A career in the medical specialty of allergy offers real opportunities for either the clinically or academically inclined.

For the practical and pragmatic there is plenty of scope for clinical innovation; for those interested in the big questions, the UK has a strong pedigree in allergy research, whether clinical, epidemiological or basic science.

Allergy trainee characteristics

Allergy will particularly suit trainees who:

  • want to offer holistic care to patients with chronic disease

  • like working in multidisciplinary teams and collaborative working with other specialities

  • love the challenge of a tricky or unusual diagnosis

  • are driven to improve patient care either locally or nationally

  • wish to pursue basic, epidemiological or clinical research

  • want a healthy work-life balance.

Working in allergy

There has been a huge increase in allergic disease over the last three decades.

While much allergic disease can be dealt with in primary care, some requires specialist input; the remit of the allergist is varied and includes severe asthma, crippling hay fever, life threatening food and drug allergy, spontaneous angioedema and urticarial.

The allergist focuses on identifying the underlying cause of these - identifying the allergen – as much as the symptomatic treatment.

Most importantly, allergists improve patients' quality of life. From the management of hayfever to dealing with frightening and life-threatening conditions such as anaphylaxis, allergists provide care that empowers patients and lets them get on with their lives.

Allergist working

Most clinical care in allergy is outpatient-based and within office hours. Allergy care is patient-focused and delivered by a multidisciplinary team.

Allergists share patients with respiratory physicians, dermatologists, ENT surgeons, gastroenterologists, immunologists, occupational health physicians and paediatricians, and there are plenty of opportunities for collaborative working. Most children with allergic disease are looked after by paediatricians.

Allergy is a small speciality and offers plenty of opportunities to be involved in training and national committees.

Training & career development

Training is usually based at a single centre (usually a teaching hospital) though travel elsewhere may be required for the more specialised aspects of the curriculum. There are currently seven training centres nationally.

National training days are arranged by the British Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and the Association of Clinical Pathologists, and allow trainees to network nationally.

There are ample opportunities and support for research and higher degrees, but these are not essential for career progression.

There has been a steady increase in consultant allergist numbers over the last decade.

Looking ahead

MRCP and a good knowledge of general medicine are essential for allergy.

Some prior experience in allergy is desirable, and can usually be obtained by contacting your local allergy service and sitting in on clinics; most doctors gain little or no experience of the speciality during their training and early years (though will likely have seen plenty of patients with allergic disease).

You can also enter allergy through the academic route (ACF and ACL).

Medical Care

Find out more about allergy and the services delivered by the specialty on Medical Care – the RCP’s online guide to service design.

Case study

Dr Joanna Lukawska has kindly provided the following case study about her career in allergy.


Further information

General / application queries

For general queries relating to areas such as eligibility criteria, making an application or the Oriel system, please contact the Physician Specialty Recruitment Office.

Queries regarding the progress of a submitted application should be directed to the lead recruiter for this specialty:

London and KSS (LaKSS) Recruitment
HST/general queries General enquiries - Enquiry Form 
Fitness to practise - confidential Fitness to practise form

Group 2 specialty

This is a Group 2 specialty and requires completion of the first two years of the internal medicine training (IMT) stage 1 programme or equivalent. Please visit the am I eligible? section of this website for further information about the eligibility criteria for Group 2 specialties.

Please be aware that this specialty accepts applicants from paediatrcis training routes, in addition to core-level physician training.

Non-physician applicants must have obtained the basic specialty professional examination in addition to specific clinical experience and competences to be eligible. 

Please view the specialty's person specification for information about the requirements for applying from a non-physician background and the deadlines for when this must be achieved.

Commitment to specialty

The specialty will decide whether or not to assess commitment to specialty after applications close and numbers can be assessed against the interview capacity. If it is decided to assess commitment to specialty, this will be assessed and scored as described in the application scoring section of the website. If it is not decided not to assess commitment to specialty at that stage, your application will be scored purely via the self-assessment scoring framework; commitment to specialty will be included as part of the interview.

Joint allergy-immunology interview

The specialties of allergy and immunology - both of which will have recruitment managed centrally by London and Kent, Surrey & Sussex - hold a joint interview process.

Regardless of whether a candidate applies to the specialty of allergy or to immunology (or to both), they will sit one single joint interview; the assessment from which can be used to ascertain their suitability and readiness for progression to a post in allergy and/or immunology.

Interview Content

The interview will consist of three questions which range between 8-10 minutes in length. You will be marked on these three questions and your communication skills, giving four scored areas in total. You will be scored by two interviewers on each question.

