resignation, removal or relinquishing of their post in the Foundation Programme
    • Confirmation that the applicant has met the requirements and/or demonstrated the competences of foundation training
    • Confirmation that the applicant has completed a period of remediation, if applicable
  • Applicants currently in a Widening Access to Specialty Training (WAST) post need to obtain a fully completed and signed Certificate of Readiness to Enter Specialty Training by the start date of the post to which they are applying.  No further evidence needs to be provided at the time of application

Applicants who do not fall into any of the above categories will be required to submit a Certificate of Readiness to Enter Specialty Training (2021 version) signed by a consultant who has supervised them for at least 3 months (whole time equivalent and continuous period) in the 3½ years prior to the advertised start date for the training programme to which they are applying.  Applicants must not submit multiple Certificates, from different posts to show evidence of achievement of all competences; only one certificate should be submitted    A scanned copy of the certificate MUST be attached to the Oriel application form.

When submitting the Certificate/s, all competences must be signed as achieved at the time of application.  Certificates will not be accepted where it is stated that outstanding competences will be achieved before the advertised start date of the post.

Certificates of Readiness to Enter Specialty Training will be accepted where the assessed post has been wholly undertaken in the 3½ years prior to the commencement of the training post to which the applicant is applying.  Only the 2021 version of the Certificate of Readiness to Enter Specialty Training will be accepted; forms from previous recruitment years will not be accepted.

The signatory for the certificate must not be the applicant’s spouse, partner or family member.

Where the signatory does not currently have GMC registration, it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that adequate evidence of their signatory’s standing with a regulatory authority is provided.  This evidence must be scanned and attached to the Certificate of Readiness to Enter Specialty Training.  Where this evidence is not in English, an official English translation should also be provided.  In cases where the signatory has historic but not current GMC registration, it is the current registration that is required; previous GMC registration will not be accepted.  Where adequate evidence is not provided, the Certificate of Readiness to Enter Specialty Training and the specialty training application will be rejected.

The only exception to this is if you are a refugee.  Refugees (as defined on the UKVI website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-visas-and-immigration) are advised to contact the recruiting organisation for further guidance but should submit a Certificate of Readiness to Enter Specialty Training, if possible.

Please note: Applicants to General Practice are given an extended deadline to demonstrate competence.  Full guidance is available from the General Practice National Recruitment Office.

In addition, applicants are required to have had 12 months experience after achieving full GMC registration (or equivalent post licensing experience) by the start date for the post they are applying for. 

Before commencing a Certificate of Readiness to Enter Specialty Training, applicants are advised to read the applicant guidance document, available on the resource bank of the specialty training website; https://specialtytraining.hee.nhs.uk/

Acceptable forms of evidence for demonstration of core competence will vary between specialties.  Please refer to specialty specific guidance for further information.

Each specialty (and entry level for training) has a nationally agreed person specification that lists the required competences for that specialty.  When completing applications, applicants will need to provide evidence of achievement of the specified competences; some will need to be demonstrated at time of application, others by commencement of post.

Person specifications are available from: https://specialtytraining.hee.nhs.uk/

Applicants applying to Academic Clinical Fellowships (ACFs) will need to meet the criteria in both the clinical and ACF person specifications.

All recruitment offices will work to a nationally coordinated advertisement and application window.

Academic Clinical Fellow (ACF) Recruitment

For further information on the ACF recruitment process, please visit the National Institute for Health Research website: http://www.nihr.ac.uk

Applications open

 Friday 1 October 2021

Applications close

Wednesday 3 November 2021

Interview window

Monday 8 November 2021 to Friday 14 January 2022

Initial offers released from

Thursday 20 January 2022

Hold deadline

Thursday 27 January 2022

 

Round 1

Predominantly recruitment to CT1/ST1 for commencement between August and December 2022

Advertisements

Thursday 2 November 2021

Applications open

At 10am on Thursday 4 November 2021

Applications close

At 4pm on Wednesday 1 December 2021

Interview window

Tuesday 4 January to Friday 18 March 2022

Initial offers released by

By 5pm on Thursday 24 March 2022

Hold deadline

At 1pm on Tuesday 5 April 2022

Upgrade deadline

At 4pm on Monday 11 April 2022

Hierarchical deadline

At 4pm on Tuesday 12 April 2022

 

Round 1 Re-Adverts

Re-advertisement of posts still vacant following completion of Round 1

Advertisements

Monday 28 March 2022 (TBC)

Applications open

At 10am on Tuesday 29 March 2022 (TBC)

Applications close

At 4pm on Wednesday 13 April 2022 (TBC)

Interview window

Wednesday 4 May to Friday 20 May 2022 (TBC)

Initial offers released by

By 5pm on Tuesday 24 May 2022 (TBC)

Hold deadline

At 9am on Tuesday 31 May 2022 (TBC)

Upgrade deadline

At 4pm on Tuesday 31 May 2022 (TBC)

 

Round 2

Predominantly recruitment to ST3/ST4 for commencement between August and December 2022

Advertisements

 Tuesday 16 November 2021

Applications open

At 10am on Thursday 18 November 2021

Applications close

At 4pm on Thursday 9 December 2021

Interview window

Tuesday 4 January to Thursday 14 April 2022

Initial offers released by

By 5pm on Thursday 21 April 2022

Hold deadline

At 1pm on Tuesday 3 May 2022

Upgrade deadline

At 1pm on Wednesday 4 May 2022

Hierarchical deadline

At 4pm on Wednesday 4 May 2022

 

