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Specialty Recruitment - Frequently Asked Questions

Specialty Recruitment - Frequently Asked Questions

Application

Can I apply to as many specialties as I like?

You can apply to as many specialties as you wish, provided you meet all the eligibility criteria and required competences of the post for which you are applying.

What sort of evidence is required to support applications?

Ensure that you have gathered all the dates and titles of qualifications, publications, research, audits, presentations etc. Every statement that you make on your application form should be able to be backed up by evidence (either on the application form or at interview) to prove that you meet the requirements of the person specification for the post(s) you are applying for.

How do I demonstrate achievement of Foundation or equivalent competencies?

The National Person Specifications for entry to all ST1/CT1 specialty training programmes require applicants to provide evidence of achievement of foundation professional capabilities (formerly foundation competence) within the last 3 and a half years. Applicants who have not undertaken a UK foundation programme within the last 3 and a half years will be asked to submit an Alternative Certificate unless they are currently in a training post holding either a National Training Number (NTN) or Deanery Reference Number (DRN) . If an Alternative Certificate is required this must be submitted as part of the online application.

Please see the Applicant Handbook and HEE Alternative Certificate

Who should I list as my referees on my application form?

You will need to provide details, including up to date email addresses, of three referees who have supervised your clinical training in the last 2 years.  If you are applying to more than one specialty you may opt to nominate different referees for each specialty.

It is important that you confirm referee email addresses prior to completing the application form.  Referees will be contacted by email with details of their referee account.  It is therefore important that email addresses provided are correct and are for email accounts that are regularly accessed.

If you are applying for an Academic Clinical Fellowship post, one of your referees must be able to provide the academic reference.

You should contact your clinical/academic referees in advance to confirm that they are willing to provide a reference and are available and able to do so in the time period required for selection and appointment.

In some cases you may be able to amend your references after you have submitted you application. To do so, go to the My Applications tab within your Oriel dashboard, click on View application for the application you wish to update, and then click on the References tab. If these fields are editable, you are able to amend your references.  Please refer to the Oriel user guide for more information on this.

If I want a job in a specialty but haven't completed a placement during the foundation programme - what should I do - will it hinder my chances?

The Foundation Programme is about equipping you with generic competences; hence it is not a requirement to have experienced the specialty itself prior to applying to it, however it would be useful for you to have thought about what the specialty involves and have insight into how you are going to demonstrate that understanding; for example, what transferable skills have you got? What have you done so far that shows insight/ understanding of the specialty? e.g. taster days, kinds of patients/illnesses encountered in work/outside of work, voluntary work that is relevant, journal clubs, presentations that are relevant, special study module in medical school. See our Careers advice section  of the website. Also look at the person specifications to assist with skills/attributes and qualities being sought.

Who is eligible for the Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS)?

Health Education England - East Midlands is committed to ensuring equal opportunities for applicants with disabilities. If you have a disability and are covered by the Equality Act (formerly DDA ), details available from the Directgov website, you have the option to be considered under the GIS , there will be an option for you to indicate that you would like to be considered under the scheme on your application form. If you indicate via your application form that you would like to be considered under the scheme, provided that you meet the minimum criteria at application and selection testing stages, you will be automatically invited to interview.

You will be contacted by a member of staff to ascertain as to whether you require any adjustments at the interview stage. Please consider any adjustments that may be necessary based on the information available about the interview process.

Please note: If you indicate that you would like to be considered under the GIS but do not specify that you have a disability in your application form you cannot be considered under the scheme.

Can you link applications in any way with a partner/spouse?

There is currently no facility on Oriel to 'link' specialty training applications with that of a spouse or partner.

Should I declare road traffic offences on the fitness to practise section of the application form?

You do not need to tell us about parking offences, but other driving offences must be declared (excluding fixed penalty notices).  If you have answered "YES" to any of the questions, please provide full written details, including dates and outcomes and email the details to the address shown in the Applicant Handbook. Please indicate clearly which questions you are answering. Please mark the e-mail as "CONFIDENTIAL

What are the long listing criteria?

Long listing is carried out by our administrative staff. There are strict eligibility requirements when applying for specialty training. These are those requirements listed as “Essential” in the person specification for the post you are applying for. If you are applying to more than one specialty make sure you read the person specification for each specialty/level you are applying to.

Further information on types of eligibility can be found in the Applicant Handbook

What are the English language requirements?

If your undergraduate training was not undertaken in English and you do not have a current International English Language Testing System (IELTS) certificate at the level specified in the person specification, you will need to provide other evidence of English language skills.  Examples of suitable evidence can be found on the General Medical Council website: http://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/registration_applications/language_proficiency.asp

Who will be looking at my application form for longlisting and shortlisting?

