The application form
This section of the website examines the ST3 application form; giving detailed guidance on completing and submitting the form.
To reveal information on the various different areas for consideration, please click on the relevant headings below.
Throughout this section (and the rest of the website) we refer to candidates 'applying to ST3'; this is simply a shorthand for 'applying to ST3-level posts in the 18 specialties participating in RCP-SRO-coordinated ST3 recruitment.
In addition, when referring to people applying for, or being appointed to, 'ST3 posts', this is again for simplicity.
Use of the application form
The application form serves a number of purposes within the ST3 recruitment process.
Firstly, and most obviously, it registers your wish to apply for a specialty ST3 post in 2014.
Beyond this, the content of the form serves the below functions:
- provides recruiters with details on how you meet the entry criteria for the specialty in question, and are thus eligible for ST3 in 2014
- gives necessary information about yourself and your training status
- gives details of your candidature, allowing you to demonstrate why you are suitable for an ST3 post in 2014.
Points to consider before applying
There are some steps that can be taken to prepare before completing your application - these are outlined below:
The eligibility criteria for ST3 are listed as the essential requirements within the relevant person specification (which can be viewed/downloaded via the HEE medical specialty training website).
Further information on each of these requirements - including details on how to demonstrate that you meet them - can be found in the am I eligible? section of this website.
As these are essential requirements, you must demonstrate that you meet all of these criteria to be eligible for 2014 ST3 posts.
Several areas of the application form will require you to state and/or show that you meet these eligibility criteria, and so reviewing these in advance will allow you to be sure of how you will do this in each case.
The am I eligible? section gives guidance on the information which needs to be provided on the application for each item.
Before applying, it is advisable to check that the below information is available to you, so as to avoid delays during the time spent completing the form.
To complete the application form, you will need:
- an email address that you check regularly - this will act as your username
- a password that you can remember, to allow you to register and to log back in to the system
- your UK GMC registration & licensing details, if you have them; if you do not have registration/licensing details, you will be required to give an explanation of why not, and demonstrate that you are eligible for registration & licensing
- evidence of core competences
- evidence of your right to work in the UK
- evidence of your English language skills (does not apply to those who have undertaken undergraduate training in English)
- details of your medical qualifications, including your primary medical degree
- details of your previous employment, including any gaps of more than 28 days
- details of any achievements you wish to include, eg prizes, awards, other degrees, publications, teaching experience, etc. Pay particular attention to the 'desirable' characteristics listed in the person specifications
- details of three clinical referees, including names, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers.
In some areas it may be necessary to upload documentation to your application form (or to email documents to the deanery/LETB managing your application).
The application system will make you aware of whether (and if so, where) this is required as you complete the form.
More information on this can be found on the am I eligible? section of this website.
The application system will open, and be live for registration, from 10am (UK time) on Tuesday 11 February 2014. All applications must be submitted by 5pm (UK time) on Monday 3 March 2014.
The application form contains a number of pages which need to be completed, and the amount of information you will be required to provide therein can take a long time to enter across these different sections.
Completing the form to a satisfactory standard and checking your form before submission, will require a significant amount of time.
In previous recruitment rounds, candidates have reported spending around 10 hours or more on one application; and obviously, more time will be required if applying to more than one specialty so please ensure you leave yourself plenty if time to make your application(s).
Allowing some 'contingency' time - ie aiming to complete your form(s) in advance of the closing deadline in case of any unforeseen events delaying your application - is also advised.
Do not start late
The main point to stress here is that you should not start your application too late on in the application period, as it may take longer than you think.
Late applications cannot be accepted under any circumstances.
The timeframe between the application system opening and the submission deadline is two weeks - so please make full use of this period, do not leave things until the last minute!
It is important to ensure that you will have adequate access to a computer with an internet connection over the application period.
In addition, we must emphasise that you access the system via one of the more common internet browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome or Safari, to ensure compatibility with the application form.
Use desktop/laptop computer if possible
We advise accessing the system and completing your application using a desktop or laptop computer if possible, as compatibility cannot be guaranteed with smartphones and tablet computers.
Application forms are scored via self-assessment of the answers provided by you to certain questions on the application form.
Scores will be used to short-list candidates for interview, and also forms part of the overall assessment score.
A breakdown of the scores available for each part of the application form has been published to this website, corresponding to all the available options.
To view this breakdown, along with details of the form's options - and explanatory advice on each option - please visit the application form scoring page of this website.
The application form
More information on the application form and application system will be made available elsewhere within this section nearer to the time of applications opening, some summary points are given below:
Only applications submitted via the online application system can be accepted.
If you believe that you will have difficulty completing an online application, please contact our office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org as far as possible in advance of the deadline.