Including time for questioning and scenario reading, the interview will be approximately 30 minutes.

Please note that this is subject to change and will be confirmed by the date of interview.

Scoring framework

The score of 1-5 an interviewer will award you for each assessment area is judged in relation to how well you perform against an expected level. Below is the framework used to award scores at interview, as well as interpretation of what these scores represent:






















not considered appointable


area for concern

performed below the level expected from a core level trainee applying to the specialty;
possibly unappointable, subject to discussion and performance in other areas



performed at the level expected of a core level trainee applying to the specialty;
the candidate is suitable for a higher specialty training post



above average ability;
the candidate is suitable for a higher specialty training post



highly performing trainee;
the candidate is suitable for a higher specialty training post

As shown in the table, for each of the question areas at interview, 3/5 is considered a satisfactory score; and reflects the level of performance that would be expected of a trainee ready to progress to a specialty training programme.

Should your performance go above and beyond this expected level, interviewers can award marks of 4/5 or 5/5 as appropriate.

Conversely, should your interview performance not reach the expected level, then interviewers can award marks of 1/5 or 2/5, as reflects their level of concern over your performance.


Raw interview score

The RIS is the sum of all eight scores awarded to you during your interview, but before any weighting is applied.

As each individual score will be between 1 and 5, your RIS will be between 8 and 40.

Appointability requirements

To be classed as 'appointable', you must meet  all  three criteria below:

  • none of your eight interview scores can be 1/5
  • no more than two of your eight interview scores can be 2/5
  • your RIS must be 24 or above.

If you meet all three requirements, your application will be assessed as appointable, and can progress to be considered for post offers.

However, if you fail to meet any of these requirements, your application must then be assessed as not appointable, and it will progress no further in that round.

Total score

After interview, a weighting is applied to the scores in each area, as well as your application score.

These scores are then combined to give your total score which determines your ranking, which will in turn be used to inform how offers are made. The weighting of different sections, as well as the method by which your total score is established, is detailed in the table accessible through the link below:





 Interviewer   1



 Interviewer   2






Max   score


Question 1

Clinical scenario

/ 5

/ 5




/ 5

/ 5



Question 2

Professionalism & governance

/ 5

/ 5



Question 3

Suitability & commitment

/ 5

/ 5



Raw interview score

/ 40

Interview score (w weighting)

/ 80

 Application score

/ 58


/ 20.3

 Total score

/ 100.3


Please note that due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, certain recruitment processes have been affected for round 2 ST3 PSRO-coordinated specialties. As a result, the below information on this page is not applicable for this round only and should not be used where the process has changed. Please refer to the applicant guide for the latest information about how round 2 will operate.

Further guidance about the scoring format of interviews will be published to each specialty page and we hope to have this updated by application closing date. Please visit the specialty pages closer to the time for updated information.


Interview content

The specialties of allergy and immunology have elected to hold a single, joint interview again for 2020 ST3 recruitment.

The joint interview will be a single, three-station interview, which will be attended by all candidates applying to either specialty (or both)

You will spend approximately 15 minutes at each of the three interview stations, with three-to-five minutes' transfer time between each. Thus the overall time for the allergy/immunology interview will be approximately 55-60 minutes.

For details of how scores are awarded at interview, and weighting that is applied subsequently, please see the scoring page of this website.

Interview assessment applicable only to applied specialty/ies

The assessment received by candidates from this interview will be applicable for both specialties. However, candidates can only be considered for the specialties to which they have submitted an application. If you wish to be considered for both specialties please submit one application for allergy and a second for immunology.

Click on the relevant stations below for more information on the content of the joint interview.

Please note that this is subject to change, and will be confirmed by the date of interview.

Interview scoring

Appointable - automatic

If you are awarded a score of at least 3/5, for all marks given to you at your interview, then you will automatically be classed as appointable.

Not appointable - automatic

If any of the 12 scores awarded to you at interview are 1/5, this will reflect poor performance and an area of major concern.

If four or more of your 12 interview scores are of 2/5, this will reflect several areas of concern across your whole interview.

Should your interview assessment fall under either category above, the level of concern over your potential progression to ST3 will see your application classed automatically as not appointable.

Appointability subject to panel decision

In the event that your 12 interview scores contain one, two or three marks of 2/5 (and the rest 3/5 or above), your appointability status will be subject to discussion in the post-interview 'wash-up' meeting.

The clinicians who have interviewed you will discuss your general performance during the interview and any concerns or otherwise they have about your application as a whole.

