This section gives guidance on completing and submitting your PHST application form. This includes some general notes about using the form and then a look at each section of the application form.
Please visit the timeline section of this website for information on application opening and closing dates.
The Oriel application system is already active and accessible, allowing you to access the system and begin registering your information prior to making an application, if you so wish.
In addition to the guidance provided here there is an Oriel Applicant User Guide available to download from the Oriel resource bank.
Before beginning your application form, please note the following general information:
- Application form fields - Each section within the form is made up of a series of fields - these can be drop-down menus, free-text boxes, explanatory text, help boxes, etc. Completion of some fields will be mandatory - ie where an answer must be given to allow you to progress. These will be indicated to you.
Save section - As you add information to your application, please remember you will need to save it to make sure it is retained; the system has a one hour inactivity time-out, after which you will be logged out and information not saved will be lost. The 'Save' button can be found at the top of each page. Additionally, when navigating away from a page it usually saves the page when doing so; this will be indicated on screen when this happens. Saving a page does not prevent you from editing the page again at any time up until you submit.
- Free-text boxes - These are relatively straightforward to use; the main point to note is that each will have a word limit which you cannot exceed. You need not be concerned with formatting such as bullet points as the field takes only basic text, however we encourage you to lay out the text so that it is easy to read.
Completed pages - The system will tell you when all mandatory fields on each page have been completed, and the page is ready to be submitted, via a green line under that page title. It is your responsibility to ensure this information is correct and fully completed.
Submitting - Please do be aware that apart from reference details and contact information, you cannot edit your application after it is submitted, under any circumstances. Therefore make sure you are satisfied with your application's content before you finally submit it.
Linking applications - It is not possible for candidates to formally link their applications. In the event that you and another candidate wish to, you are advised to select the same region preferences. Beyond this, formal linking is not possible. Should it appear that you and your partner will be placed in different regions, please contact the PSRO as soon as possible so options can be investigated.
The application form is divided into four main sections, each containing various pages you will need to complete, below is some information on each section which are most likely to generate queries.
Please note - as mentioned elsewhere, with the exception of personal contact details and references, it is not possible to amend your application form once it has been submitted; so please only submit finally once you are fully satisfied with your application.
This section requires personal details your contact information and details of your right to work in the UK.
This area of the application contains your medical employment history. If there are any gaps between posts in your history, of longer than 28 days, during the three years preceding the advertised HST start date (ie since July 2019), you will be required to make these explicit in this section.
If you have worked in lots of locum posts for short periods of time it is acceptable to use the employment gap section of the form to overview your work experience during these periods. When doing this you should enter the dates you are covering and then the text box to provide details on: the specialty(ies) and level of employment and the whole time equivalent you worked during the time period.
This page covers various areas about your application, common question areas include:
- '...relinquished/released/removed...' - this counts if you had begun a training post in the same specialty (or the related core programme or GIM for specialties which dual accredit with this), and then departed from it at a later date. If you declined an offer in a previous round, or accepted one but withdrew before starting the post, you do not need to answer 'yes' to this question. If you answer yes to this question, you will be required to submit a form by uploading it to your application form before you submit your application, signed by the region at which you were previously working in the training programme; the form is available to download from the document library.
- Reapplying to the specialty whilst still in the programme - if you are currently working in a specialty training programme you wish to apply to, and looking to continue your training in another region without a break in service, you will be required to submit a form by uploading it to your application form before you submit your application; the form is available to download from the document library.
- Disability requiring specific arrangements / adjustments - examples include: a disability which may potentially limit access to the interview centre or dyslexia - in which case you may able to claim additional time for reading scenarios at interview. If you are unsure whether it will have an affect, contact the region managing your application or add it to the form and enquire with them after submitting your form. You will be required to upload supporting evidence of any adjustment which will have a material effect on the assessment process, e.g. additional time, with your application.
- Disability confident scheme - to be eligible you must have a disability or long-term health condition that is expected to last for at least 12 months and which puts you at a significant disadvantage in either obtaining or keeping jobs; you do not have to be registered as a disabled person to apply under this scheme. Those eligible (and eligible for HST) will be guaranteed an invitation to interview. Go to the GOV.UK website for more information. Supporting evidence of this must be uploaded with your application.
- GMC registration - your registration status with the GMC and your number if you have one. If you are not registered you will be asked to detail why you think you will be able to gain full registration by the time of appointment. Applicants who are applying under a different name to that held on the GMC register will have this highlighted to make sure the GMC number has been entered correctly. Please note that if you have only recently changed your name, this may not yet be available to Oriel and this could be why there is a discrepancy.
- Language skills - Please see the Language eligibility page for further details.
- Special circumstances - where you either: are the primary carer for someone who is disabled (as defined by the Equality Act 2010), or have a medical condition or disability for which ongoing follow up for the condition in a specified location is an absolute requirement, you could be eligible for this scheme.
If you wish to be considered, you will need to answer 'yes' to the question on the form and email the relevant form, together with evidence of your circumstances, to [email protected]. Guidance on what evidence you should provide can be found in the Specialty Recruitment Applicant Handbook, which is available in the resource bank of the Specialty Training website, along with the forms to be submitted.
Decisions will be made ahead of offers for that round. Those approved will be given special consideration to be allocated in their required geographical area, but must still score highly enough to be made an offer. The handbook gives more detail on how this will work.
- Deferred start date - usually a deferred start date can only be granted for statutory reasons (ill health, maternity leave, etc.). Please note this can include a period of illness or maternity leave prior to making an application that has delayed the completion of your core programme.