Longlisting will be based on the information in your application meeting the Person Specification requirements.

Shortlisting Panels will comprise of suitably qualified and experienced medical staff (i.e. consultants with relevant specialty experience). All panel members will have undergone equal opportunities for recruitment and selection training within the previous 3 years.

Is there a capping arrangement in place?

No, at Health Education England - East Midlands neither we nor our partners in 'Lead Trusts' will be operating random selection systems or 'capping' application numbers.

Contact

I need to declare a fitness to practise (FTP) issue, who do I need to contact?

If you are subject to any of the following, you must declare these at the time of application:

  • a criminal conviction or caution (not including driving license endorsements)
  • a GMC investigation, proceedings or restrictions
  • employment disciplinary investigation or judgements.

It is essential that you submit this information at the time of application. Failure to provide this information at the time of application could result in your application being withdrawn, and you being reported to any relevant bodies/organisations.

Please declare these issues on your application and submit all the details in confidence to:

Marcia Reid, Head of Recruitment and Programmes, fitnesstopractise.em@hee.nhs.uk

All other enquires should be submitted to medicalrecruitment.em@hee.nhs.uk

Health Education England - East Midlands, Westbridge Place, 1 Westbridge Close, Leicester  LE3 5DR

How do I make a complaint?

The complaints procedure document can be accessed here.

How do I get in touch with Health Education England - East Midlands?

If these FAQs don't answer your questions please see the Contact Us page for more details of how to get in touch. 

How to apply

How do I apply for a post?

Before completing your application you must make sure that you are aware of the deadline for applications and familiarise yourself with the person specification for the job/training post as this will assist you with answering questions in a focused manner.

Prepare a draft of your responses, using the information you have previously collected. Application forms must be error free as they cannot be changed once they have been submitted. Forms should be well considered before being submitted.

Your application form is an opportunity to make it clear that you understand what the job entails and that you have the necessary skills and expertise required. You must abide by the word limits set in the application form.

Once you have completed the form check it again before submitting. You should print a copy of your application form as it may be useful to review it before your interview. You may be required to bring a signed copy of your application form with you to interview.

Any evidence of plagiarism or fraudulent statements will be referred directly to the Postgraduate Dean and the General Medical Council (GMC).

You may find the Applicant Handbook a useful resource.

Are person specifications different for each region?

Person specifications are national documents provided by Health Education England. Person specifications describe the knowledge, skills, and attributes that are required in order for a candidate to be successful in their application to a programme or training scheme. Person specifications are broken down into “essential” and “desirable” attributes. All 2018 person specifications are available here

What makes me eligible to apply?

Eligibility should be determined at the closing date for the receipt of applications for the post being applied for unless otherwise specified.

The Applicant Handbook contains detailed information on eligibility requirements including English language, GMC registration, right to work, college exams and entry to specialty level.  You should also check the person specifications, published on the HEE Specialty Training website, to ensure you meet the criteria required for entry to the specialty/level to which you are applying. 

Person Specifications describe the knowledge, skills and attributes that are required in order for a candidate to be successful in their application to a programme or training scheme. Health Education England - East Midlands will be using the nationally agreed person specifications for each specialty and level.

I am an overseas applicant, am I eligible to apply?

The Applicant Handbook has a section on Guidance for Overseas Nationals. We also recommend you visit the UK Visas and Immigration website for further information.

If I apply for a certain job then turn it down, will it affect me if I apply for the same position again?

No, each recruitment process is treated individually. You may have had valid reasons for turning down a post in the specialty when it was first offered and this should not have any bearing on how a further application is considered.

Interviews

Where will the interviews take place?

Interviews are held in a variety of locations throughout the country and in the Health Education England - East Midlands.  Details of the locations and dates can be found in the Vacancies document.

 

What do stations at interview comprise of and what knowledge/competencies are most frequently assessed?

The structure and content of interviews will vary across specialties and levels. The interview could include a scenario where you are asked to respond to a clinical professional situation. This could be through oral questions or through a written exercise before you meet the interview panel. In some instances, you may be asked to demonstrate a practical skill. The invitation to interview will explain what will be required from you at the interview. See our selection centre guides for more information about what to expect.

 

Will interviewers know if I have applied for more than one specialty?

All specialties use core questions and scoring criteria and are extremely unlikely to ask you specifically if you have applied to another specialty.

 

How do interviewers decide between very similar candidates?

Appointments to training programmes or posts will be offered to the people who ranked the highest at interview. Not all candidates deemed eligible for appointment by their interview panel will be offered a post. This is because there could be several eligible applicants for a particular post, in which case, the post will be offered to the person with the highest score and who gave the programme the highest ranking.