Round 3

Recruitment to posts at all levels commencing between January and March 2023

Advertisements

Wednesday 13 July 2022 (TBC)

Applications open

At 10am on Tuesday 26 July 2022 (TBC)

Applications close

At 4pm on Tuesday 16 August 2022 (TBC)

Interview window

Tuesday 30 August to Friday 7 October 2022 (TBC)

Initial offers released by

By 5pm on Monday 10 October 2022 (TBC)

Hold deadline

At 1pm on Wednesday 12 October 2022 (TBC)

Upgrade deadline

At 4pm on Friday 14 October 2022 (TBC)

Hierarchical deadline

At 4pm on Tuesday 18 October 2022 (TBC)

 

Religious Holidays

Wherever possible, recruitment offices will avoid religious holidays when planning interview dates, but this cannot be guaranteed.  Applicants unable to attend an interview date for this reason should contact the specialty recruitment lead at the earliest opportunity to establish if it is possible to make alternative arrangements.

Pregnancy and Maternity Leave

Specialty recruitment is organised in a number of nationally agreed recruitment rounds, that all specialties adhere to.  Applicants unable to attend the interviews due to pregnancy or maternity leave should contact the specialty recruitment lead at the earliest opportunity to enquire whether alternative interview arrangements can be accommodated.

IMPORTANT: It is not always possible to give exact numbers of vacancies, but organisations will provide the most up to date information possible.  Post numbers are indicative only and may be subject to change.

Vacancy information is available from Oriel and the recruitment office websites

 

You can make as many applications as you wish to different specialties, providing you meet all the eligibility criteria and required competences of the post(s) as detailed in the person specification.

Applicants are advised to consider the high level of competition for some specialties and geographies.  Competition for specialties in previous recruitment years can be found at https://specialtytraining.hee.nhs.uk/

All applications are in an electronic format and are to be completed online through Oriel.

Contact regarding applications will be via direct messaging through Oriel.  Applicants are therefore advised to log into their Oriel accounts regularly throughout the recruitment process.

Most recruitment offices will also send applicants an email to a stated email address, however, these emails should not be relied upon and delivery cannot be guaranteed as they are being sent external to Oriel.

Applicants will have the ability to set a recovery email address (which is different to their registered Oriel email address) and security questions.  This can be undertaken in the My Profile area of their Oriel account.  Applicants are strongly recommended to set this up as it will allow them to unlock their accounts outside of normal office hours, without needing to make contact with the recruitment office.

Please note: Applicants should never use multiple browsers or browser tabs (including logging in on a computer and mobile phone at the same time) when accessing Oriel.  Only one session of Oriel should be open at any one time and applicants should ensure that they logout completely before closing the browser.  Using Oriel on multiple browsers could result in actions being overwritten or unsaved e.g. applications not being submitted, offers not being accepted. 

Many specialties are recruiting by means of a national process. In these specialties, you will be able to make a single application where you are asked to state your order of preference between different geographical locations.

To ensure a fair, legal and equitable process, where shortlisting takes place, the people completing the shortlisting will not see an applicant’s personal details when considering an application.

Before starting an application, applicants should ensure that they:

  • Read all supporting documentation – Applicants should ensure that they read all available documentation before commencing an application to understand what is required of them e.g. specialty specific applicant guidance, criteria contained within the person specification, any mandatory documentation that needs to be uploaded to the application form
  • Gather evidence – Applicants should ensure that they have gathered all evidence required to complete the application form e.g. dates and titles of qualifications, publications, presentations, research, audit etc. 

Please note: The portfolio of evidence that will be uploaded as part of the verification process MUST NOT contain patient identifiable data and should only include the applicant’s own original work.

  • Career research – Applicants need to be able to demonstrate reasons for applying for a specialty and what they can bring in terms of skills and personal attributes.
     
  • Plan time – Work out how long it will realistically take to complete the application form, including getting feedback from colleagues.

The application form will take some time to complete so applicants should ensure they allow enough time to complete the form and submit it ahead of the published deadline.Under no circumstances will late applications be considered.

  • Referees – Referees should be contacted at the earliest opportunity to confirm that they are happy to support the application and provide a reference.

Applicants will need to provide details, including up to date email addresses of three referees who have supervised their clinical training in the last 2 years.Those applying to more than one specialty may opt to nominate different referees for each specialty.

It is important that applicants confirm referee email addresses prior to completing the application form.  Once offers have been accepted, referees will be contacted by email with a link to allow them to complete the reference.  It is therefore important that email addresses provided are correct and for email accounts that are regularly accessed.

  • Key content of application forms – Applicants MUST ensure that any work submitted or referenced is their own.  Any plagiarism in applications will be treated extremely seriously and will result in further action being taken.

Submitted application forms will need to pass an eligibility check before they can be considered for shortlisting and/or interview.Recruitment teams will ensure that application forms meet the following eligibility criteria in addition to any other specialty specific criteria:

  • Immigration status and right to work in the UK
  • GMC (and GDC) registration, if required
  • Any examination/competency/experience requirements in line with the post
     

By allowing applicants to progress to the shortlisting and/or interview stage, recruitment offices have not accepted or confirmed that applicants meet eligibility requirements.Applicants may still be withdrawn from the recruitment process at any stage, including after interviews have taken place if the evidence pertaining to an eligibility criterion is found to be unsatisfactory by the recruitment office.

