Before you apply for Core Training you should check that you're eligible.

Disability Confidence Scheme

We are committed to supporting you if you require additional support due to disability or health conditions. You can apply for adjustments via Oriel, but please note the Disability Confidence Scheme (DCS) has replaced the previous Guaranteed Interview Scheme. Please refer to the guidance on the Medical Specialty Recruitment page for more information.

Reasonable adjustments

The process for 2023 is to submit all reasonable adjustments requests at the time of your application and on Oriel. All evidence will be uploaded at the time you are submitting your application. For further guidance on the details of evidence required please refer to the guidance on the Medical Specialty Recruitment page for more information.

Submissions for any adjustments at interview will be made via Oriel. Please follow the guidance on Oriel and the guidance on the Medical Specialty Recruitment page for this process. All evidence must be uploaded with your Oriel application. You will be notified of the outcome of your application prior to interview.

If you have a situation that has occurred after the application window has closed, please contact us via the Applicant Support Portal to receive further guidance.

Booking an interview

For any candidates with approved adjustments, you will receive an email from the recruitment team by Thursday 23 February 2023 with a link to the Event Management System (EMS) to book your preferred interview slot. Please note that Oriel will send you reminders to book your interview, as you are using a different system to book your interview, please ignore Oriel’s reminders. Once the booking window has closed your interview time will be booked on Oriel by an administrator and you will be able to see this.

Submitting an application

All applications must be submitted on Oriel before the national deadline of 4pm (GMT) on Thursday 23 November 2023. Under no circumstances will late applications be accepted. Please ensure you submit your application in advance of the closing date and recheck on the closing date that your application form has been submitted.

Providing a self-assessment score is a mandatory part of your application form. Please see the 2024 CST Self-Assessment Guidance for Candidates for full guidance on how to complete your self-assessment scoring.

Please note that it is at your sole discretion as to which response you select in the self-assessment. Under no circumstances will the London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex Recruitment Office will be able to advise you which option to choose. 

It is crucial that you complete your self-assessment honestly and accurately at the time of application. It is not possible to change your self-assessment score after you have submitted your application under any circumstances.

Please note that the National Recruitment Office (NRO) team will not be able to make changes to your self-assessment score after you have submitted your application and therefore any additional evidence gained after the self-assessment upload period cannot be counted. 

Any instances where applicants are found to have deliberately over-scored their self-assessment may be treated as probity concerns. This may lead to you being removed from the recruitment process or a referral to the GMC.

If you are dual qualified (medical and dental), please note the following when completing your employment history on the Oriel application form:

  • If you are a dentistry first applicant, call your pre-medical jobs ‘Dental’ and avoid the term SHO. Completing your MRCS does not preclude you from applying to CST.
  • If you are a medicine first applicant and you have worked in surgical specialities before dentistry, doing your second degree ‘resets the clock’ on the 18-month limit of surgical experience. You may have to provide evidence of maintaining your foundation training competencies whilst studying for your dental degree.


Longlisting is the process of checking that you meet the minimum requirements to be eligible for a Core Surgical Training post. You can find the eligibility criteria on the person specification. More information about longlisting can be found on the Medical Specialty Recruitment pages.

Round deadline for submitting a CREST

As a result of changes to the application process, only the 2024 version of the CREST form will be accepted. It is anticipated that you will be able to provide a CREST at time of application. If you are not able to provide a CREST at this time, you will be presented with a window to submit a CREST within 72 hours of the application window closing. The CREST upload window will close at 4pm on Thursday 23 November 2023. 

Important: Important

Applicants who are required to submit a CREST must do so before the deadline. Failure to submit this or if you submit a CREST but have answered the questions incorrectly will result in your application being withdrawn and your application will not progress in this round of recruitment.

Special circumstances and Fitness to Practise

Please refer to the Medical Specialty Recruitment page for guidance on special circumstances.

Any candidate who answers yes to one or more of the questions in the Fitness to Practise section of the application form, must complete the HEE London and KSS Recruitment Office Fitness to Practise (FTP) declaration form providing further details regarding their affirmative/positive answer. 

Please refer to the guidance and relevant forms which can be found within our support portal.


As part of the selection process for 2024 recruitment, all longlisted applicants will be required to take a Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA). This will form the basis of your shortlisting score.

Only the top 1200 applicants at MSRA will be invited to interview. All applicants that score higher than the cut-off score but are not initially invited to interview will be put on a reserve list.

Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA)

The MSRA is a computer-based assessment, delivered in partnership with Work Psychology Group and Pearson VUE, which has been designed to assess some of the essential competences outlined in the Person Specification and is based around clinical scenarios.

Important: Important

The MSRA will be delivered at Pearson VUE test centres. You will be invited to register an account for MSRA, and a separate invite to sit the exam at a Pearson Vue test centre no later than Tuesday 19 December 2023. For more information and to find your nearest test centre, visit the Pearson VUE website.

You can find further information on the MSRA pages.

Any queries related to the MSRA exam or Pearson Vue test centres are handled by the MSRA team and the Pearson Vue team.

