Person specification and entry criteria for Ophthalmology ST3 2023 recruitment

Important: Accuracy

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained on this page. The information presented is accurate at the time of publication.

Essential entry criteria


Applicants must have:

  • MBBS or equivalent medical qualification
  • success in the Part 1 FRCOphth examination by offer datei

When is this evaluated?ii

  • Application form


The 'published deadline’ refers to a deadline date set in each recruitment round; Round 1 (30/03/2023) Round 2 (20/04/2023) Round 3 (23/10/2023). 

ii  ‘When is this evaluated’ is indicative but may be carried out at any time throughout the selection process.


Applicants must

  • be eligible for full registration with, and hold a current licence to practiseiii from, the GMC at intended start dateiv 
  • have evidence of achievement of foundation competences from a UKFPO-affiliated foundation programme or equivalent, by time of appointmentiv, in line with GMC standards/Good Medical Practice, including:
    • make the care of your patient your first concern
    • provide a good standard of practice and care
    • take prompt action if you think that patient safety, dignity or comfort is being compromised
    • protect and promote the health of patients and of the public
    • treat patients as individuals and respect their dignity
    • work in partnership with patients
    • work with colleagues in the ways that best serve patients’ interests
    • be honest and open and act with integrity
    • never discriminate unfairly against patients or colleagues
    • never abuse your patients’ trust in you or the public’s trust in the profession
  • have evidence of achievement of ST1 competences in Ophthalmology at time of application and ST2 competences in Ophthalmology by time of appointment. Candidates will need to be able to demonstrate that they meet, or will meet, the OST2 to OST3 criteria for progression, evidenced by ARCP outcome 1, or
  • have evidence of achievement of ST1 and ST2 competences at time of application. Acceptable evidence is only permitted via the standard Alternative Certificate of Competences achieved within 3.5 years of the start date of the post
  • be eligible to work in the UK

When is this evaluated?

  • Application form
  • Interview/selection centrevi


iii  The GMC introduced the licence to practise in 2009. Any doctor wishing to practise in the UK after this date must be both registered with and hold a licence to practise from the GMC at time of appointment.

iv  ‘Intended start date’ refers to the date at which the post commences, not (necessarily) the time an offer is accepted.

v  Time of appointment refers to the date on which the post commences.

vi  ‘Selection centre’ refers to a process, not a place. It involves a number of selection activities which may be delivered within the unit of application.

Fitness to practise

Applicant is up to date and fit to practise safely and is aware of own training needs.

When is this evaluated?

  • Application form
  • References
Language skills

Applicants must have demonstrable skills in written and spoken English, adequate to enable effective communication about medical topics with patients and colleagues as assessed by the General Medical Councilvii.

When is this evaluated?

  • Application form
  • Pre-employment health screening


vii  Applicants are advised to visit the GMC website which gives details of evidence accepted for registration.


Applicants must meet professional health requirements (in line with GMC standards/Good Medical Practice).

When is this evaluated?

  • Application form
  • Pre-employment health screening
Career progression

Applicants must:

  • be able to provide complete details of their employment history
  • have evidence that their career progression is consistent with their personal circumstances
  • have evidence that their present level of achievement and performance is commensurate with the totality of their period of training
  • have at least 24 months’ experienceviii in Ophthalmologyix including Medical Ophthalmology (not including Foundation modules) by time of appointment
  • have notified the Training Programme Director of the specialty training programme they are currently training in if applying to continue training in the same specialty in another regionx 
  • not have previously relinquished or been released or removed from a training programme in this specialty, except if they have received an ARCP outcome 1 or under exceptional circumstancesxi 
  • not already hold, nor be eligible to hold, a CCT/CESR in the specialty they are applying for and/or must not currently be eligible for the specialist register for the specialty to which they are applying
  • for those wishing to be considered for Locum Appointment for Training (LAT) posts (where available): no more than 24 months' experience in LAT posts in the specialty by intended start date

When is this evaluated?

  • Application form
  • Interview/selection centre


viii  Any time periods specified in this person specification refer to full-time equivalent.

ix  All experience in posts at any level in this specialty count, irrespective of the country in which the experience is gained.

x  The Support for Application to another region form, signed by the Training Programme Director of their current specialty training programme confirming satisfactory progress must be submitted to the recruitment office at time of application.

xi  Exceptional circumstances may be defined as a demonstrated change in circumstances, which can be shown on the ability to train at that time and may include severe personal illness or family caring responsibility incompatible with continuing to train. Applicants will only be considered if they provide a ‘support for reapplication to a specialty training programme’ form signed by both the Training Programme Director or Head of School and the Postgraduate Dean in the LETB or Deanery that the training took place. No other evidence will be accepted.

Application completion

All sections of application form completed fully according to written guidelines.

When is this evaluated?

  • Application form

Selection criteria

Clinical skills - clinical knowledge and expertise


  • Clinical knowledge base and capacity to apply sound clinical judgement.
  • To have independently performed 40 completed phacoemulsification procedures under supervision by date of interview and 50 independently performed under supervision by the start date of the post.


  • Evidence of range of knowledge, for example, documented competences.
  • Evidence of ability to perform ophthalmic procedures other than cataract surgery.

When is this evaluted?

  • Interview/selection centre
  • References
Academic skills


Research, audit and quality improvement skills
  • Active participation in research project, either within or outside the field of ophthalmology.
  • Evidence of active participation in at least one ophthalmic audit.
  • Evidence of interest and experience in teaching.


Research, audit and quality improvement skills
  • Evidence of relevant academic and research achievements such as degrees, prizes, awards, distinctions, publications, presentations, other achievements.
  • Evidence of active participation in one ophthalmic audit where the audit loop has been completed.
  • Attendance at a formal teaching course.

When is this evaluated?

  • Interview/selection centre
Personal skills


Communication skills
  • Capacity to adapt language as appropriate to the situation, open and non-defensive.
Problem solving and decision making
  • Capacity to use logical and lateral thinking to solve problems and make decisions.
Empathy and sensitivity
  • Capacity to take in others’ perspectives, see patients as people and able to develop rapport
Managing others and team involvement
  • Capacity to work cooperatively with others and show leadership and authority where appropriate.
Organisation and planning
  • Capacity to manage time and information effectively.
  • Capacity to prioritise clinical tasks.
Coping with pressure and managing uncertainty
  • Capacity to operate under pressure.
  • Demonstrates initiative and resilience to cope with setbacks and adapt to rapidly changing circumstances.
  • Understands, respects and demonstrates the values of the NHS (such as everyone counts, improving lives, commitment to quality of care, respect and dignity, working together for patients, compassion).

When is this evaluated?

  • Interview/selection centre
  • References
Probity – professional integrity


  • Capacity to take responsibility for own actions and demonstrate a non-judgemental approach towards others.

When is this evaluated?

  • Interview/selection centre
  • References
Commitment to specialty – learning and personal development


  • Realistic insight into specialty.
  • Demonstrates self-awareness and commitment to personal and professional development.


  • Attendance at training course specific to Ophthalmology.
  • Extracurricular activities and achievements relevant to Ophthalmology.
  • Evidence of understanding of developments in ophthalmic services.

When is this evaluated?

  • Interview/selection centre
  • References