Oriel is the UK-wide portal and recruitment system for postgraduate training vacancies. You use Oriel to submit your application.

All applications must be made electronically using the Oriel recruitment portal by the specified deadline.

Oriel also has vacancy information, information on the recruitment leads, news about the process, a resource bank that contains various guides and forms, and an FAQ section.


You will not be able to access the online application form until the application window opens, but you can register in advance.

You will be asked to provide:

  • your name – this must be entered exactly as it appears on the GMC register
  • a valid email address - ensure you register with a secure and individual email address which you check regularly
  • password – at least 8 characters in length and contains at least one upper case letter and one numeric value

Once the system has validated these details you will be taken to the selection page where you can choose the specialty you are applying for and the relevant recruitment round and year. You will not see details of specific posts until preferencing has opened.

Application submission

You should start filling in your application as soon as possible after the application system has opened. You should aim to submit your application well before the closing date. You will not receive any reminder emails to complete your application. You will receive an email to confirm that your application has been received.

Communications about your application

The majority of communication with you during the recruitment process will be via your account on the application system and by email. Please choose a secure email address that you can access easily and frequently and make sure you check your Oriel account for messages.

Failure to check your Oriel account and email regularly may mean that you do not respond to requests in time, and your application may fail to progress or be rejected as a result.

Please note some NHS Trust email filters may block emails from the system. If this is the case, please use an alternative email account. You can only change your email address after you have submitted your application. This can be done on the Dashboard of Oriel under the Account Details section in the registration tab.

Important: Emails from Oriel

Some NHS Trust email filters may block emails from the system. If this is the case, please use an alternative email account.

You can only change your email address after you have submitted your application. This can be done on the Dashboard on Oriel under the Account Details section in the Registration tab.

Please choose an email account that will not suddenly expire.

Special circumstances

To ensure that applicants with special circumstances and a requirement to train in a particular location are treated in a fair and consistent way, those applicants wishing to be considered for special circumstances pre-allocation should ensure that they state this on their application form. You will be required to provide evidence, e.g. care plan, letter from current medical specialist treating your condition or Occupational Health physician.

You will only be eligible to apply for consideration of your special circumstances if you satisfy one of the following criteria.

  • Criteria 1 - You are the primary carer for someone who is disabled, as defined by the Equality Act 2010.
  • Criteria 2 - You have a medical condition or disability for which ongoing follow up for the condition in the specified location is an absolute requirement.

If you wish to be considered for special circumstances you should complete the special circumstances request form and forward this, together with supporting evidence, as a single scanned document to the Medical and Dental Recruitment Selection (MDRS) team by emailing [email protected]. This must be done no later than the date the application window closes.


Download a copy of the relevant request form and find out more about the criteria for special circumstances.

Fitness to practise

If you make a Fitness to Practise declaration on your application form, you must complete a form and send it to [email protected]. This must be provided no later than the closing date for applications.

If you answer Yes to one or more of the Fitness to Practise questions, this does not necessarily mean your application cannot progress.


Download a copy of the declaration form and out more about declaring Fitness to Practise.

Equality and diversity

We are required to monitor equality and diversity. However, the sections of the application form capturing this information are not shared with any of the assessors.

We are committed to ensuring our selection procedures are fair and that, in line with the Equality Act 2010, no-one is disadvantaged on grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex and sexual orientation.

All applicants are assessed against the nationally agreed ST3 Obstetrics and Gynaecology person specification.

Less than full-time training

If you have a valid reason why you are unable to work full time you can select the less than full time (LTFT) training option at the time of applying. This information will be treated in strict confidence and will not be shared with clinicians involved in interviewing. Please refer to the relevant HEE Local Office or Deanery website for more information on policies, procedures and how to apply for LTFT training.  

Disabled applicants

You will need to state whether you have a disability that will require special arrangements to be made for interview and whether you wish to be considered for the Disability Confident Scheme. To be eligible for the Disability Confident Scheme you must be considered disabled under the Equality Act 2010. Disabled applicants may be given a guaranteed place at an interview, provided their application is eligible and meets the entry criteria.

Support for reapplication

Support for reapplication to the same Specialty Training programme

If you have previously relinquished, been released or removed from a UK Obstetrics and Gynaecology specialty training programme, then you are not normally eligible to apply except under exceptional circumstances.

Should you be in this position, your application can only be considered if it is either accompanied by a letter of support from the postgraduate dean, or designated deputy, of the HEE Local Office or deanery in which you worked or by the Exclusion Policy Support form.

You will need to attach this information to your Oriel application before you submit your application.

Support for reapplication to the same Specialty Training programme in a different region

If you currently work in an Obstetrics and Gynaecology training programme and wish to apply to continue your training in another region, without a break in service, you will need the support of your current Head of School/Programme Director in order to reapply.

You must ask your Head of School/Programme Director in your current Local Education Training Board (LETB)/Deanery to complete a Support for Reapplication of Specialty Training in a Different Region form.

You will not be considered without a fully completed and signed form, which must be submitted at the time of application. Please ensure you attach this information to your Oriel application before you submit your application.

You are advised to start the process early if you require this support.


Preferencing is the process of ranking specific posts or sectors within an HEE Local Office or Deanery.

Post details may be subject to change over the recruitment period. Additionally, some HEE Local Offices or Deaneries may not be able to provide details of specific posts or sectors. It is also worth considering that, for a particular specialty in a HEE Local Office, no posts may be shown initially but this could change throughout the process.

Offers are made on the basis of your interview ranking and your preferencing of available posts. It is therefore a very important step in the process and you should carefully consider which posts you would be willing to take up.