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 deanery/LETB preferences.
However, beyond this, formal linking is not possible.
Should you go on to attend interview, you will be required to provide evidence to back up any claims made in your application.
For example, if you state on your application that you are first author in a published article, received an award, gained a post-graduate MSc, etc. you will be required to provide some documentary evidence for this at interview.
So while completing your application, please start to give consideration to how you can gather the necessary evidence for any interview you may be invited to subsequently.
Please be aware that should any inaccuracies/inconsistencies be detected between your application form and the evidence you provide at interview, it may lead to scores awarded to you being re-evaluated; at worst, your application may even be rejected.
In extreme cases, any probity issues identified regarding false or unsubstantiated claims made in your application form may result in referral to the General Medical Council.
Completing your application form
Some important points to consider when preparing to complete your application are given below:
You will note that a number of sections within the application form invite free-text answers to be added (particularly within the scoring sections of the supporting information page).
If you wish to draft your answers outside of the application form and paste them in, please be aware of the following guidance.
Copying & pasting from MS Word
While there is no problem with doing this, in previous rounds some candidates have reported problems when using MS Word to draft answers.
Due to the 'behind-text' formatting of MS Word or similar programmes, copying & pasting this directly to the application form can cause problems with the formatting of the application form.
Use plain-text application to 'clean' formatting
Because of this, we advise that when copying text from MS Word, before you paste it to your application, you add it to a plain-text application (such as MS Notepad) to 'clean' the formatting from the text.
If you then copy and paste the text into your application, this ensure no problems are encountered. You can then go about using the application system's text-box tools to add formatting to your answer as you wish.
[Alternatively, you may wish to draft your answer in a plain-text application to begin with.]
Each of the different sections within the application 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 of these fields here will be mandatory - ie where an answer must be given to allow you to progress - and these are marked with an asterisk (*) next to the field title.
In addition to the drop-down menus and short answer fields found within the application form, there are also a number of free-text boxes in the form.
These will allow candidates to expand upon the information added and options selected elsewhere in the application form.
To change the size of a text box, click on (and hold) the blue triangle in the bottom-right of the box and move the bottom of the box up or down as need be.
Each of these text boxes will specify a maximum word limit to which you must adhere, as well as word and character counters at the bottom of the box.
Please note that the application system's word count method is slightly to different to some others, such as that employed by MS Word for example.
The application system ignores all punctuation marks other than the apostrophe, and counts these as spaces; so for example, while MS Word would count 'Bose-Einstein' as one word, the application system would count this as two.
Any attempt to use apostrophes to try and exceed the word count - eg word'one'word'two'word'three - will be regarded as cheating, the information provided in that section of your application will be discounted completely, and your application may be rejected.
Each area where you list an achievement has a word limit to which your answer must adhere.
Please note that these are maximum limits and it is recommended that you make your answer as succinct as possible; do not feel that you need to utilise the full word count unless this is necessary.
Each text box contains a small number of formatting options, in the form of icons at the top of the box.
Please note that it is not compulsory for the text you add to these boxes to be formatted in any particular fashion; recruiters and interviewers will just be considering the text you include.
However, if you do wish to apply formatting to your answers, you are welcome to do so - as those reviewing the form will be able to see this.
It is recommended that you 'preview' your form to ensure that your work appears as you intend.
The final icon in the text boxes is for spell-check - clicking on this will have the application system check the spelling in your text answer.
Should there be any potential errors, these will be brought to your attention, allowing you to check, edit or ignore them as necessary, before cycling to the next suggestion (should there be one).
Please be aware that the application system will not make any changes to your text automatically; for changes to be made, you need to accept any suggestions the spell-check puts forward.
Further to this, spelling is not checked automatically by the system as you type, and will not make you aware of any potential issues without your use of the spell-check; so for example, while MS Word would underline in red any words which may be potentially misspelled, the application system will not do this.
A further point to consider is that the application's spell-check function is generic, but not medicine-specific.
So there may be some medical terms or acronyms that are not recognised by the spell-check, even though you have spelt them correctly.
Grammar not checked
Lastly, the check function only reviews the spelling in the text box; grammar is not checked by the system.
Overall, please be aware that the spelling & grammar of your free-text answers is solely your responsibility, and will be assessed as such.
With the application form generating the highest number of queries from applicants during the recruitment process, we have produced several areas of information throughout this website designed to try and provide information quickly and easily.
Beyond this, please view our applicants guide, which can be viewed/downloaded from the homepage of this website.
For queries not answered within this section or the suggestions above, please visit the contacts section of this website for details on where queries can be directed.
Should you need to contact our office, please do so via email at email@example.com.
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