Submitting supporting evidence

If you are invited to upload evidence, you will be provided with further instructions by the deadline about how to upload evidence to the portal. Please check your Oriel messages for updates during all stages of the recruitment process. You should ensure that you present the evidence in the requested format. Failure to do so will result in your evidence being rejected and/or the self-assessment score being revised downwards.

Failure to submit all evidence by the stated deadline will result in your application form being withdrawn by the recruitment team.

Recruitment administrators cannot upload evidence on your behalf at any stage, and once the deadline for submission has passed, your access to the portal will be withdrawn.

Recruitment administrators cannot update scores at all throughout the recruitment process. This means that competencies/evidence gained after the application window has closed cannot be accepted.

If you have problems with uploading evidence, you must inform the recruitment team before 5pm on Friday 9 February.

Verification process (Portfolio Review)

The self-assessment will be completed online as part of the Oriel application.

You will be provided with further instructions about how to upload evidence to the evidence portal in due course. 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 revised downwards.

Failure to submit all evidence by the stated deadline will result in your application form being withdrawn by the recruitment team. The upload window is from Thursday 8 February to Wednesday 14 February 2024.

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

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

On completion of the verification process, applicants will be sent their MSRA result.

Only the top 1200 applicants who have been verified will be sent their verified score, together with the verification panel’s feedback explaining any changes to their score. Where the verified applicant disagrees with the score awarded, they can lodge an appeal.


Appeals against verified scores must be lodged within 72 hours of the scores being sent to applicants. Please check your Oriel messages for updates during all stages of the recruitment process. You can only request a review of the evidence already submitted; you will not be able to submit any further documentation as part of the appeals process. Your appeal request should clearly explain why you feel that the score should be adjusted, based on the evidence that was initially submitted and verified. Appeal requests received after the 72-hour deadline will not be considered.

Appeals will be reviewed by consultant surgeons who will decide whether verified scores should be changed or not and you will be informed of the outcome following the same process as above. Please read the feedback provided carefully and consider that if your upload has not followed the guidance document, an appeal is unlikely to be upheld. The outcome of the appeal is final and there is no further recourse if you are dissatisfied.  Disagreements over self-assessment scores fall out of scope of the MDRS Complaints Policy.

Training posts

Changes to training for Improving Surgical Training (IST)


There have been some changes to training posts for 2022. You may preference 2-year Core Surgical Training posts in England, HEE have agreed to pause the recruitment to all IST posts in England for 2022. The number of surgical training places will be maintained as posts will be added back into core surgical recruitment.

Wales and Scotland will continue to recruit to run-through IST.


You can still preference uncoupled Improving Surgical Training Pilot Posts, run-through IST posts (in General Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Urology or Trauma and Orthopaedics), or a combination of any of these.

Paediatric Surgery Pilot Posts

The Specialty Advisory Committee for Paediatric Surgery has received approval from the GMC to run a pilot run-through programme with posts which started in 2021. These posts will be recruited to via the national Core Surgical Training recruitment process.  

Paediatric Surgery run-through training is a programme whereby trainees appointed to ST1 posts in the specialty will continue through to ST8 and certification provided they meet the requirements of the programme and curriculum. This includes meeting examination and other requirements which are similar to the current uncoupled training pathway. 

Offers, references and scoresheet 

Following interview, you will receive a total score, a unique ranking and will be deemed successful or unsuccessful and will be informed of this via Oriel. 

Your total score will be a combination of MSRA (10%), verified evidence score (30%) and overall interview score (60%). All scores are combined and appropriately weighted. The MSRA is weighted at 10% of the overall selection score and scaled onto a 0–10-point scale. The MSRA score is combined with the Management score, Clinical score and Verified evidence score, which are equally weighted to account for 30% of the overall selection score and each scaled onto a 0–30-point scale. The scores are combined to produce an overall selection score out of 100 points.

Offers will be made to those who are successful and have ‘matched’ to a post and will be based on the your ranking and preferences. Initial offers will be made via Oriel by 5pm on Thursday 26 March 2024.

Following initial offers being released, further offers will be made in subsequent iterations.

You have 48 hours from the time of offer (excluding weekends) to confirm via Oriel whether you wish to accept, reject or hold your offer. Offers made after the hold deadline will only have the option to accept or reject.

References will only be requested when an offer has been accepted.

Scoresheets will be released to all on (date to be confirmed) therefore, you do not need to request your scoresheets after interview as we will be unable to provide them until the date above.


Once you have accepted a Core Surgical Training CT1/ST1 post, your information will be passed to their relevant region who will contact you directly to complete the allocation process.

Further information on how to request a deferred start date or training less than full time (LTFT) can be found on the Medical Specialty Recruitment pages.

Next steps and roles and responsibilities

If you accept an offer of a training programme your details will be passed on to the local training programme director around 14 weeks prior to your start date, and to the first trust you have been appointed to 12 weeks prior to your start date. Therefore, you should not expect to receive any communication from them prior to this time. 

Page last reviewed: 18 October 2023
Next review due: 18 October 2024