At some point after shortlisting, the region managing your application will contact you to seek your programme preferences. The timing can vary but as a guide this usually starts around the time of interview.

Once available, you will receive an email inviting you to log in to your account on the Oriel application system and make your preferences.

Upon doing so, you will be able to see all of the programmes for which you are in contention and two sections into which you can divide these posts: preferences and not wanted.


You should move all posts for which you wish to be considered into the preferences section. All posts you move into this section must be put into rank order; ie the post you want most at the top as #1, next-most at #2, etc.

Should you come to be made an offer, you will be considered only for posts you have included in this section, and you will be offered your highest-ranked post which remains available.

Not wanted

To begin with, all posts are included in the not wanted section. You should leave any posts for which you do not wish to be considered here.

Please note - if you do not give any preferences, you cannot receive a post offer.


If you receive an offer of a post and choose to accept or hold the offer, you will be given the option to be considered for offer 'upgrades'.

If you accept/hold a post with upgrades, and at a later date one of your higher-ranked preferences becomes available, your offer will be upgraded automatically to the higher preference. Via the upgrades process it is possible to revise your preferences should your circumstances chnage and you now prefer another location.

See the responding to offers page of this section for more information.

Further information - please read!

In each recruitment round, we receive a large number of queries from candidates regarding preferences and offers, often after offers have been made and it is too late to make any changes.

Therefore, please read the guidance given below to make sure you are fully-informed on the process before giving preferences:

Be sure of your choices

Please do make sure you divide posts between the preferences/not wanted sections accurately, in line with your wishes.

If you receive an offer of one of your preferences, but decide you no longer want it and reject the offer, your application for this round will be withdrawn as a result. You will not receive any further offer in this round for that specialty.

Similarly, after the point where preferences close, you will not be offered any of the posts in your not wanted section - so please make sure your not wanted posts are genuinely those you do not want for that specialty.

Will my choice of preferences affect whether I will receive an offer?

Whether or not you will be made an offer will be determined solely by your total score, and resulting ranking, and your preferences relative to other candidates.

Posts will be offered in order of ranking with the highest ranked candidates being offered their highest preference posts. When it comes to your ranking, the system, will look whether any of your preferences are available and offer the highest one not already offered.

The more you include as preferences, the more likely it is you can be made an offer. If all your preferences are offered by the time it comes to your rank, you will not be offered and go on a reserve list.

For more details please refer to the how are offers made? page.

Don't try gaming the offers process

If you believe a certain post will be unpopular, then ranking this as your #1 preference will not mean you are more likely to receive an offer, nor at an earlier stage, than would be the case if it were your #50 preference.

As noted above, your preferences only come into play once it is 'your turn' to be made an offer. That particular post is more likely to be offered to you if it were ranked as #1 than if it were #50; but will not affect whether or not you are made an offer.

Give honest preferences

Our overall advice is to consider all posts available to you, and organise them in an order which genuinely reflects your preferences.

The offers process is designed in such a way that, provided you give honest and accurate choices, then where possible you will be offered your highest-available post preference.