Applying for Higher Training
Before you apply for Higher Training you should check that you're eligible.
The application process
The application process involves a standardised application, longlisting and self-assessment verification process.
All eligible applicants must attend a generic interview.
To apply you must submit a single application to an ST4 General Psychiatry vacancy on the Oriel system (see more information applying on Oriel). All ST4 Psychiatry posts in England, Scotland and Wales across the 6 single specialties and 7 dual specialties will then be available for you to preference, giving you more flexibility. In previous rounds of recruitment, applicants were restricted to only 2 specialties.
You will be assessed against the essential eligibility criteria outlined in the nationally agreed person specification.
Your eligibility will be reviewed by a central longlisting team against the entry criteria. If your application does not meet the entry criteria, you will be informed by email, and your application will not progress any further.
- ST4 General Psychiatry 2024 person specification
- ST4 Old Age Psychiatry 2024 person specification
- ST4 Forensic Psychiatry 2024 person specification
- ST4 Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 2024 person specification
- ST4 Psychiatry of Learning Disability 2024 person specification
- ST4 Medical Psychotherapy 2024 person specification
As you progress through your application, you may be required to upload documentation to allow the recruitment team to assess your eligibility. All documentation must be uploaded by the required deadline.
If you are required to do this, you must ensure the document is:
- uploaded as a single document and not in separate pages
- appropriately named for clarity
- uploaded into the correct document section
- accessible to the recruitment team, such as providing the password if the document is password protected
You may be asked to re-submit your documentation if this document guidance is not followed.
In conjunction with the below eligibility requirements, you should read the relevant ST4 person specification to which you wish to apply.
You are able to apply for Higher Training without the successful completion of your MRCPsych examinations at the time of application. However, you will need to have confirmation of full MRCPsych by the date of offers in the recruitment round. There are no equivalents.
If you already hold Paper A and Paper B but don’t have CASC
If you hold Paper A and Paper B at the time of application, but don’t have CASC, you will be eligible to apply if you register to sit the CASC exam between 18-22 September 2023. Further along in the recruitment process you will need to confirm your results with the recruitment team. If you do not pass CASC on this occasion, then you will not be able to continue with your ST4 Psychiatry application.
Further details regarding the qualification can be found on the Royal College of Psychiatrists website.
Recognised primary medical qualification
If you do not hold a recognised primary medical qualification, then you will not be considered.
General Medical Council (GMC) registration and licence to practice
You need to be eligible for full GMC registration by the application closing date, and hold full registration by the time of the post start date. All doctors wishing to practise medicine in the UK are required by law to hold both registration and a licence to practise. This applies to full time, part time, locum, private and NHS practitioners.
If you have completed an acceptable internship either overseas or in the UK, you will be eligible for full registration with a licence to practise. If you have not completed an acceptable internship, you will be eligible for provisional registration with a licence to practise.
Eligibility to work in the UK
You will be requested to produce valid right to work documents. If you who do not have valid right to work documents you will need to apply for Tier 2 Skilled Worker sponsorship. Further information can be found on the Government website.
Medical practitioners are now part of the Shortage Occupation List and the Health and Care visa route is also available to medical and dental practitioners. Information on applying for the Health and Care visa can also be found on the Government website.
Find out more about overseas sponsorship.
Evidence of English Language skills
You must have demonstrable skills in written and spoken English. These must be adequate to enable effective communication about medical topics with patients and colleagues, as assessed by the General Medical Council (GMC). The GMC provides details on accepted evidence of English Language skills. Further information can be found on the GMC website.
Match to specialty
Your employment history must show that your career progression is consistent with your personal circumstances. You must be able to evidence how your present achievements and performance is in proportion to the length of time you have spent in training.
Evidence of Core Psychiatry competences
You are required to provide evidence of Core Psychiatry competences. You must have evidence of achievement of both of the following.
- CT/ST1 and CT/ST2 competences in Psychiatry at time of application.
- CT/ST3 competences or confirmation that CT/ST3 competences in Psychiatry will be achieved by time of appointment.
All competences of Core Training are defined by the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ (RCP) curriculum, which can be found on the RCPsych website.
If you have completed a UK approved Core Psychiatry Training programme
If you have completed a UK approved Core Psychiatry Training programme, you will need to submit your CT3 Annual Review of Competency Progession (ATCP) or any other evidence of successful completion.
If you have not completed a UK approved Core Psychiatry Training programme
If you have not completed a UK approved Core Psychiatry Training programme, you must be able to demonstrate Core competence through your post or post(s). You will need to submit the Certificate C (equivalent core competence form) or alternative detailed certification demonstrating that you have attained and maintained Core competences, including Psychotherapy, as set out in the 19 Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) in the Core Psychiatry curriculum. .
For the August 2024 intake, only the August 2023 version (DOCX, 56KB) of the Certificate C can be accepted as this version reflects the newly introduced curriculum.
If you do not have all the necessary evidence at the time of application, you must provide a written statement from your educational supervisor or tutor stating that all of these competences will be achieved by the time of appointment. This includes applicants in Core Psychiatry Training who are expecting Outcome 1 from their end of CT3 Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP).
If you provide an ARCP as evidence of your competency, you are not required to provide additional evidence relating to the newly revised curriculum.
Accreditation of Transferable Competences Framework (ATCF)
Many core competences are common across some, but not all, specialty curricula. When moving from one approved training programme to another, competences gained in core, specialty or general practice training should not have to be repeated if already achieved.
The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges developed the Accreditation of Transferable Competences Framework (ATCF) to help those who have already achieved competences in one core, specialty or general practice training programme, transfer where appropriate and valid, to another training programme. In the case of ST4 Psychiatry, the appropriate and valid programmes are core medical training, paediatrics or general practice. This is also identified in the ST4 Psychiatry person specification – "‘24 months’ experience in Psychiatry (not including foundation modules) plus competence gained from up to 12 months’ training in core medical training, paediatrics or general practice. You must be able to demonstrate that this competence has been transferred, under the Accreditation of Transferable Competences Framework".
If you decided to change your career path, you could transfer competences achieved in another training programme and reduce the length of your new training programme.
The ATCF applies only to those moving between periods of GMC approved training and is aimed at the early years of training. The time to be recognised within the ATCF will need to be reviewed at your first ARCP, if appointed.
If you wish to be considered for accreditation of transferable competences, you should indicate this on your application form. You must then upload supporting evidence with your application. ARCP outcomes or a letter of support from the relevant training programme(s) will be accepted as evidence.
When is eligibility checked?
Once you have submitted your application, it will be reviewed by a central longlisting team to ensure that longlisting decisions are applied consistently to all applications.
During longlisting, applications are screened against the entry criteria on the person specification. If your application does not meet the entry criteria, you will be informed by email and your application will not progress further.
Regrettably, it is not always possible to be absolutely certain whether you have met the entry requirements at the longlisting stage. There is a possibility that you might be permitted to progress if it is not possible to determine your eligibility at this time. If it is subsequently established that you do not meet the entry criteria at any stage in the recruitment process, it is normal practice that your application will be rejected at that time. This still applies even if you have been interviewed and/or have received an offer.
If you know or become aware that you are not eligible, but have not disclosed relevant information, it is much better to let us know at the earliest opportunity to save both you and the recruiters the time and resources needed to progress your application.
The key Higher Training recruitment dates
Find out what posts are available
Page last reviewed: 9 November 2023
Next review due: 9 November 2024