When completing the employment history section of the application form all previous clinical experience should be declared; this includes experience inside and outside of the UK, in both training and service posts.Applicants should also ensure that they detail any time spent out of work to ensure that there are no unexplained career gaps.

Please note: Recruitment offices will not be able to make any changes to submitted application forms on Oriel.  Applicants must therefore ensure that they check the content of their application form prior to submission as there will be no opportunity to correct mistakes at a later date.

Applicants can apply for vacancies advertised in later recruitment rounds (e.g. Round 1 Re-Advert, Round 2), even if they have already accepted a post in the first round of recruitment.

Applicants who have already received and accepted an offer of employment must make it known to the recruitment office to which they are applying that they have already secured a post in a previous round.  They will also need to notify the recruitment office where they had previously accepted a post.  This should be done by email at the time of application and at interview.  This will not prejudice the application.  This is purely for the benefit of the organisations that are providing patient care, so that they can manage services and maintain standards.

Applicants will also be required to give notice before they can take up the new post.  Even though applicants may not have received their written contracts, they should still discuss the notice required with the employing organisation.

Applicants who are applying to a specialty training programme that they have previously been removed or relinquished/resigned from must declare this on their application form.  Where applicants are applying for higher training (ST3/ST4) having previously been removed from the associated core training programme, this must also be declared.

At the time of application, a Support for Reapplication to Specialty Training form available from https://www.oriel.nhs.uk/web/ must be completed, approved by the previous Training Programme Director/Head of School and previous Postgraduate Dean and submitted at the time of application to the confidential email address supplied by the lead recruiter for the specialty (Please see Annex D for email addresses).  Failure to provide this documentation will result in the application being rejected.  No other evidence will be accepted in support of reapplication.

Applicants who are already in a specialty training programme and are applying again to the same specialty, in another area/region must declare this on their application form.

At the time of application, a Support for Reapplication of Specialty Training in a Different Region form available from https://www.oriel.nhs.uk/web/  must be completed, approved by the current Training Programme Director/Head of School and submitted at the time of application to the confidential email address supplied by the lead recruiter for the specialty (Please see Annex D for email addresses).  Failure to provide this information will result in the application being rejected.  No other evidence will be accepted in support of reapplication.

Applicants considering applying for the same specialty training programme in another region should communicate this to their existing Training Programme Director/Head of School at the earliest opportunity.  Specialty training vacancies available for recruitment are confirmed well in advance of interviews/selection centres taking place.  Early conversations with existing training programmes could allow for provisional plans to be put in place to replace the trainee, should they be successful in their application.

This process ensures that applicants with special circumstances and a requirement to train in a particular location are treated in a fair and consistent way.

Special circumstances is different to reasonable adjustments.  Applicants who require reasonable adjustments to attend interview or take up a training post should ensure that they state this on their application form and make contact with the lead recruiter as soon as an interview invitation is received to discuss their requirements.  Reasonable adjustments will not be managed through the special circumstances process.

Any applicant who falls into one of the following eligibility criteria can apply to have their circumstances taken into consideration, allowing them to be pre allocated into a post, subject to it meeting the requirements of their training programme:

  • Criterion 1 – the applicant is the primary carer for someone who is disabled, as defined by the Equality Act 2010
  • Criterion 2 – the applicant has a medical condition or disability for which ongoing follow up for the condition in the specified location is an absolute requirement

Applying for special circumstances

Applicants wishing to be considered for special circumstances pre allocation should ensure that they state this on their application form and submit the required form and supporting evidence by email.   Requests for consideration of special circumstances received in any other way will not be accepted. 

Special circumstances application forms are available from: https://specialtytraining.hee.nhs.uk/Resources-Bank

Requests for special circumstances and supporting evidence must be supplied by the following deadlines:

2022 Round 1

By 4pm on Wednesday 1 December 2021

2022 Round 2

By 4pm on Thursday 9 December 2021

2022 Round 1 (re-advert)

By 4pm on Wednesday 13 April 2022

2022 Round 3

By 4pm on Tuesday 16 August 2022

Applicants who are uncertain of the recruitment round that they have applied in should refer to the recruitment timetable on pages 17 to 19.

For applicants who develop special circumstances after the deadline for the recruitment round in which they have applied, contact should be made directly with the region where an offer has been made.  Special circumstances cannot be considered in this process, outside of the timelines listed above.

Supporting Evidence

Applicants wishing to be considered for special circumstances should complete the criterion appropriate special circumstances application form (available from https://specialtytraining.hee.nhs.uk/Resources-Bank) and forward this, together with the following supporting evidence, as a single scanned document, as soon as the application has been submitted to mdrs.nationalrecruitment@hee.nhs.uk.  Applications and evidence not submitted in the correct format will be returned to applicants, with a request to resubmit in the correct format.  Evidence submitted in the incorrect format will not be accepted.

