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About the programme

The Widening Access to Specialty Training (WAST) scheme is an opportunity to work for a year in England while receiving regular teaching and clinical exposure that will help to improve the skills and competences required for admission to specialty training through the national selection processes.

Educational Elements

  • The WAST scheme is a 12-month programme that will typically involve six months’ psychiatry and six months in an acute hospital setting.
  • During the programme you will have two taster weeks in a General Practice surgery
  • On starting doctors will have their prescribing safety and physical health skills assessed and extra support provided as required.
  • If required, you will be enrolled onto an Intermediate Life Support (ILS) course at the start of the programme.
  • Doctors will be given a clinical supervisor and an educational supervisor.
  • Doctors will have access to Health Education England’s e-portfolio to record training progression.
  • Doctors in the project will undertake half or whole day release small group based teaching (according to local arrangements) with the aim of developing the following areas:
    • Understanding the structure and function of the NHS.
    • Working as a doctor in the NHS and professional values.
    • Communication and consultation skills.
    • Teamwork and team-based care provision.
    • Patient safety/quality improvement.
    • Recording and reflecting on their learning. Acquisition of skills in these areas is essential both for improving your chance of success at specialty selection and provide a firm base for your development as a doctor in the NHS, regardless of your future career path.
    • Education will be delivered by experienced educators based in Primary Care with external resources including simulated patients as required.

Financial Support

  • Successful applicants may be given a £5,000 support package to assist their relocation to the UK
  • Whilst on the programme, you will receive a salary of around £31,422 with the possibility of doing some on-call work. For further information on Terms and Conditions see the NHS Employers website.
  • If you go onto GP training, the starting salary is £37,191

If required, Health Education England will provide a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), to enable you to work in the England under a Tier 2 visa. Further information can be found here.

What will I get if I complete the programme?

  • The programme will allow you to obtain the experience need to be eligible for a Certificate of Readiness to Enter Specialty Training (formerly the Alternative Certificate of Foundation Competence). Although the posts used in this project are approved for training, the educational element is not accredited by any statutory body and therefore it is unlikely that this experience will count if you wish to apply to a shortened specialty training route.