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 16 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 2013, and (in most cases) identifies the deaneries/UoAs at which you wish to be considered.
Beyond this, the content of the form serves the below functions:
- provides recruiters with details on how you meet the eligibility criteria, and are thus eligible for ST3 in 2013
- gives necessary information about yourself and your training status
- (chiefly) gives details of your candidature, allowing you to 'make a case' about why you are suitable for an ST3 post in 2013.
Multiple applications / info-copying function
You need only apply once to a specialty; but if you wish to apply to more than one specialty, you must complete a new application form for each one.
However, the copying function of the application system can make the process of applying to multiple specialties easier.
One application per specialty
When applying to an ST3 specialty, you need only (and will only be able to) complete one application form for that specialty.
Multiple specialty applications - maximum of six
However, as noted above, it is possible to apply to more than one specialty - up to a maximum of six specialties within the RCP-SRO-coordinated ST3 recruitment process.
For each specialty to which you wish to apply, you must complete and submit a new application form.
As the level of information required within the application form is rather extensive, a function has been added to the application system allowing information to be copied between applications, so as to prevent this having to be input on several occasions.
Please see below for more information on how this function operates:
This function is employed automatically by the system, and only under certain conditions, as described below - please bear these in mind.
Information only copied at time of opening an application
After registration, any time you log back in to the application system, you will have the option to 'apply for further posts'.
Once you have chosen this option, and given details of the specialty and deanery/UoA(s) to which you wish to apply, your new application will be created.
It is at this point that any existing information will be copied over to the new form; copying into the new form will not be possible after this point. Because of this, we would advise that you begin and complete (most of) one single application first, before beginning another.
If you finish (most of) one application first, then when you come to begin the next, there will be information available for the system to copy over.
Only certain sections copied
Please be aware that not all information you input to the system will be copied over to subsequent applications, although the majority of data you input will be copied.
You will be able to tailor information for each application as you see fit.
Most recent application copied
In the event that you begin a new application, have added information to more than one application already, and the 'copying' fields for your previous applications hold different information (eg different dates of birth); the information added to your new application will be that from your most recently-edited application.
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 DH 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 2013 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/UoA managing your application).
The application system will make you aware of whether (and if so, where) this is required as you complete the form.
It may be wise to check that creating/obtaining electronic (eg scanned) versions of documents is possible, just in case.
Certain specialties will be employing a national recruitment model for ST3 recruitment. Thus at the time of application, if you apply to any of these specialties, you will only have one choice at time of application. You will be invited to give post/deanery preferences at a later stage.
Elsewhere - for specialties employing a local or clustered recruitment model, you will be invited to give preferences of up to four deaneries/UoAs when completing your application. (Your #1 preference when registering, and then your #2, #3 and #4 preferences, if applicable, at a later stage.)
While you will likely already have some idea of the locations in which you would prefer to work, we would advise checking the deaneries/UoAs section of this website, as well as the post numbers and interview dates pages.
These will give information on how many vacancies will be available in each deanery/UoA, and the schedule for holding ST3 interviews at each deanery/UoA.
[Please visit the recruitment models page of this website for information on which model is being employed by each specialty.]
The application system will open, and be live for registration, from 9am on Thursday 28 February 2013. All applications must be submitted by 1pm on Wednesday 20 March 2013.
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 process, 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 a little under three 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 to the deanery/UoA which will interview them, 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
While the application form is examined in more detail elsewhere within this section, some summary points are raised 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/UoA preferences on your application form.
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.]
Here you will be required to give some brief personal information (name, address, etc.) along with your GMC status.
This should take around five minutes or so, but is not possible until applications have opened.
For more information on accessing the application system and registering, please visit the registration page of this website.
Once you have registered with the application system, you can log back in at any time of day or night, using the email address and password with which you registered.
Please note that if you try to log in, and have three consecutive unsuccessful attempts to log in to the system, your account will be locked for 15 minutes as a security measure.
Any attempt to log back in during this period will see the 'lockdown' period reset to 15 minutes.
If you forget your password at any stage, the login screen of the system includes an 'I have forgotten my password' link.
Click this to have your password emailed to you.
If you wish to log out of your application at any point, in the very top-right hand corner of the screen is your name, plus a 'logout' link - click this to be logged out of the system straight away.
The application system also contains a security system whereby, if you are logged into your application form, but your account is inactive - ie nothing has happened in the system, no editing, no movement - for 20 minutes, the system will automatically log you out.
Changes retained for review
Should you come to be logged out as a result of a timeout, the system will automatically 'semi-save' any changes made to your application since you last saved your work.
What this means is, any changes will be temporarily stored by the system; you will then be given the option to either retain these changes, by clicking the 'Save section' button (at the foot of the page), or to reject them, by clicking the 'Clear changes' button.
In the event that you do choose to 'Clear changes', and then decide you would have preferred to keep them, you can click the 'Undo clear' button on the screen to reinstate the changes.
You will then again be given the option to save the page, or to clear the changes if you wish.
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.
Application section menu
On the right-hand side of the application screen, you will see a list of items, each of which corresponds to a particular section, or page, of the application form.
To begin with, each of these will be accompanied by a red cross - this indicates that no work has been completed in that section so far.
At the foot of each page is a 'Save section' button.
Once you click on this, you will see that the red cross next to that section's name in the right-hand menu will change to three amber dots - these indicate that some work has taken place in that section, but it has not yet been 'completed'.
Next to the save button, there is a 'Complete section' button.
If all the required fields on the page have been completed, and you are satisfied with the content added to a page, click this button - you will see that the icon next to that page name will change to a green tick, to show that this section has been completed.
This will only be possible if all mandatory fields in the page have been completed satisfactorily.
Please note that 'completed' sections can be edited at any point up until your application is submitted; you will only be able to submit your application once all sections have been completed satisfactorily.
Complete in any order
While the pages of the application form are listed in order here, there is no need to complete them in this order; you can complete sections in any order you wish.
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.
Each of the pages within the application form has been given its own dedicated webpage, examining the fields within it, the information required, and giving guidance on how best to complete each section.
To view information on each page, please click on the relevant link below:
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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