Criterion 1     

  • Written statement on headed paper from a general practitioner or social services professional, confirming your role as primary carer for this person, together with confirmation of the disability,  dated within 6 months of the application date; and
  • Care plan on headed paper from a general practitioner or social services professional, dated within 6 months of the application date.  Where an official care plan is not available, details of caring responsibilities and activities should be provided, attested by the general practitioner of the person who is being cared for; and
  • Proof of current address e.g. driving licence, utility bill dated within 3 months of the application date

Criterion 2     

  • A report by the current medical specialist treating your condition or Occupational Health physician, dated within 6 months of the application date, in which they will be required to:

Describe the current medical condition or disability

Describe the nature of the ongoing treatment and frequency

Explain the reasons why the follow up treatment cannot be delivered elsewhere in the UK

The impact transferring care elsewhere would have on you; and

  • Proof of address e.g. driving licence, utility bill dated within 3 months of the application date

Where more than one applicant has caring responsibilities for an individual, a joint application can be submitted, with a single set of evidence.  Both applicants must be named as main carers in the evidence.

Applicants undergoing fertility treatment together, and applying in the same recruitment round, can submit a joint application.  Both parties must be named in the supporting evidence.

Special circumstances applications will be reviewed by a national eligibility panel and a decision on whether the application has been successful will be communicated to the applicant.

Where the applicant is unhappy with the decision of the national eligibility panel, they are permitted to submit an appeal to the national appeals panel.  Appeals must be based on new evidence being submitted.  The decision of the national appeals panel will be final.

Allocation

Applicants who have been approved as having special circumstances will be pre-allocated into the region of their choice, subject to the following criteria being met:

  • Applicant is deemed appointable at interview/selection centre
  • Applicant is ranked highly enough to receive an offer e.g. if there are 10 posts available, applicant will need to rank in the top 10. 

Applicants will also be considered to have ranked highly enough, where there are applicants ranked above them who would not be eligible to receive an offer due to limited preference choices and preferred posts being unavailable.

Where Locum Appointment for Training posts are being appointed through the vacancy, the applicant must rank higher than the lowest ranked NTN offer in order to be pre allocated on the basis of approved special circumstances.

  • The region the applicant wishes to be allocated to can fulfil all requirements of the curriculum for the specialty for which they have applied

If all of these conditions are met, the applicant will be pre allocated into the preferred region, before the main offers algorithm is run.  Applicants are not guaranteed their preferred programme/post within the preferred region.  Special circumstances applicants will be offered the highest ranked post within that region that they would have been offered, had the normal offers process run.  Where applicants with special circumstances would not have been offered a post in the preferred region, they will be pre allocated one of their ranked programmes within that region.

Where applicants with special circumstances do not rank highly enough to be offered a post in the first round of offers they will be placed on a reserve list, pending more posts becoming available or offers being declined.  There is no guarantee of matching special circumstances applicants to preferred locations after the first round of offers has been completed.  An applicant without special circumstances who has accepted a post in the preferred location of an applicant with special circumstances will not be displaced to allow allocation of the applicant with approved special circumstances.

When ranking preferences, applicants with approved special circumstances must ensure that they only rank programmes/posts that they are willing to accept and undertake.  Applicants will be allocated based on these preferences.  If it is not possible to pre allocate an applicant with special circumstances, they will have opportunities throughout the recruitment process to amend their preferences, should they wish to be considered for appointment in another region. 

When selecting post preferences, applicants must ensure that they meet the eligibility for those posts. 

Carry Over of Approval

Applicants who are approved for special circumstances, but who are not made an offer in their preferred region can carry over their approval to later recruitment rounds within the same recruitment year.

The special circumstances application form will need to be completed, but there is no need to submit further supporting evidence, providing that personal circumstances have not changed since the application was originally approved.

Applicants can have a change in circumstances for any number of reasons in the time between programme/post preferences being made and offers being released.  To assist applicants in this situation, flexibility around preferencing is available.

For applicants who have accepted or held a post, there will be an option to select upgrade options which not only include those posts/programmes that were originally ranked higher than the offered post, but also those that were ranked lower.

Please note: Any changes to preferences made between the offers algorithm being run and offers being released will not be considered until the next offers match is run.

Applicants who have not been made an offer will also have the opportunity to amend their programme/post preferences throughout the recruitment process.  Specialty recruitment leads will advise applicants when preferencing is open for amendments to be made.  Applicants wishing to amend their preferences must ensure they undertake this as soon as possible, once advised that preferencing is open, as recruiters will need to close these again before the next round of offers is processed.

These processes will continue up until the upgrading deadline in each recruitment round (see recruitment timeline for exact dates).

Most specialties recruit by means of a national process handled by a lead HEE local office/devolved nation Deanery on behalf of all appointing regions and these processes may vary in arrangements.  

The Multi Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA) is a computer based assessment, designed to assess some of the essential competences outlined in the person specifications and is based around clinical scenarios.

The MSRA is utilised by the following specialties:

  • ACCS Emergency Medicine CT1 ST1
  • Anaesthetics CT1
  • Clinical Radiology ST1
  • Community Sexual and Reproductive Health ST1
  • Core Psychiatry Training CT1
  • General Practice ST1
  • Neurosurgery ST1
  • Nuclear Medicine ST3
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology ST1
  • Ophthalmology ST1

Each specialty considers the MSRA differently as part of its selection process.  It is recommended that you visit specific national recruitment websites to familiarize yourself with the appropriate guidance for that specialty.

Many specialties use verified self-assessment as part of their selection process.

This requires applicants to select the appropriate response to a number of questions on the application form and then upload evidence to support their selection to the self-assessment portal (https://sa.verification.hee.nhs.uk).  Guidance explaining how to upload evidence to the portal is available on the specialty training website and the portal itself.