 

Can I apply for travel costs incurred whilst travelling to interviews?

Health Education England - East Midlands will reimburse expenses connected with travel to and from interview related to the recruitment round.  A maximum of £100 expenses will be approved subject to verification and submission of relevant receipts where appropriate. 

You can download the Expenses Claim Form and guidance document for more information.

ALL COMPLETED FORMS SHOULD BE SUBMITTED WITHIN 28 DAYS OF THE INTERVIEW DATE.  ANY RECEIVED AFTER THIS DATE WILL NOT BE PROCESSED.

The guidance notes state that approval of overnight accommodation should be sought in writing IN ADVANCE of the interview date.  For this and any other queries relating to how to claim your expenses that is not covered in the guidance notes, please contact medicalrecruitment.em@hee.nhs.uk

Completed claim forms should be posted with original receipts to –

Recruitment Expenses
Recruitment and Programmes Team
Health Education England - East Midlands
Westbridge Place
1 Westbridge Close 
Leicester LE3 5DR

Please note we are no longer able to process claims received by email. 

Panel Members can download claim forms and Expenses Guidance here. 

If you have any queries regarding the claiming of expenses please contact medicalrecruitment.em@hee.nhs.uk

 

What will I need to take with me / prepare for the interview?

As a minimum, expect to take the following documents and one copy of each:

  • Original proof of identity (e.g. passport or other photo-ID)
  • Original copy of all qualifications listed on your application form (translated if necessary)
  • Original evidence showing current full GMC registration with a licence to practice
  • Verified evidence of competences cited on your application form – your professional portfolio
  • Evidence of educationally approved posts cited on your application form
  • Evidence of nationality / immigration status
  • Evidence of skills in written and spoken English

This is not an exhaustive list. Please check with lead recruitment office for any additional documents that may be required.

If you are shortlisted, you will need to consider ways to provide evidence of having met foundation and other required competences. You may be asked to bring your professional portfolios to the interview. It is advisable that your portfolio is ordered in a format which you can easily reference should you need to find anything quickly at the interview.

Relevant evidence may include:

  • Trainers’ reports
  • Log book of clinical activity
  • Audits
  • Written workplace assessments, e.g. min-PAT, mini-CEX, CbD, DOPS.

These are just some examples and should not be taken as an exhaustive list; you should check for any specific guidance from the specialty or specialties to which you are applying.

Be prepared to answer questions on which parts of your professional portfolio link to statements made in your application form. You should be prepared to provide evidence for any and every statement made on your form.

NB Your portfolio MUST NOT contain patient identifiable data and must only include your own original work. In previous years there have been examples where some applicants have presented work which is not their own. If this happens evidence will be collected and the person concerned reported to the GMC.

 

References

References will be requested, via Oriel, from your referees after training offers have been accepted.

 

What do I do if I wish to withdraw from the process?

You can withdraw your application at any stage of the process however you must inform the organisation to which you have applied immediately so that your application is not processed to the next stage.

If you wish to reject any offer made, you must do so within the 48 hour response time or it will be assumed you have declined the offer and it will be withdrawn

How will I know if I have been successful at interview?

All offers will be made and managed through the Oriel system.

How can I get feedback on my application or interview?

Health Education England - East Midlands will be retaining the details of how and why decisions were made at all stages of the process in order that we can issue you with feedback.

If you feel your application has not been managed correctly and have evidence of a failure in the process, there is a national complaints procedure.  You should contact the lead recruitment office to which you applied if you have any concerns about your application, or you would like to know more about the complaints procedure.

Offers

How does the offer process work?

All offers will be made and managed through the Oriel system.

If you receive an offer through Oriel, you will be able to accept, reject or hold (until a set date).  In responding, this implies acceptance of certain conditions. Please refer to Applicant Handbook  for further details.

How long do I have to respond to an offer?

You will have 48 hours from the time of your offer, excluding weekends, to decide whether to accept, reject or hold the offer.

IF YOU DO NOT RESPOND TO YOUR OFFER WITHIN 48 HOURS, THE OFFER WILL EXPIRE AND IT WILL BE OFFERED TO ANOTHER APPLICANT.

However if you intend to reject, please do so as soon as possible as this will allow the offer to be made to another applicant. If you were not offered a post in the initial release of offers, this does not mean you will not be offered one later on, as offers are recycled if other applicants reject them.

Can I defer entry?

Under the guidelines published in The Gold Guide, deferral is only permitted for statutory reasons which include personal ill health and maternity leave.  Deferral for other reasons such as being registered for a higher degree is no longer permitted.  In these cases you should only apply for the round of recruitment in which you would be available to commence your training programme.