- Academic clinical fellow (ACF) applicants – in order for an ACF posts offer to be confirmed, applicants to ACF posts in the academic recruitment round are required to apply to the nationally-coordinated recruitment process so they can be clinically benchmarked. Questions in this section of the form will be used to identify you and to find out whether you are only applying to be clinically benchmarked, or if you are also interested in non-academic training. Applicants indicating they are only interested in ACF posts may have their application withdrawn once interview scores are confirmed. Those indicating they are interested in ACF and clinical posts will remain in contention for offers. In both cases, the outcome of the clinical interview will be fed back to the region offering the ACF post. Further information can be found on our ACF clinical benchmarking page.
You must provide contact details, including email addresses, of three referees who have supervised your clinical training during the last two years of your employment or undergraduate training. One referee must be your current or most recent consultant or educational supervisor familiar with your clinical development.
You should contact your clinical referees in advance to confirm that they are willing to provide a reference and are available and able to do so in the time period required for selection and appointment; ensure they provide you with an email address they will regularly access as this will be used when requesting references.
It is possible to change your referees after submission of your form; giving you opportunity to add more recent supervisors since completing your application should you wish to do so. You can do this up until a reference has been submitted or until the reference submission closing date.
For further advice about references please refer to the 'Completing the form' section of the Applying FAQs.
Here you are required to read and answer the nine (yes/no) questions on criminal records and fitness to practise. Before answering the questions please carefully read the information on the page detailing what and why this information is required.
You are not required, or able, to provide any details on the application form beyond the yes/no but will be required to send details using a standard form once you have submitted your application; information should be sent no later than the application closing date.
The form can be downloaded from the resource bank of the MDRS Specialty Training website and should be sent to the region managing your application. Details can be found in the 'who do I contact?' section of each specialty's page.
For further advice about this section please refer to the 'Completing the form' section of the Applying FAQs .
The declarations page asks you to confirm that you have met/agree to/understand a number of statements. All you are required to do is to read the declarations and tick the corresponding boxes to give your confirmation; it is not possible to apply without signing up to these declarations.
This section asks details of:
- Core competences - how you will demonstrate core competence/capability. Unless you are currently on a UK training programme which leads directly to the specialty to which you are applying, you must attach documentation to your application demonstrating that you have gained and demonstrated the core capabilities required for progression to HST. The core capability section of the website details the rules for demonstrating capability and uploading documentation.
In cases where a specialty accepts trainees from other training pathways, this is specified on the person specification. Those who are training, or have completed training, in a programme specifically mentioned as an entry pathway on the person specification, and do not need to submit an alternative certificate, can answer the questions about achievement of core competences in the same way that a UK internal medicine trainee would.
- Accreditation of transferable competences - this question refers to applicants who have been working in one GMC approved specialty training programme and would like to have this training considered to reduce the length of their training programme in the spcialty to which they are applying. This only applies if specifically mentioned within the specialty’s curriculum, which is available on the JRCPTB website; however, please note that most specialties do not accept transferrable competences at this time.
- Primary medical qualification - you are also required to enter details of your medical degree.
The evidence page is where you will supply the supporting text to justify the options chosen in the self-assessment section of the application form. It is for this reason that you should complete the self-assessment section first, so you can ensure the text supplied is directed accordingly. Although you are not required to submit documentary evidence when you apply, this will be required at some point after applications close and so it is important that you can evidence every area scored; the evidence documents section of the website contains more information about this.
Guidance on the available options and their corresponding scores can be found on the application scoring section of this website; it is essential that you refer to this when completing your application to ensure you are selecting the most appropriate options.
Each scoring area has either a single text box or series of fields where you will demonstrate your achievements. There is a maximum word count for each section to which you must adhere.
You must complete the corresponding text box to demonstrate why you chose that option. If you do not have an achievement in that area you just enter 'NA' in the text box.
This page covers various areas regarding your application:
- MRCP(UK) examinations - full information on this can be found on the MRCP(UK) page of this website; in summary, you need to give details of which parts of MRCP(UK) examinations - or qualifying alternative - you have gained to date.
- Commitment to specialty - in this section there are three questions covering why you have applied for that specialty, what you have done to prepare for the specialty and the specific skills and attributes you possess that make you suitable for a career in the specialty. Please note that there is a word count limit for each of the questions of 100 words. All specialties will assess commitment to specialty as part of their interview process, however, some specialties will also be assessing this at the application stage. By the application opening date, it will be confirmed for each specialty whether or not they intend to assess commitment to specialty at the shortlisting stage. This will be confirmed in the 'Planning your application' section of each specialty's page.
- Interests outside of medicine - it is not mandatory to answer this question but it is another opportunity for you to demonstrate how you meet the person specification. As with commitment to specialty, it does not contribute to your application score but will be reviewed, and may be discussed, at interview. It is recommended to refer to the person specification when considering information to include so you can link it to the personal skills required of applicants. Please note that there is a word count limit for this section of 150 words.
- Training courses - Give details of any training courses you have attended which you feel would be relevant to your application. There is a limit of four training courses you can include, so please only mention the most relevant to your application; although there is a text box if you wish to add information about further courses.
This page of the application form includes the areas on which all applications will be scored, on the basis of qualifications, achievements, publications, presentations, teaching, quality improvement and leadership. You will be required to select an option from the menu for each domain. Within each domain, the options are listed in points order, from high to low.
Guidance on the available options and their corresponding scores for each domain can be found on the application scoring section of this website.
It is essential that you refer to this when completing your application to ensure you are selecting the most appropriate options.