Applicants will be provided with login details to access the portal and will be given guidance on organising and uploading evidence from the specialty lead recruiter.

Uploaded evidence will be reviewed and scored by an assessor.  Scores will be provided to applicants.  Applicants unhappy with the score given can request a review by another assessor in line with the policy in place by the specialty.  No new evidence can be submitted for the review.

For the duration of the 2022 recruitment process, no interviews will take place face to face, in person; all interviews will take place digitally.  Digital interviews will normally have a minimum of two panel members, however, interviews can continue with one panel member, where necessary.  In this instance, applicants will be asked to consent to the interview being recorded to assist with complaints and/or challenges.  Recordings will be held by the specialty lead recruiter for a period of 12 months.  Where applicants do not consent to the recording, the interview will still continue, unrecorded.

Applicants should be given at least five working days’ notice of any interview; however notice may be less if late interview slots arise due to other applicants withdrawing from the process. Applicants will be informed of the reason for the late notice if this occurs.

Assessment centre/interview dates will be published by recruitment offices well in advance and applicants should consider these when applying for posts.

Applicants who accept another offer, after booking an interview, should ensure they inform the appropriate recruitment office as soon as possible in order that they can be withdrawn from the interview.

Applicants will be asked to declare on their application form if they have a disability as set out in the Equality Act 2010 and whether they wish to be considered under the Disability Confident Scheme. This information will not be available to shortlisting panels. Further information is available from:

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/RightsAndObligations/index.htm

Recruiters will ensure, where possible, that reasonable adjustments are made at interview to meet the needs of applicants with disabilities. Applicants must ensure that they include this on their application form and communicate their requirements with the recruiting organisation as soon as an invitation to interview has been received.  Failure to provide the requested information and documentation to the recruiting organisation by the stated deadline, will result in adjustments not being met.

Applicants should expect to provide medical evidence for any adjustments requested and are therefore advised to source this as soon as possible to ensure that deadlines are met.  If your medical evidence is more than 6 months old and you are not applying for reasonable adjustments on the basis of a long-term condition, you may be asked to provide further information.

In shortlisting, applications are scored according to their content, e.g. applicants’ experience, achievements, qualifications, etc. The scoring systems used are based upon the nationally agreed person specification.

Not all specialty recruitment processes use shortlisting.

Where applicable, details of the scoring scheme should be made available to applicants.

Where shortlisting takes place applications that pass the eligibility checks will go ahead to be scored. The top-scoring applicants will be invited to interview or assessment. Typically, more applicants will be invited to interview than the number of posts available.

Due to the large volume of applicants, some recruitment offices will only contact applicants if they are being invited to interview.

Applicants who are unsuccessful at the shortlisting stage, will receive feedback from the lead recruiter.  This will consist of the following:

  • Applicant’s shortlisting score and/or rank
  • Maximum possible shortlist score
  • Shortlist score and/or rank required to be invited to interview

Where applicants feel that their application has not been managed correctly and have evidence of a failure in the process, there is a national complaints procedure.  Applicants should contact the specialty recruitment office if they have any concerns about their application or would like to know more about the complaints procedure.

Many specialties publish information about interviews on their recruitment websites.

The main aim of the interview is to ensure that applicants meet the requirements of the person specification and that the best applicants are selected.

The structure and content of interviews will vary across specialties and levels.  Recruitment offices will normally inform applicants of the format of the interview, including the competences being assessed.

Interviewers may have access to anonymised application forms of interview candidates but will not have access to the equal opportunities or personal data.

Interview panel members will individually complete a scoresheet for each candidate and make any comments.  The aggregate score given by all panel members, taking into account any associated weighting, will be the final score of the interview.

Overall selection scores can be comprised of multiple elements, in addition to the interview e.g. Multi Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA), self assessment verification.

Planning for the interview

Applicants will be given clear information on what will be required of them at interview.  As a minimum, the following documents should be provided:

  • Proof of identity (e.g. passport or other photo ID)

In preparation for interviews/selection centres, applicants should ensure that they do the following:

  • Inform their current employer of potential leave requirements for attending interviews/selection centres in anticipation of being shortlisted and coordinate with colleagues wherever possible
  • Discuss with clinical tutors or local consultants within the specialty about the types of areas the interviewers/assessors may seek to address
  • Read and follow any specific guidance given for that specialty about how documentation should be prepared and anything else which may need to be provided in advance of the day
  • Ensure that you test that you are able to connect to the technical solution that is being used for the interview process and that your webcam and microphone are working appropriately

Sharing Interview Questions with Others

Once an interview has been completed, applicants should ensure that they do not discuss the interview process or share the interview questions with other applicants who are yet to be interviewed, either on the same date or on a future date.

Applicants found to be sharing interview questions with others may be removed from the recruitment process.

Raising Concerns at Interview/Selection Centre

Applicants wishing to raise concerns about the conduct of panel members during the interview/selection process or recruitment staff administering the event should be provided with an email address to direct the concerns to.  Concerns should be raised as soon as possible after the interview takes place and no later than 2 working days after.  Concerns will not be considered where they are raised at a later date.  Once received, concerns will be passed to the Recruitment Lead who will liaise with the Clinical Lead and decide if the issue requires immediate intervention and discussion.

Where a serious concern is raised, a formal investigation will be undertaken.

All specialty training offers will be made through Oriel.

Appointments to training programmes or posts will be offered in rank order, based on selection scores.

