You will use Oriel, a UK-wide portal and recruitment system for postgraduate training vacancies, to submit your application.

You can make as many applications as you wish to different specialties, providing you meet all the eligibility criteria and required competences of the post(s) as detailed in the person specification.

You are advised to consider the high level of competition for some specialties and geographies when making your application. Competition ratios for specialties in previous recruitment years are available for you to check before submitting.

The application form

All applications are in an electronic format and are to be completed online through Oriel.

Contact regarding applications will be via direct messaging through Oriel. You are therefore advised to log into your Oriel account regularly throughout the recruitment process.

Most recruitment offices will also send you an email to a stated email address, however, these emails should not be relied upon and delivery cannot be guaranteed as they are being sent external to Oriel.

You will have the ability to set a recovery email address (which is different to your registered Oriel email address) and security questions. This can be done in the My Profile area of your Oriel account. You are strongly advised to set this up as it will allow you to unlock your account outside of normal office hours, without needing to make contact with the recruitment office.

Important: Important

You should never use multiple browsers or browser tabs (including logging in on a computer and mobile phone at the same time) when accessing Oriel.

Only one session of Oriel should be open at any one time and you should ensure that you logout completely before closing the browser.

Using Oriel on multiple browsers could result in actions being overwritten or unsaved e.g. applications not being submitted, offers not being accepted.

Many specialties are recruiting by means of a national process. In these specialties, you will be able to make a single application where you are asked to state your order of preference between different geographical locations.

To ensure a fair, legal and equitable process, where shortlisting takes place, the people completing the shortlisting will not see your personal details when considering an application.

Application deadline

Applications must be received by the date stated (f).

Under no circumstances will late applications be considered.

Recruitment offices will not be able to make any changes to submitted application forms on Oriel. You must therefore ensure that they check the content of their application form prior to submission as there will be no opportunity to correct mistakes at a later date.

Application checklist

Before starting an application, you should ensure go through the below checklist.

Read all supporting documentation

You should ensure that you have read all available documentation before commencing an application to understand what is required. This includes reading:

  • any specialty specific applicant guidance
  • essential and desirable criteria contained within the person specification
  • any mandatory documentation that needs to be uploaded to the application form
Gather evidence

You should ensure that you have gathered all evidence required to complete the application form. This includes gathering the dates and titles of qualifications, publications, presentations, research and audits.

The portfolio of evidence that will be uploaded as part of the verification process must not contain patient identifiable data and should only include your own original work.

Career research

You will need to be able to demonstrate reasons for applying for a specialty and what you can bring in terms of skills and personal attributes.

Plan time

Work out how long it will realistically take to complete the application form, including getting feedback from colleagues. The application form will take some time to complete so you should ensure that you allow enough time to complete the form and submit it ahead of the published deadline.

Under no circumstances will late applications be considered.


Referees should be contacted at the earliest opportunity to confirm that they are happy to support the application and provide a reference.

You will need to provide details, including up-to-date email addresses of 3 referees who have supervised your clinical training in the last 2 years.

If you 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. Once offers have been accepted, referees will be contacted by email with a link to allow them to complete the reference. It is therefore important that email addresses provided are correct and for email accounts that are regularly accessed.

Key content of application forms

You must ensure that any work submitted or referenced is your own. Any plagiarism in applications will be treated extremely seriously and will result in further action being taken.

Avoiding problems

There are a number of steps you can take to avoid experiencing problems in the recruitment process.

  • Log into Oriel regularly to check progress on applications and to see if any communication has been received from the recruitment office. This is particularly important at the time that offers are released when you are advised to check your Oriel accounts on a daily basis. Setting up a recovery email address and security questions allows for accounts to be unlocked and accessed outside of office hours, without needing to contact the recruitment office. Whilst many recruitment offices will also send communications via email, delivery of emails cannot be guaranteed as they are being sent external to Oriel and should therefore not be relied upon.
  • Inform the recruitment office(s) of any periods that may cause you to be uncontactable e.g. being on holiday or on call. Most recruitment offices will consider this, but they should be contacted in advance to discuss whether alternative arrangements can be made. No guarantees of accommodating alternative arrangements can be offered. You will still be expected to personally check your account regularly during the offers period.
  • Plan to submit the application form well in advance of the application deadline. Typically, during each recruitment round, approximately 60% of applications are submitted in the last 48 hours of the application window. Due to the volume of applicants completing and submitting applications in the final hours, you may experience the Oriel system running slowly. Late applications will not be accepted under any circumstances.

Eligibility check

Submitted application forms will need to pass an eligibility check before they can be considered for shortlisting and/or interview. Recruitment teams will ensure that application forms meet the following eligibility criteria in addition to any other specialty specific criteria.

  • Immigration status and right to work in the UK.
  • General Medical Council (GMC) and General Dental Council (GDC) registration, if required.
  • Any examination/competency/experience requirements in line with the post.

When completing the employment history section of the application form all previous clinical experience should be declared. This includes experience inside and outside of the UK, in both training and service posts. You should also ensure that you detail any time spent out of work to ensure that there are no unexplained career gaps.

By allowing you to progress to the shortlisting and/or interview stage, recruitment offices have not accepted or confirmed that you meet eligibility requirements. You may still be withdrawn from the recruitment process at any stage, including after interviews have taken place if the evidence pertaining to an eligibility criterion is found to be unsatisfactory by the recruitment office.

If you are applying in Round 2 but have accepted a post in Round 1

You can apply for vacancies advertised in later recruitment rounds (e.g. Round 1 Re - Advert, Round 2), even if you have already accepted a post in the first round of recruitment.

If you have already received and accepted an offer of employment, you must make it known to the recruitment office to which you are applying that you have already secured a post in a previous round. You will also need to notify the recruitment office where you had previously accepted a post. This should be done by email at the time of application and at interview. This will not prejudice the application. This is purely for the benefit of the organisations that are providing patient care, so that they can manage services and maintain standards.

You will also be required to give notice before you can take up the new post. Even if you have not received your written contract, you should still discuss the notice required with the employing organisation.

If you are applying for specialty training having previously relinquished or been removed from a training programme in the same specialty

If you are are applying to a specialty training programme that you have previously been removed or relinquished/resigned from, you must declare this on your application form.

If you are applying for higher training (ST3/ST4) having previously been removed from the associated core training programme, this must also be declared.

At the time of application, a Support for Reapplication to Specialty Training form must be completed, approved by the previous Training Programme Director/Head of School and previous Postgraduate Dean and submitted at the time of application to the confidential email address supplied by the lead recruiter for the specialty. Failure to provide this documentation will result in the application being rejected. No other evidence will be accepted in support of reapplication.

If you are applying to continue specialty training in the same specialty in another region

If you are already in a specialty training programme and are applying again to the same specialty, in another area/region you must declare this on your application form.

At the time of application, a Support for Reapplication of Specialty Training in a Different Region form must be completed, approved by the current Training Programme Director/Head of School and submitted at the time of application to the confidential email address supplied by the lead recruiter for the specialty. Failure to provide this information will result in the application being rejected. No other evidence will be accepted in support of reapplication.

If you are considering applying for the same specialty training programme in another region, you should communicate this to your existing Training Programme Director/Head of School at the earliest opportunity. Specialty training vacancies available for recruitment are confirmed well in advance of interviews/selection centres taking place. Early conversations with existing training programmes could allow for provisional plans to be put in place to replace the postholder should the application be successful.

Page last reviewed: 15 September 2022