Latest News

This page will be regularly updated with latest news, guidance and information for trainees in response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

ST3 Cardiothoracic Surgery – 2022 Recruitment

We like to inform applicants that 2022 recruitment (for posts starting in August 2022) will be the last year of recruitment to ST3 Cardiothoracic Surgery posts.

After the 2022 recruitment cycle entry into this specialty will be at ST1 level only.

Further information regarding the format for 2022 recruitment, applicant guide and shortlisting criteria will be available in due course on the Health Education England – Wessex website:


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


Specialty recruitment update - updated 8 January 2020

We recognise the invaluable work of doctors in supporting the response to the covid pandemic, many of whom are also applying for specialty training, and the significant stress and anxiety that both clinical work and recruitment results in.

The four statutory health education bodies are in regular discussion with Royal Colleges and trainee representative groups, to ensure that specialty recruitment plans in 2021 take into account the changing clinical situation and reflect the current COVID restrictions.

We are committed to running fair and accessible processes, ensuring recruitment takes place so that doctors can progress their training in 2021, and we are endeavouring to provide as much notice as possible when recruitment plans change, however colleagues will understand that the situation is changing at pace.

In the autumn, each specialty developed 2021 recruitment plans which included alternative delivery methods if clinical staff were not available to support interviews or attend assessment centres due to service pressures.

Details of all the plans can be found on the 2021 Recruitment Plans by Specialty page.

We will remain in constant dialogue with recruitment offices, Royal Colleges, junior doctor representative organisations and employers and work with them to ensure that we are transparent in our decision making and communicate with candidates as rapidly as possible. We will also seek to provide updates to you through multiple channels but would ask that you closely monitor your main email address and the Oriel portal to ensure that you are aware of any changes.

If you have specific queries or your individual circumstances mean that you cannot attend a key recruitment process please contact the lead recruitment office for your specialty directly and we will try and help you with the process.

Multi–Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA)

It has been agreed that the planned sitting for the MSRA should continue starting from the 28th January 2021.  The MSRA has capacity of up to 12500 sittings which consists of test centre and online at home slots.  We expect most applicants will be able to find a test centre close to where they live or be able to book an online delivery.

Details of the health and safety measures in place at Pearson Vue test centres can be found at

Individual recruitment offices will be contacting candidates providing instructions as to how to book a slot for the MSRA. We are aware that candidates have already booked slots however there are large numbers of slots available and if any applicant is unable to find a satisfactory booking, please contact the lead recruiter for your specialty as soon as possible as we will endeavour to support you in being able to sit the MSRA either close to where you live or online.

We are aware of the possibility that a centre may not be available at short notice or that an emergency clinical situation at work may stop you being able to attend. In either case, please contact the lead recruiter for your specialty as quickly as possible and we will do our best to make alternative arrangements for you to sit the MRSA.


Internal Medicine Training (IMT) Recruitment (added 8 January 2020)

It has been agreed that IMT will move to their alternative recruitment process, as it is apparent that the worsening clinical situation means that frontline clinical staff are very unlikely to be available to be panellists for the IMT interview that were due to start on the 18th January. This also removes the risk that candidates will be disadvantaged if clinical pressures mean that they cannot attend an interview. 

In brief, the alternative process that will take place is

  • Applicants will be required to upload evidence to support their self-assessment scoring. This will be verified and the application score confirmed.
  • Other areas of the application form, including questions on commitment to, and suitability for, specialty will also be scored.
  • Weighting will be applied to the scores to provide a final score that will be used for ranking and determining which candidates can be considered for offers.

Detailed information on the process and the deadline for submission of supporting information required for verification of self-assessment scores will be published to the IMT Recruitment website. The ‘News’ page will be used to make announcements and direct candidates to where details on the alternative process can be found: