Most specialties recruit by means of a national process handled by a lead NHS England Local Office/devolved nation Deanery on behalf of all appointing regions. These processes may therefore vary in arrangements.

The main recruitment methods are:

  • the Multi Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA)
  • verified self-assessment 
  • interviews

The Multi Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA)

The Multi Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA) is a computer based assessment, designed to assess some of the essential competences outlined in the person specifications and is based around clinical scenarios. 

The MSRA is utilised by the following specialties: 

Each specialty considers the MSRA differently as part of its selection process. It is recommended that you visit specific national recruitment websites to familiarise yourself with the appropriate guidance for that specialty. 


For detailed information about the MSRA process and content, go to the Taking the MSRA and What's in the MSRA? pages.

Verified self-assessment

Many specialties use verified self-assessment as part of their selection process. 

This requires you to select the appropriate response to a number of questions on the application form and then upload evidence to support your selection to the self-assessment portal. Guidance explaining how to upload evidence is available on the portal. 

You will be provided with login details to access the portal and will be given guidance on organising and uploading evidence from the specialty lead recruiter. 

Submitting supporting evidence

You will not be required to upload any documents to support your self-assessment with your application form. Instead you will be contacted at some point after applications close when you can start uploading them. 

You are advised that you must have documentary evidence available from the time of application for all achievements for which you score yourself. It is advised to ensure you have access to all your documents when you apply to avoid complications later in the process.

You will be advised by the specialty recruitment team on the method and deadline for uploading supporting evidence, together with the format in which they wish the evidence to be presented. You should ensure that you present the evidence in the requested format. Failure to do so could result in your evidence being rejected and/or the self-assessment score being reduced.

Failure to submit all evidence by the stated deadline will result in your application form being withdrawn by the recruitment team. It is recommended that you prepare your evidence alongside your application form.

Deadlines for submitting supporting evidence will be detailed in advertisements for posts and/or advised by the recruitment team.

Recruitment administrators will not be able to upload evidence on your behalf and once the deadline for submission has passed, your access will be withdrawn.

Evidence requirements and tips

Interviewers will need to verify your evidence in a short time so keep the below in mind when organising your evidence, as poorly organised/presented documents may mean achievements cannot be verified.

  • Only evidence supporting each of the claimed achievements should be uploaded. There is no requirement to upload any additional documents or achievements if they are not directly related to the scoring domain where points are being claimed.
  • Only sufficient evidence should be provided to justify the scores awarded. Only include enough evidence to demonstrate achievements which justify your selection. For example, if you have completed a national presentation, you should not include evidence for other presentations. If you have written a book, you do not need to upload the whole book, just sufficient pages so interviewers can verify your achievement.
  • Evidence of training courses or areas noted in your commitment to specialty section should not be included unless they specifically relate to a scored option.
  • You must ensure patient-identifiable data is redacted as this may result in your employing trust being notified.
  • Any documentation not in English must be translated for credit to be received.
  • Only files in PDF, JPEG or PNG format are accepted by the upload system.
  • The maximum file size is 28MB.
  • When evidence is loaded, it needs to be tagged to the domain(s) to which it pertains. For example, if you have a presentation for which you have been awarded a prize, you can upload the presentation evidence once and tag it under both domains.

Additional guidance will be issued with any request for evidence documentation to be uploaded.

Patient-identifiable data

Information governance regulations state that you must not allow any patient-identifiable data (PID) to be moved away from the designated (usually clinical) area.

As such, you must ensure none of the documentation you use at interview (for example, details of case reports and audits) contain information which could be used to identify patients. This would be a breach of patient confidentiality. This includes hospital or NHS ID numbers.

All such patient-identifiable data must be redacted.

If patient-identifiable data is found, it is likely that your employer, supervisor and region (as relevant) will be notified, in order to take further action.

Evidence verification

Submitted evidence will be verified against the self-assessment criteria for all applicants. Where the evidence submitted does not match the score awarded, the score will be adjusted accordingly.

On completion of the verification process, you will be sent your verified score, together with the verification panel’s feedback explaining any changes to score. Where you disagree with the score awarded, you can lodge an appeal.

Where your score differs from the assessor score by 10% or more of the overall score, you should expect to be contacted by an assessor, as part of a probity process.

Appeals against scoring must be lodged within 48 hours of the scores being sent to applicants. No additional evidence can be submitted. The appeal should highlight why you feel that the score should be adjusted, based on the evidence that was initially submitted and verified.

Appeals received after the 48 hour deadline will not be considered.

The outcome of the appeal is final and there is no further recourse for dissatisfied applicants. Disagreements over self-assessment scores fall outside the scope of the Medical and Dental Recruitment and Selection (MDRS) Complaints Policy.

Invitation to interview

All interviews will take place digitally. 

If shortlisted, you will receive an Applicant Declaration Form that must be read, signed and returned to the recruitment team by the stated deadline.

If you have not returned a completed declaration by the deadline, you will not be interviewed.

Online interview

You should be given at least 5 working days’ notice of any interview. Notice may be less if late interview slots arise due to other applicants withdrawing from the process. You will be informed of the reason for the late notice if this occurs.

The structure and content of interviews will vary across specialties and levels. Recruitment offices will normally inform you of the format of the interview, including the competences being assessed and the platform you will be interviewed on.

Interviewers may have access to anonymised application forms of interview candidates but will not have access to the equal opportunities or personal data.

Interview panel members will individually complete a scoresheet for each candidate and make any comments. The aggregate score given by all panel members, taking into account any associated weighting, will be the final score of the interview.