Not all candidates deemed eligible for appointment by the interview/selection panel will be offered a post as recruitment offices will invite more applicants to interview than posts available.

Following interview and/or assessment, the recruitment office will contact applicants, if successful, with news of an offer.  Unsuccessful applicants will receive a message informing them that they have not been successful on this occasion.

Applicants deemed eligible for appointment who rank below the number of vacancies available, could still receive an offer, at a later date, if offers made to higher ranked candidates are rejected.

In the period between submitting an application and offers being made, applicants will be asked to specify their regional/geographical preferences.  Preference choices are ranked in Oriel.

The preferences made by applicants will be used, along with final selection rank to determine which offer, if any, they receive. 

Applicants will have several opportunities to express their preferences throughout the recruitment process, as it is recognised that personal circumstances can change between the time of application and the time that offers are released.

For applicants who have accepted or held a post, there will also be the opportunity to change upgrade options to allow a post/programme that was originally ranked lower than the offered post to become an upgrade option. 

The order offers will be made in will be determined solely on the selection score and permissions to work in the UK, not preferences made.  An applicant’s preferences will only come into play when that applicant is reached in the ranked list and an offer is due.

Applicants who are not prepared to accept an offer of training in a certain region/geographical area, should not rank it in their preferences (i.e. it should be added to the not wanted column).  Applicants who choose this option, will never receive an offer for that particular preference, even if this means that the applicant receives no offer, with the offer going to a lower ranked applicant who had chosen the preference option.

Preferences added to the no preference column will be offered when a ranked preference is not available.  Programmes added to the no preference column are given an equal rank and will be allocated after ranked preferences of other successful applicants have been offered; if applicants would like these programmes to be offered in a particular order, they should ensure that they are taken out of the no preference column and added to the ranked list of preferences.  Posts that applicants would not consider should be removed from the no preference column and added to not wanted.

Preference choices should be made solely on desirability of the associated post for the individual applicant, not the perceived desirability for all applicants.  Ranking a less popular preference highly will have no bearing on when an offer will be made. 

By ranking a preference, applicants are stating that they would be prepared to undertake a training programme in that area; this includes programmes that are in the no preference column.  Applicants should not preference or accept posts if they are unable to commence training in them.  Applicants who are made an offer and decline it, will be withdrawn from the process and will not receive any further offers for that specialty.

Interview panels will not have access to applicants’ preferences.

Applicants receiving training offers through Oriel will have the option to accept, decline or hold (until the hold deadline) the offer made.  Applicants will be given 48 hours (excluding weekends but including bank holidays) from release of the offer to decide whether to accept, reject or hold it.

Offers which are not responded to within the 48 hour deadline will expire and will be offered to another applicant.

Applicants should only preference and accept posts that they are willing to undertake; this includes posts in the no preference column.

Applicants intending to decline a training offer are advised to do so as soon as possible to enable the offer to be made to another applicant.

Applicants who do not initially receive an offer may still be offered at a later date, during the process of re-offering declined and expired offers.

Applicants who fail to respond to their offer within the 48 hours and allow it to expire, but who would have liked to accept the post, should contact the recruitment office, at the earliest opportunity.  Where possible, recruitment offices will try to reinstate applicants, however, as recycling of the initial offer may have already taken place, there is no guarantee that the applicant will receive an offer or that it will be the same offer as initially received.

Applicants who are still waiting for offers following interviews should not be alarmed to see the same specialties advertised again in the next recruitment round.  No offers will be made until the list of appointable candidates from the initial round has been exhausted.  Specialties are re-advertised based on the knowledge that there will still be opportunities available.

Following acceptance of a training programme, reference requests will be sent through Oriel to the referees listed in the application form. 

Referees will complete the reference online, using Oriel.  If a referee is unable to complete the reference prior to the deadline date, responsibility for requesting and collecting the reference will pass to the employer.  Applicants and/or referees will be contacted directly by the employer if further references are required.  There is no need for applicants and/or referees to do anything until this contact is made.

Response

Conditions attached to the response

Accept

  • The applicant is excluded from any further offers from this and any other specialty within this recruitment round, with the exception of hierarchical upgrades (up until the hierarchical upgrade deadline)
  • Pre-employment processes commence

Accept with upgrades

  • The applicant will have their offer automatically upgraded if a higher ranked preference becomes available.  If an applicant has opted into upgrades, no contact will be made with them prior to the upgrade taking place
  • The upgraded offer becomes the accepted offer and the previously accepted post is released and offered to another applicant
  • Upgrades will continue to be made until the upgrade deadline for the recruitment round
  • No offers will be received from any other specialty unless the offer is a hierarchical upgrade (up until the hierarchical upgrade deadline)

 

Please note: If an improved preference becomes available before the upgrade deadline, the current offer will automatically be upgraded.  Applicants are notified of the upgrade by message within their Oriel account.  Applicants should not preference posts that they would not want to be upgraded into.  After an upgrade has been made, there is no opportunity to revert to the previously accepted post.

Holding offers

The held offer can be accepted or declined at any time up until the hold deadline.  Only ONE offer can be held at any time in the same recruitment round.  Trying to hold a second offer will result in the original held post being rejected.

Before the hold deadline passes, offers must be confirmed as accept, accept with upgrades or decline.  If no action is taken, the held offer will expire, will be deemed to have been declined and will be offered to another applicant.