Should they deem it appropriate, your application will be classed as appointable, and you can then be considered for post offers; whereas if they feel their concerns are too substantial for this outcome, they must class your application as not appointable, and it will progress no further in the current recruitment round.

Review vs automatic status

Please note there is no distinction made between candidates judged as appointable automatically, and those classed as appointable on review. Once deemed appointable it is only your overall score which will be used to determine ranking.

Total score calculation

After interview, a weighting is applied to the scores in each area, as well as the application form score, to give a 'total score'. This score determines your ranking which is used to inform how offers are made. The weighting of different sections, as well as the method by which your total score is established, can be seen by clicking on 'Total score calculation' below.

Please note that this is subject to change, and will be confirmed by the date of interview.

date of last review: 6 December 2019

This speciality will be participating in round 2 this year

Indicative post numbers

Indicative vacancy numbers are available in the table below, broken down by region and divided between substantive national training number (NTN) and locum appointment for training (LAT) posts. In many cases these will be presented as a range (e.g. 1-4) as it is not always possible for regions to know at this stage how many vacancies there will be.

It is the intention that indicative post numbers for all regions will be published prior to the application opening date, although this cannot be guaranteed. Please note that this table is not likely to be updated subsequent to indicative numbers and actual numbers will be confirmed when programme preferences are opened later in the round.

Numbers subject to change

Please be aware that it is not uncommon for vacancy numbers to change as the round progresses.

More commonly, post vacancy numbers can increase as the round goes on (and confirmation of posts becomes available); but it is also possible that numbers can reduce as well. In the past, post numbers have risen an average of 20-40% from the start to the finish of the round but this can vary greatly for individual specialty/region combinations.

It is possible that regions which do not have a post at the start of the round may declare one after applications have closed. Whilst we try and minimise instances of this, it is not always possible to predict vacancies so even if there appears not to be a vacancy in your preferred specialty/region combination, you may wish to consider applying in case one becomes available during the round; you can check with the region concerned if you wish to check on the likelihood of a post arising.

Generally, once a region enter a post into a round they would always have at least one post available and would only withdraw it in exceptional circumstances.

Round 2 -Interview dates and posts

In this round, the specialties of allergy and immunology will hold a joint interview; whereby applicants to either specialty will undertake the same interview. Those applying to both will need only undertake one single interview.

Region NTN posts LAT posts* Evidence upload date(s)Interview date(s)
HE East Midlands TBC N/A

     17/08/2022 - 31/08/2022


HE East of England TBC N/A
HE London and South East (lead)


HE North East TBC N/A
HE North West


HE South West




HE Thames Valley TBC N/A
HE Wessex TBC N/A
HE West Midlands TBC N/A
HE Yorkshire & Humber TBC N/A
Scotland** TBC N/A
Wales TBC N/A

Round 1 interview dates & posts

In this round, the specialties of allergy and immunology will hold a joint interview; whereby applicants to either specialty will undertake the same interview. Those applying to both will need only undertake one single interview.

Region NTN posts LAT posts* Evidence upload date(s)Interview date(s)
HE East Midlands 0 N/A

10/12/2021 - 24/12/2021


HE East of England 0 - 1 N/A
HE London and South East (lead)


HE North East 0 N/A
HE North West

0 - 1

HE South West




HE Thames Valley 0 N/A
HE Wessex 0 N/A
HE West Midlands 0 N/A
HE Yorkshire & Humber 0 N/A
Scotland** 0 N/A
Wales 0 N/A

*English LATs

Please note, English regions do not recruit to LAT posts.

**Scotland post numbers

If you are interested in working in Scotland, a breakdown of post numbers by the four Scottish regions is available on the Scottish Medical Training website. This has details of all specialty training post numbers in Scotland, including specialties which are not part of the nationally-coordinated process.

The SMT website will always be the more accurate one where they differ.

As part of the process of applying to HST, you may wish to gain an idea of how recruitment progressed in previous years for the various specialties participating in the nationally-coordinated recruitment.

To this end, we have published data dating back to 2013 (where this is available), based around four main areas:

  • Competition ratios - application numbers submitted to each specialty, along with the number of NTN and LAT posts available in each. It is worth noting that posts are subject to change throughout the round (increasing on average between 20-40%), and post numbers for this data are taken at the end of the round.

  • Shortlist scores - the scores awarded to all submitted applications, including average scores and distribution nationally.

  • Total scores - the total score awarded to all candidates who completed the full recruitment process for a specialty (application and interview), including some analysis of scores.

  • Post fill rates - the number of posts filled by region. 

We have published information for all specialties participating in our process that year; consequently not all specialties will have data in all cases.