Disability Confident Scheme

Applicants will be asked to declare on their application form if they have a disability as set out in the Equality Act 2010 and whether they wish to be considered under the Disability Confident Scheme. This information will not be available to shortlisting panels.

Where interview capacity allows, all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria will be invited to interview.  Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the number of interview slots available, those disabled applicants who meet all of the minimum criteria and best meet the desirable criteria will be invited to interview.

Reasonable Adjustments

Recruiters will ensure, where possible, that reasonable adjustments are made at interview to meet the needs of applicants with disabilities. You must ensure that you detail any adjustments required on your application form and communicate with the recruiting organisation as soon as an invitation to interview has been received.  Failure to provide the requested information and documentation to the recruiting organisation by the stated deadline, will result in adjustments not being met.

You should expect to provide medical evidence for any adjustments requested and are therefore advised to source this as soon as possible to ensure that deadlines are met.  If your medical evidence is more than 6 months old and you are not applying for reasonable adjustments on the basis of a long-term condition, you may be asked to provide further information.

If you require reasonable adjustments to take up a training post, or feel that you are unable to complete all of the requirements of the specialty curriculum, you should make contact with the relevant Royal College or Faculty to discuss this. Recruitment teams will be unable to advise on this.

Preparing for the interview

You will be given clear information on what will be required of you at interview. As a minimum, the following documents should be provided.

  • Proof of identity (passport or other photo identification).

In preparation for interviews/selection centres, you should ensure that you:

  • inform your current employer of potential leave requirements for attending interviews/selection centres in anticipation of being shortlisted and coordinate with colleagues wherever possible
  • discuss with clinical tutors or local consultants within the specialty about the types of areas the interviewers/assessors may seek to address
  • read and follow any specific guidance given for that specialty about how documentation should be prepared and anything else which may need to be provided in advance of the day
  • test the link to join the interview on the device you plan to use for your interview and that your webcam and microphone are working

If you are unable to connect directly from the link, try pasting the URL link into the browser, or try using an incognito browser.

Day of the interview

On the day of the interview, you should click on the link and join the call 5 minutes prior to your allocated time. You will be kept in the lobby area until the interview panel are ready, at which time you will be admitted into the interview.

You should ensure that your camera and microphone are turned on and working correctly prior to joining the call. Interviews will be terminated where the panel cannot see the applicant.

Before the interview commences, you will be briefed on the interview process and will be required to confirm your identity with the interview administrator. In addition, you will be required to move your camera to show the entire room where you are undertaking the interview, to confirm that nobody else is present.

Once identity has been confirmed, the administrator will advise the interview panel that the interview process can commence.

It will be necessary to shut down any non-essential applications during the interview such as email, chat, Facebook, X and Skype.

The interview must not be recorded by either yourself, the administrator or the panel members. However, if only one panel member is available, the interview can be recorded, but only with your consent. Where you do not give your consent, the interview can continue but cannot be recorded.

On completion of the interview, you should terminate your connection to the call and the interview process is complete.

By attending an interview, you are confirming that your are fit and well.  If you are unwell on the day of your scheduled interview, you should contact the lead recruiter to establish whether the interview can be rearranged for another day.  There is no guarantee that the interview can be rescheduled.  If rescheduling is not possible and you decide to attend your interview, you are confirming that you are fit to do so.

Qpercom Recruit

Qpercom Recruit will be used by a range of specialties to conduct virtual interviews.


Find out more about Qpercom Recruit including any technical requirements.

Non attendance at interview

If you fail to attend your allocated interview slot, including non attendance due to difficulties, and you do not make contact with the recruitment team, you will be deemed to have withdrawn from the selection process. No further interview slot will be offered.

Where contact is made with the recruitment team prior to the interview date/time, outlining the reasons why attendance would not be possible, recruiters will explore the possibility of offering an alternative date but there is no guarantee that an alternative interview slot will be offered.

Technical difficulties

Where significant technical difficulties are experienced during the interview process, which make the interview impossible to complete, recruitment teams will aim to rearrange the interview, where possible, at a later date/time. Where the interview has been partially completed, only the questions that were disrupted will be rerun. Scores from interview questions completed without disruption will stand.

Neither the panel members nor recruitment administrator can provide technical assistance for issues experienced with hardware or as a result of poor internet connection.

Technical issues that happen outside of the interview itself, need to be reported to the recruitment team, with details of the issues experienced, with screenshots, where possible, within one hour of the allocated interview time. Technical issues reported outside of this timeframe will not be considered.

Following agreement of technical disruption, recruitment teams will provide one alternative interview date/time. You must ensure, wherever possible, that you are available for the rearranged time.

Sharing interview questions with others

Once an interview has been completed, you should ensure that you do not discuss the interview process or share the interview questions with other applicants who are yet to be interviewed, either on the same date or on a future date.

If you are found to be sharing interview questions with others, you may be removed from the recruitment process.

Raising concerns

If you wish to raise concerns about the conduct of panel members during the interview/selection process or recruitment staff administering the event, you should be provided with an email address to direct the concerns to. Your concerns should be raised as soon as possible after the interview takes place and no later than 2 working days after. Concerns will not be considered where they are raised at a later date.

Once received, your concerns will be passed to the Recruitment Lead who will liaise with the Clinical Lead and decide if the issue requires immediate intervention and discussion.

Where a serious concern is raised, a formal investigation will be undertaken.

Page last reviewed: 20 May 2024
Next review due: 20 May 2025