This page includes guidance on completing the 'Clinical references' page of the ST3 application form.
In this section, you are required to list three clinical referees, giving their name, contact details, specialty, as well as the dates in which you worked with them and in what capacity you were/are known to them.
Each deanery/UoA has a slightly different policy on collection of references they will require candidates to use.
This may have an impact on which referees you nominate so we have summarised the references policy for each deanery/UoA on our references page.
Please note - the action you should take in terms of providing references is determined by the deanery/UoA at which you are to be interviewed, and not the specialty to which you are applying.
Please review this page, and act as necessary in terms of nominating/providing references.
Some general information relating to nomination of refeeres and provision of references is given below - click the heading to reveal further information on each item:
Even after your application has been submitted, you can log back in to your application and change/update your referees' details if you wish to do so; although this is only up until the date of interviews for that application.
So if you are not sure about nomination of referees, do not let this hold up your application.
Add details of those you deem appropriate at present, and then if need be these can be changed at a later date.
In some cases, applicants may rotate to a new post around the time of applying to ST3.
So should I select my new supervisor or the old one?
In short - whichever you deem more appropriate.
While deaneries/UoAs are keen for references to be as up-to-date as possible, they are also aware that post changeover can occur around the same time as applications are submitted.
And so a 'current' supervisor on the 28 February may no longer be a current supervisor on the 20 March.
Consider deanery/UoA policies and interview dates
One piece of advice we would give again here is to consider the deanery/UoA policies (as noted above) on the references page of this website.
For example, where a deanery/UoA requires references to be provided at interview, and are holding interviews relatively early on, it may be more appropriate to select your 'old' supervisor as #1 referee; as by the time you need to gain a reference from your new supervisor, they may not be familiar enough with your training to give a reference.
Whereas with deaneries/UoAs who are not interviewing until later on, or who will contact referees themselves once offers have been made/accepted, your new supervisor may be in a better position to give a reference at the time one is required.
Adding start dates in the future
As you may note, the application form will not allow you to add a start date which is in the future.
So if you wish to nominate your 'new' supervisor, but your new post rotation is not due to start until after you will have submitted your application, then just amend your referee #1 start date to yesterday's date.
If this is a week or so out, this will not be a problem; but if you do wish to make this accurate, as noted above you can log back in to your application once you have started the new post, and change the date as need be.
Reference reports are not used for scoring purposes during short-listing or interview, but will be collected during the recruitment process and reviewed prior to confirmation of appointment for successful applicants.
The reference process is designed to check the accuracy of your previous employment and training history and to provide assurance of your qualifications, integrity and track record.
Please note that references are not used in the scoring process, and have no influence on the offer of posts to candidates.
So a 'good' reference from a well-known or influential person will not have any more of a positive influence on your application than a 'good' reference from anyone else.
However, if you choose not to list your most recent supervisor as a reference, this may raise some questions.
Recent referees may be unavailable for very good reasons, such as retirement, ill health, etc.
In these cases, you should approach your next-most recent supervisor.
You should also check with each of your referees that they are happy to provide a reference for you.
In the event that you are offered and accept a post, you will not be able to formally take it up until your references are received, so forewarning referees that references will be sought may help speed up this process.
next - equality & diversity