What are Coordinated Offers?

In 2018 we will be working to a coordinated offers timetable.

All Round 1 first offers will be issued by 5.00 pm 5 March 2018 and successful candidates will have 48 hours to respond to their offer(s) confirming if their decision is to accept, hold or decline the offer. Candidates can hold one offer until 1.00 pm 9 March 2018 while waiting for the outcome of a preferred application elsewhere.

All Round 2 first offers will be issued by 5.00 pm 26 April 2018 and successful candidates will have 48 hours to respond to their offer(s) confirming if their decision is to accept, hold or decline the offer. Candidates can hold one offer until 1.00 pm  2 May 2018 while waiting for the outcome of a preferred application elsewhere.

Can I apply for CMT and GP then decide later depending on acceptance?

Applicants will need to make a decision on an offer within 48 hours of receiving it. You will be able to hold one offer from any specialty in the UK while waiting for other offers in Round 1. All first offers will be issued by 5pm 5 March 2018 and you will be able to hold an offer until 1.00 pm 9 March 2018.

You can hold an offer, while waiting for a preferred offer, and you can change the offer you are holding for a later offer, but you can only hold one offer at a time. You can hold an offer up until 1.00 pm 9 March 2018, by which time you will need to make a decision or the offer will be considered automatically rejected.

When will I know which Trust I will be working in?

Each specialty training programme rotates in a slightly different way; similarly allocation to a rotation will be different in each specialty. You may be asked to make a preference for certain Trusts, specialty posts or sections of the region depending upon the specialty. Your offer may include which preference has been assigned to you where appropriate. We will try and let you know 12 weeks before you are due to start and the Trust should let you know 8 weeks before however this will be dependent upon the timing of information we receive.

What are the options if I do not get a job?

There may be LAS (Locum Appointment for Service) posts available in some specialties. Some doctors may choose to take non-training jobs available (e.g. Trust Grade) or jobs in research or abroad. These jobs may be taken as a permanent career move, or may be considered as a stepping-stone to a future training post.

Your Educational Supervisor may be able to offer individual careers advice and support you in your career decision making. You may also be able to speak to the Clinical Tutor or Director of Medical Education in your local hospital. Many of the Colleges have general advice on their websites for doctors considering a career in their specialty. Some of the Colleges and specialty organisations also offer a counselling/advisory service for individuals with career difficulties. The BMA also offer a careers guidance service.

Oriel

Why does Oriel stop me from progressing my application before I upload a document?

During the application process you may be asked to upload and attach documentation to support your application (most likely on the Competences page) if this happens, you will need to save where you are and go to the Dashboard tab on the Home screen. Once there, you will need to go to the Document Upload tab, select the document type and select the Add button. You will then need to select a category and then select the file to upload. Please note that it is important you select the correct file category otherwise your documentation may not be available to the recruitment organisations you have applied to.

Further details can be found in the Oriel User Guide.

When I try to save the Employment section of the online application form I get a message telling me that I have an employment gap, even though I do not. What should I do?

The national online application form is currently set up to raise an automatic employment gap if the posts listed in the Employment section of the application form total less than 36 months.

If the employment you have listed totals less than 36 months, you will need to declare as an employment gap any other time period in those 36 months. 

When declaring the employment gap you are asked to explain, using up to 50 words, the reasons for the gap. Here you should explain what you were doing during the period that has been flagged to you as an employment gap. (For example, if you were in medical school at the time prior the employment you have listed, then please state this.)

If I want a job in a specialty but haven't completed a placement during the foundation programme - what should I do - will it hinder my chances?

The Foundation Programme is about equipping you with generic competences; hence it is not a requirement to have experienced the specialty itself prior to applying to it, however it would be useful for you to have thought about what the specialty involves and have insight into how you are going to demonstrate that understanding; for example, what transferable skills have you got? What have you done so far that shows insight/ understanding of the specialty? e.g. taster days, kinds of patients/illnesses encountered in work/outside of work, voluntary work that is relevant, journal clubs, presentations that are relevant, special study module in medical school. See our Careers advice section  of the website. Also look at the person specifications to assist with skills/attributes and qualities being sought.

If I apply for a certain job then turn it down, will it affect me if I apply for the same position again?

No, each recruitment process is treated individually. You may have had valid reasons for turning down a post in the specialty when it was first offered and this should not have any bearing on how a further application is considered.

Can I access the recruitment systems on my Mac or netbook?

Oriel is accessed using advanced web technologies via a secure Internet connection.