Hold without upgrades

  • The applicant is reserving the offer
  • No upgrades by preference will be made
  • Offers from other specialties can still be received
  • The held offer can be accepted or rejected at any time up until the hold deadline

 

Response

Conditions attached to the response

Hold with upgrades

Applicants receiving offers which are not their first choice preference can select the hold with upgrades option.

  • The candidate is reserving the offer
  • The held offer preference will be automatically upgraded if preferred preferences become available.  Offers from other specialties can still be received.  Applicants who opt into upgrades will have their offer upgraded without further contact being made with them
  • The held offer can be accepted or rejected at any time until the hold deadline

 

Please note: Upgrades are automatic when opting to hold with upgrades.  If an improved preference becomes available before the upgrade deadline, the current offer will automatically be upgraded.  Applicants are notified of the upgrade by message within their Oriel account.  After an upgrade has been made, there is no opportunity to revert to the previously held post.

Decline

An applicant choosing this option will have their offer removed and will receive no further offers from this specialty within the recruitment round.  Applicants will continue to receive offers from other specialties, if applicable

Please note: If an applicant does not respond to their offer within the 48 hours, this will be interpreted as declining the offer and it will be offered to another applicant

Withdraw

An applicant may withdraw completely from the process up until offers are released and should do so via their Oriel account.

Once an offer has been accepted, applicants wishing to withdraw will need to contact the recruitment office directly

 

 

 

 

Applicants who receive an offer through Oriel will automatically receive an upgrade, should one become available before the upgrade deadline, if they accept or hold the offer and opt in for upgrades.  Applicants who opt into upgrades will have the option to state which of their preferences they would like to be considered for an upgrade into.  This could include all, some or none of the posts that were ranked higher than the offered post, but also those that were originally ranked lower; upgrade options are completely configurable by the applicant.  Should an upgrade option become available and the applicant who has opted in for upgrades is next in line to receive the offer, they will be automatically upgraded to this offer with no option to revert to the original offer.

Applicants can opt out of upgrades at any point.  If you opt out of upgrades in the period between an offer match being run and the offers being released, you may still receive an upgrade.

Applicants who wish to be considered for upgrades into a particular post/programme should opt into this, even if the post/programme is showing no vacancies.  If the post becomes available at a later date, an applicant will not be upgraded into it if they have not opted in, regardless of whether or not it was one of their higher ranked preferences in the original application form.  Once an upgrade has been made there will be no opportunity for the applicant to request that their original acceptance be reinstated.

Offer upgrades are processed once all other offers for the specialty have been responded to.  Upgrades will not be processed at the weekend or on bank holidays.

Please note: Upgrading of offers will not continue beyond the stated upgrade deadline, even if a preferred post becomes available at a later date.  After the upgrade deadline, vacant posts will be offered to the next eligible applicant who has preferenced the post and who has yet to receive an offer, not to applicants who have already accepted a post.  This includes situations whereby an applicant has accepted a Locum Appointment for Training post and an NTN post becomes available.  Applicants are advised to consider this when making their programme preferences.  Applicants who accept a post in another specialty will be withdrawn from all other applications in the recruitment round and will not be eligible for any further offers from any other specialty, even if a preferred post becomes available at a later date.

Depending on the specialty and the number of posts left at the end of the offer process, a clearing process of matching remaining candidates to available posts will be undertaken.  Where clearing takes place, applicants will have the option to re-preference the remaining posts and the offers will then be made in rank order.

This only applies to specialties where applicants are not in contention for all posts nationally at the initial offers stage.

Any offers made are conditional upon the necessary pre-employment checks being carried out successfully.

Successful applicants will receive an offer of employment from their employer (subject to pre-employment checks).  The offer of employment is distinct from the training agreement.  Successful applicants may change employers several times during their training period.

The first employer will need to complete pre-employment checks before the successful applicant can start working for them.  Pre-employment checks are designed to ensure that every doctor working in the NHS is fit and safe to work with patients.  Applicants will be required to make declarations on the application form relating to their honesty and probity.

Checks will include verification of references, fitness to practise updates from the General Medical Council (GMC) or other regulatory bodies, occupational health clearance, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and immigration status checks. They may also include validation of English language proficiency and evidence of competence.

Once pre-employment checks have been completed successfully, the employer will confirm new starter details directly with the successful applicant.

An employment contract should be received within two months of starting in post, as per NHS Employers’ guidance.

Applicants are expected to take up any employment they have formally accepted and to work the contracted notice period. Agreed terms, such as the notice period, will apply even if the employment contract has yet to be received.

Applicants unable to take up post on the given start date, due to serving notice, must ensure that they communicate this to the relevant HEE local office/Deanery and employer as soon as possible.

Successful applicants have a responsibility for patients and services. As the GMC’s Good Medical Practice points out, patient care may be compromised if there is insufficient medical cover.

Failure to arrive for work on the start date previously notified by the employer could affect patient services and their care and may have an adverse impact on the working conditions of medical colleagues. Successful applicants may be in breach of contract if they do not comply with the minimum contractual notice.  The better approach would be to make sure the employer has a reasonable time to make other arrangements (as a minimum, the contractual notice period).

All applicants will be given feedback after each of the following stages of recruitment:

  • Longlisting (if unsuccessful)
  • Shortlisting (if applicable)
  • Interview/selection centre

Interview/selection centre feedback should be given no later than 7 days after the national offer deadline. Where available, the feedback will include the following:

  • Score per interview station
  • Total interview/selection score
  • Maximum interview/selection score available
  • Applicant’s appointability and the minimum score required for appointability (as appropriate)
  • Applicant’s individual ranking.  Please note, if an applicant does not reach the required threshold for appointability, they will not be given a rank.