Preferencing will be done via the Oriel recruitment system. You must refer to the recruitment timeline for dates when preferening will open and close. 

Preferencing in Oriel involves marking each option as being in one of 2 different states.

  • Preference - If an option is marked as Preference it means you wish to be considered for posts within this programme. You must rank these options to specify an order of preference. If you come to be made an offer you will be offered your highest ranked preference where posts remain available.
  • Not wanted - If an option is marked as Not wanted it means you are not willing to accept an offer for this programme under any circumstances and therefore do not wish to be considered for these posts.

If you want to save the changes you have made, click the Save button. If you wish to cancel the changes click Cancel and your preferences will revert back to the last time you saved.

You can continue to amend and re-save your programme preferences until the preference window closes.

If you do not click the Save button then any changes you have made will not be recorded.


Offers will be released by Health Education England (North West Local Office) on behalf of all HEE Local Offices and Deaneries via the Oriel recruitment system. 

The decision whether to make you an offer of a training programme will be based on your total score (verified self-assessment and interview score) and ranking.

If your total score meets or exceeds the national threshold you will be deemed appointable. Please note that being deemed appointable does not guarantee you a post. You are ranked according to your total score and offers will depend on your ranking coupled with your preferences of available posts in each LETB or Deanery. The higher your total score, the more likely you are to be offered a training post. Your total score is based on your total performance in the 2 stations attended during your interview combined with your verified self-assessment score and your rank determines where you are placed compared to other applicants who were interviewed.

Any offer and allocation of a training programme you receive is not an offer of employment. An employment contract detailing the terms and conditions of employment will be issued by the employing organisation where you will be based and is made subject to satisfactory pre-employment checks. Your offer of employment will include:

  • the name of your employer
  • the start date
  • the length of the period of employment
  • the location
  • the hours
  • the minimum rate of remuneration
  • the notice period applicable

Information regarding standard pay, hours, sick pay and annual leave entitlements; notice period, study leave etc. are set out in the national Terms and Conditions available from the NHS Employers website.

The anticipated outcome of the training programme, subject to satisfactory progression, will depend on your experience and training to date. The anticipated outcome of the training programme, subject to satisfactory progression, is Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) or Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR).  

If you are deemed eligible for appointment but your total score places you below the number of vacancies available, you could still receive an offer if initial offers are rejected by higher scoring applicants.

If you are not deemed appointable, you will receive an email to let you know this, and feedback on your performance at interview.

All offers will be received via Oriel and must be accepted/held/rejected via the Oriel system. When you receive an offer, you have 3 options – to accept (or accept with upgrades), to hold (or hold with upgrades), or to reject.

If you reject an offer you will not be considered for any further Obstetrics and Gynaecology posts in this recruitment round.

There will be more information on the process in the generic applicant guide that can be found on Oriel.


These examples are not exhaustive and there are other possible combinations of events. Offers will be recycled until either all posts are filled or all candidates have been considered.


You are ranked first overall and therefore will be offered your first preference.

Example 2

You are ranked 21st overall and have preferenced Post A as your first choice, with Post B as your second choice. Post A has already been accepted by someone who ranks above you - therefore you will be offered Post B. You can accept this post, or you can accept with upgrades - guaranteeing you Post B but also meaning you could be upgraded should Post A become available.

Example 3

You ranked 150th overall, and have only preferenced Post C and Post D. These posts have been accepted by applicants that rank above you, so you will not receive any offers.

When the offers process has been completed, the information will be passed on to the staff in the various geographical offices around the UK. They will then be in touch with you if you have accepted a post in those locations to finalise details and carry out pre-employment checks. 

Offer exchange

When you accept or hold an offer with upgrades, you will have the opportunity to amend your preferences. This will allow you to remove preferences that you originally ranked above your current offer and alter the order of your preferenced programmes.


As an applicant I receive an offer for programme B that I assigned a rank of 2. Due to changes in my circumstances, I do not wish to opt in for upgrades to programme A. Instead, I would like to opt in to upgrades for programmes G – J, that I had ranked between 7 and 10.

Rank Programme
Rank 1 Programme A
Rank 2 Programme B (Offer)
Rank 3 Programme C
Rank 4 Programme D
Rank 5 Programme E
Rank 6 Programme F
Rank 7 Programme G
Rank 8 Programme H
Rank 9 Programme I
Rank 10 Programme J

I amend my preferences so that the offer I received is now my 5th ranked preference, so I can opt in to upgrades for programmes G - J.

Rank Programme
Rank 1 Programme G
Rank 2 Programme H
Rank 3 Programme I
Rank 4 Programme J
Rank 5 Programme B (Offer)
Rank 6 Programme C
Rank 7 Programme D
Rank 8 Programme E
Rank 9 Programme F
Rank 10 Programme A

Pre-employment checks

When all posts have been allocated, your new employer will contact you to complete pre-employment checks. These checks are designed to ensure that every doctor working in the NHS is fit and safe to work with patients. Checks will include verification of references, fitness to practise updates from the General Medical Council (GMC), occupational health clearance, criminal records checks and immigration status checks.

Once pre-employment checks have been completed successfully, the employer will confirm new starter details with you. You should receive your contract within 2 months of starting in post, as per NHS Employers’ guidance. In the meantime, if you do have any queries regarding the post you have accepted, we recommend you contact the HEE Local Office or deanery where you will be working for further details.

Deferring your start date

You can make an application for deferred entry as per guidance in The Gold Guide. Deferral can only be considered on statutory grounds such as maternity, paternity or adoptive leave or ill health. No other reason will be considered.

Find out more by reading the 8th Edition of the Gold Guide.

Page last reviewed: 27 October 2023
Next review due: 1 October 2024