All that is needed to access Oriel is a supported Internet browser (Internet Explorer Version 7 or higher, Chrome, Firefox, Safari) and a reasonable connection to the Internet. No other software needs to be installed onto your PC.

Can I access the Oriel system on my mobile device?

Oriel can be used from mobile devices (Android, Apple iOS and Blackberry platforms) to perform the following actions:

  • View application status
  • Read messages
  • View and book interviews
  • Accept, decline or hold offers

However Health Education England - East Midlands only recommends submitting your application and acting on an offer via a desktop or laptop computer with a full internet connection.

I have missed the closing date for submitting my Oriel application, can I still apply?

Health Education England - East Midlands has a strict policy and will not accept applications after the submission date/time.

What are the timescales?

For Round 1 you can apply online from 10.00 am on 8 November 2017 until 4.00 pm on 30 November 2017.

For Round 2 you can apply online from 10.00 am on 31 January 2018 until 4.00 pm on 21 February 2018. 

Vacancies

When will recruitment for 2018 begin?

Recruitment to Specialty Training Programmes for 2018 will be run mostly through nationally led processes, which will run to a national timescale. Recruitment will begin on 2 November 2017 when all Round 1 core and run through vacancies will be advertised.

All posts must be advertised for 28 calendar days.

Applications will open on Wednesday 8 November 2017 at 10.00 am and will close on Thursday 30 November 2017 at 4.00 pm.

Advertisements for Round 2 ST3/ ST4+ posts will go live on Wednesday 24 January 2018 and applications will open on Wednesday 31 January 2018 at 10.00 am and close on Wednesday 21 February 2018 at 4.00 pm.

All applications must be made through the Oriel web link.

All jobs will be advertised on NHS Jobs

You may find the Applicant Handbook a useful reference document.

Are person specifications different for each region?

Person specifications are national documents provided by Health Education England. Person specifications describe the knowledge, skills, and attributes that are required in order for a candidate to be successful in their application to a programme or training scheme. Person specifications are broken down into “essential” and “desirable” attributes. All 2018 person specifications are available here

What are the vacancies within the Health Education England - East Midlands?

Within the East Midlands we usually have opportunities in the following specialties in Round 1

  • ACCS Acute Medicine
  • ACCS Anaesthetics
  • ACCS Emergency Medicine
  • Anaesthetics
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Clinical Radiology
  • Community Sexual and Reproductive Health
  • Core Medicine
  • Core Psychiatry
  • Core Surgery
  • General Practice
  • Histopathology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Paediatrics
  • Public Health

To see the details of the vacancies in the Health Education England - East Midlands region see our Vacancies page.

How do we find out the differences in specialty training programmes between various locations?

Please visit the different Health Education England regional websites for information on their training programmes, copies of job/programme descriptions may also be available.

Do you choose career or location first?

There are several factors which can support your decision making. If you attended any of our career workshops it will be useful to visit some of the materials covered. In addition you will find the information and resources on the Health Careers website invaluable.

How easy is it to change specialty and what are the most competitive regions?

We recommend that you consider the high level of competition for some specialties and geographies, along with other factors that are important to you. You can get an indication of the most and least popular specialties from the Competition Ratios information on the HEE specialty training website.

I can't find the specialty I wish to apply for - are there any vacancies in this specialty?

All our Round 1 and Round 2 vacancies will be listed on the Vacancies page at the appropriate time i.e. shortly in advance of each Round opening. If the specialty or level you are interested in is not listed then we do not have a vacancy in that area at this time. Please continue to visit our website on a regular basis to check for new information as we update it regularly.  

Recruitment to Round 2 posts in uncoupled specialties at ST3/ST4 levels commences from 31 January 2018.

I want to apply for an Academic Clinical Fellow (ACF) when will these be advertised?

ACF posts will be recruited to locally. The national timeframe and the list of specialties to which Health Education England - East Midlands is recruiting can be found on the ACF Academic recruitment pages. NIHR is also a good source of information for academics - NIHR career opportunities.

What are the specialties in the national recruitment process?

Specialties that have a nationally coordinated recruitment process in Round 1 are as follows; recruitment is to CT/ST1 level unless otherwise specified.

  • ACCS Acute Medicine
  • ACCS Anaesthetics
  • ACCS Emergency Medicine
  • Anaesthetics
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery (ST1, ST3)
  • Clinical Radiology
  • Community Sexual and Reproductive Health
  • Core Medical Training
  • Core Psychiatry Training
  • Core Surgical Training
  • General Practice
  • Histopathology
  • Neurosurgery (all levels)
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Ophthalmology  (ST1/ ST3)
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (ST1, ST3)
  • Paediatrics (ST1, ST2)
  • Public Health
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