Applicants can only defer the start of their specialty training programmes on statutory grounds such as personal ill health, maternity or parental leave. Commencement cannot be deferred for reasons such as research or undertaking a higher degree.

Applicants who have had a period of statutory leave during the training programme from which they are applying will be permitted to defer their entry to specialty training by the same period of time (whole time equivalent).

There are a number of steps applicants can take to avoid experiencing problems in the recruitment process:

  • Logging into Oriel regularly to check progress on applications and to see if any communication has been received from the recruitment office.  This is particularly important at the time that offers are released when applicants are advised to check their Oriel accounts on a daily basis.   Setting up a recovery email address and security questions allows for accounts to be unlocked and accessed outside of office hours, without needing to contact the recruitment office.

Whilst many recruitment offices will also send communications via email, delivery of emails cannot be guaranteed as they are being sent external to Oriel and should therefore not be relied upon.

  • Inform the recruitment office/s of any periods that may cause them to be uncontactable e.g. being on holiday or on call.  Most recruitment offices will consider this, but they should be contacted in advance to discuss whether alternative arrangements can be made.  No guarantees of accommodating alternative arrangements can be offered.  Applicants will still be expected to personally check their accounts regularly during the offers period.
  • Plan to submit the application form well in advance of the application deadline.  Typically, during each recruitment round, approximately 60% of applications are submitted in the last 48 hours of the application window.  Due to the volume of applicants completing and submitting applications in the final hours, users can experience the Oriel system running slowly.  Late applications will not be accepted under any circumstances

 

 

Applicants may need support, careers information and guidance to help them make the best choices in entering the next round of recruitment.

The region in which they are currently working should be able to offer careers advice, in addition to the advice that can be obtained from senior colleagues and mentors. Trust consultants, clinical tutors and others should be well informed with up to date process details.

If applicants are unsure about local arrangements, the current employer may provide information about how to get confidential advice and support. This information should include for example, contact details for the local Occupational Health Department, employee assistance programmes and other organisations. The British Medical Association’s Doctors Adviser Service, for example, gives doctors in distress or difficulty the choice of speaking in confidence to another doctor about a wide variety of issues including the pressures and stresses of work and of the application process.

In summary, the best ways for applicants to receive support at the application or interview stage are as follows:

Current doctors in training:

  • Educational supervisors or Postgraduate Clinical Tutors
  • Careers lead in the trust
  • Director of Medical Education in the trust
  • HEE local office/Deanery careers advisor/support team
  • College Tutors

Doctors in service posts in the UK:

  • Clinical Supervisor
  • Director of Medical Education in the trust
  • HEE local office/Deanery careers support centre
  • College Tutors

Doctors from outside the UK or not in current medical employment who are considering applying for specialty training should contact the HEE local office/devolved nation Deanery they are planning to apply to and/or relevant Royal College for advice.

In addition, junior doctor colleagues who have recently been through the specialty recruitment process may also be able to offer valuable advice.

Applicants should expect to receive helpful information from the specialty and/or region to which they are applying.

National guidance recommends the following basic elements of applicant support throughout the recruitment process.

Websites should provide clear guidance to applicants including:

  • Up to date information on all recruitment activity; details of posts on offer and application requirements, shortlisting and interview timeframes.
  • Information about posts in the rotation (where possible)
  • An updated Frequently Asked Questions section.
  • Information about shortlisting criteria and weightings, and any scoring scheme used.

Email helpdesk services will be available in each HEE local office/devolved nation Deanery. The email address will be advertised on the HEE local office/devolved nation Deanery websites.

Helpdesks will normally respond via email to applicants’ queries within 72 hours. Queries received within 48 hours of the relevant application deadline will be prioritised.

All recruitment processes must meet legal requirements. Patient care and safety are the priority concerns.

  • Advertisements, information for applicants and application forms must be clearly structured so that they are accessible to applicants with disabilities and so that applicants can easily find relevant details when carrying out a search
  • All applications must be made electronically
  • Application forms and the interview processes must map to the national person specifications
  • The nationally agreed application form must be used
  • Applicants will be able to apply for multiple training programmes.
  • Random recruitment and selection processes should not be used
  • All applications submitted before the deadline will be considered, provided they meet eligibility requirements as outlined in the relevant person specification
  • Shortlisters and interviewers will not have access to the equal opportunities and Fitness to Practise sections of the application form or personal data.
  • Interviewers will take account of applicants’ portfolios, their structured CV and the summary of their portfolio of evidence

Any variation from the national rules would have to be a reasonable and proportionate response to local circumstances and not lead to conspicuously unfair results.

National recruitment offices use a nationally agreed process for handling complaints about recruitment.  Applicants with concerns about the recruitment process or who wish to make a complaint should contact the recruitment office to which they have applied to obtain further information on the complaints procedure.

Following completion of a recruitment round, all applicants will be requested to participate in a national feedback survey.  In addition to this, specialties may ask if you can complete a survey specific to their recruitment process.

Feedback responses are completely anonymous but feedback received is used when planning recruitment processes for future years.

Feedback received from previous surveys has resulted in process changes so completion of the survey is recommended.