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 how the interview process will be conducted for round 2.

There are various factors that require consideration before applying to ST3, these include:

  • What and where - the specialty(ies) in which you are interested and the regions where you would consider working, including the numbers of posts available. The relevant specialty and region pages of this website contain summary information.

  • When to apply - the dates of recruitment rounds can be found on the timeline page.

  • How to apply - applications should be made through the Oriel System.

  • To whom do I apply - most specialties will use a national recruitment model (where candidates remain in contention for all posts nationally throughout the process), however some specialties may use a cascadable application model (regional preferences are given at time of application and applications will be managed by the region to which they are devolved). For further details refer to each specialty's page.

  • Previous years' data - data from previous rounds, including: application and post numbers, competition ratios, scoring data and fill rates, has been published to the 'Data' tab of each specialty's page of the website. 

  • Applying time - in previous recruitment rounds, candidates have reported spending around 10 hours or more on registering and applying - late applications cannot be accepted - so ensure you have enough time to complete your application and aim to submit it in good time before the deadline.

  • Information and documentation required - the application form requires you to enter a substantial amount of information about your career, experience and achievements to date. Additionally, you will be required to prepare a large amount of documentation for interview to demonstrate your eligibility and evidence your achivements. It is advisable to familiarise yourself with this so you can ensure you have everything you need.

  • Round 2 - there are two rounds of recruitment each year for most specialties. Summary information on applying in the second round is on this page.

  • Future recruitment - initial information about future recruitment rounds, beyond those covered by the information currently on the website.

Other information

We have published an applicants guide which you can download from the document library. The guide gives a brief overview of the whole process and is a good starting place for those not familiar with how the process works who want a summary before they start getting into the detail.

In addition to the information provided on this website about the ST3 Recruitment process, there are many other sources from which to get information about specialty training, medical careers, specialties etc. Links to some of these other organisations can be found in the other links section.

As well as these websites, it is advisable to speak to colleagues, such as current ST3 trainees or supervisors who have some experience of the recruitment process in previous rounds, who can give a more personal insight into applying.

Getting a head start

Given the length of time it can take to complete an application, there are things you can do before the window opens to get a head start on making your application. Firstly, you can complete registration on Oriel and add information which will be transferred to your form when you start your application; see the Oriel application system section for details about this.

Another thing you can do is to draft certain sections of your application offline, before the application window has opened. This is particularly the case for individuals who are aware that they will be busy during the application period. We have published the word counts from some of the parts of the application form which require longer written answers below so you can prepare them to paste into your application form.

Evidence page

The evidence page of the application form includes the areas on which all applications will be scored and it is a requirement to enter supporting text to justify your selection. Guidance relating to each domain can be found on the application scoring section of this website, along with the maximum word count allowed for each section.

Support page

The 'commitment to specialty' and 'achievements outside of medicine' parts of the support page of the application form require written answers that you could prepare before applications open.

Commitment to specialty

This section has been updated for round 2 in 2020. There are now two questions covering why you have applied for that specialty and the specific skills and attributes you possess that make you suitable for a career in the specialty. Please note that there is a word count limit for each of the two questions of 150 words. You are encouraged to provide fresh supporting information rather than repeat information from other sections. This section will not contribute to your application score, but commitment to specialty is a significant part of the interview so, should you be invited, your answer may be discussed at that stage.

Interests outside medicine

it is not mandatory to answer this question but it is another opportunity for you to demonstrate how you meet the person specification. As with commitment to specialty, it does not contribute to your application score but will be reviewed, and may be discussed, at interview. It is recommended to refer to the person specification when considering information to include so you can link it to the personal skills required of applicants. Please note that there is a word count limit for this section of 150 words.

This section has had a change of name in 2020 round 2 and was previously called 'achievements outside medicine'. The change is to reflect the broad range of differing trainee experiences and attributes they gain from this, and not just focus on what are traditionally thought of as achievements; although these can certainly be mentioned.