Specialty Recruitment

Welcome to the Specialty Recruitment pages of the NIMDTA website.

From 6 October 2019, all medical practitioners have been added to the Shortage Occupation List in the UK. This means that medical practitioners are exempt from the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) when applying to foundation and specialty training programmes, with the exception of Public Health, subject to eligibility.

New Recruitment FAOS

Recruitment Opportunities

The timeline for August 2021 recruitment is available here.

Candidates are advised that the 2021 timeline is significantly different to previous years due to changes in the recruitment process due to COVID

The timeline for February 2021 recruitment is available here.

February 2021 Round 1
Specialty Level Number of vacancies Lead Recruiter Selection Interview Dates How to Apply
Anaesthetics ST3 5 HEE West Midlands Please check https://anro.wm.hee.nhs.uk/ for further details 6th Oct 2020 Oriel
Cardiology LAT3 1 NIMDTA Self-Assessment followed by Online Interview 16th Oct 2020 Oriel
Combined Infection Training- Dual CCT in Microbiology & Infectious Diseases ST3 1 NIMDTA Self-Assessment followed by Online Interview 9th Oct 2020 Oriel
Dermatology  ST3 1 NIMDTA Self-Assessment followed by Online Interview 16th Oct 2020 Oriel
General Surgery LAT3 2 NIMDTA Self-Assessment followed by Online Interview 15th Oct 2020 Oriel
Geriatric Medicine ST3 1 NIMDTA Self-Assessment followed by Online Interview 12th Oct 2020 Oriel
Haematology ST3 1 NIMDTA Self-Assessment followed by Online Interview 14th Oct 2020 Oriel
Medical Oncology LAT3 1 NIMDTA Self-Assessment followed by Online Interview 9th Oct 2020 Oriel
Paediatric Surgery ST3 1 NIMDTA Self-Assessment followed by Online Interview 16th Oct 2020 Oriel
Paediatrics LAT2 4 NIMDTA Self-Assessment followed by Online Interview TBC Oriel
Palliative Medicine ST3 1 HEE West Midlands Please check https://www.st3recruitment.org.uk/specialties/palliative-medicine for further details 30th Sep 2020 Oriel
Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgery LAT3 1 NIMDTA Self-Assessment followed by Online Interview 19th Oct 2020 Oriel
Applicants Guide

The Applicant Handbook for Northern Ireland for posts commencing August 2020 is available below:

Applicants Handbook 2020

Please note this applies to Northern Ireland only. It is important that all applicants read this guide as it contains all the information that applicants will require regarding this Recruitment process.

SPECIFIC ARRANGEMENTS IN NORTHERN IRELAND: Please note that Flexibility in Deployment of Trainees is applicable only to England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland has separate arrangements for management of requests for Special Circumstances. Further information is available via email to Recruitmentconfidential.NIMDTA@hscni.net Facilitated Placements will not take place in Northern Ireland for August 2018 in any specialty process.

Deferral of Posts: Deferral for non-statutory reasons within the GP Process will not be facilitated in Northern Ireland.

Single Transferable Score: Please note, where a recruitment process is using Single Transferable Score, applicants should be reminded that offers should be accepted with upgrades.

Competition Ratios
Interview Formats
The format of interviews differs between specialties. Each interview process will generally include between 2 and 5 interview stations which may assess skills such as communication, clinical judgement, prescribing amongst others. During the interview process, candidates will encounter a lay representative who will be there to ensure the panel is conducting a fair and transparent process. Candidates should also note that they may encounter actors during some recruitment processes.

For information regarding National Recruitment Processes, please refer to the lead recruiters’ website.

Speciality Interview Format Interview dates
Anaesthetics Please check https://anro.wm.hee.nhs.uk/ for further details 24th Jan 2020
Broad Based Training

Candidates will need to attend the following:Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA)GP Selection Centre on 14 February 2020 (information on both the MRSA and GP Selection centre is available via the GP Recruitment link below) 

Broad Based Training interviews on 2 March 2020 which will consist of 3 x 10 minute stations and a 20 minute Paediatric prescribing station.

14th Feb & 2nd March 2020
Cardiothoracic Surgery Please check http://www.wessexdeanery.nhs.uk/recruitment/national_ct_surgery_st1__st3.aspx for further details TBC
Core Psychiatry 3 x 10 minute structured interview 21st Jan 2020
Core Surgery 3 x 10 minute structured interview 4th-5th Feb 2020
Emergency Medicine Multi-station interview including ALS station 12th Feb 2020
GP Please check https://gprecruitment.hee.nhs.uk/ for further details 13th-14th Feb 2020
Histopathology 4 station interview including unseen presentation, CV, Written report & clinical Scenario 10th Feb 2020
Internal Medicine Please check https://www.imtrecruitment.org.uk/ for further details 29th-30th Jan 2020
Obstetrics & Gynaecology 3 x 10 minute structured interview  3rd Feb 2020
Ophthalmology Please check http://severndeanery.nhs.uk/recruitment/vacancies/ for further details 6th-7th Feb 2020
Paediatrics Please check https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/education-careers/apply-paediatrics for further details 26th Feb 2020
Radiology 4 station interview including structured interview, unseen presentation, CV and prioritisation scenario 27th-28th Feb 2020
Neurosurgery Please check https://www.yorksandhumberdeanery.nhs.uk/recruitment/national_recruitment/national_neurosurgery_st1__st3_recruitment for further details 29th-30th Jan 2020
ID Check Process

Below you will find a list of documents that you will be required for ID check process when attending interview in Northern Ireland.

Document Number of Copies Required Notes
Proof of identity 1 Original Passport
Right to Work 1 Evidence of visa status, including letter from the Home Office, Passport and Residence Permit.
Proof of address (x2) 1 Please refer to this link (http://www.nimdta.gov.uk/professional-support/human-resources/access-ni-checks/) for what are acceptable form of Proof of Address required for Access NI Checks.
GMC/GDC Certificate and License to Practice 1 GMC/GDC Certificate or valid registration certificate Candidates must bring a copy of both their original GMC certificate and their renewal letter which can be obtained from the online register.

PORTFOLIO Candidate portfolios may be examined by panel members and may be scored as part of the interview process. Candidates are strongly advised to ensure that it contains all information detailed in their application form e.g. audits, publications, evidence of any specific competences required to enter the specialty. As candidates will be asked to refer to documents during the interview process it is important that these can be accessed quickly if required. Although many trainees now use e-portfolio, a hard copy portfolio is required at interview. Candidates should refer to the lead recruiter website for further guidance on how to prepare their portfolio, but please see below for a basic guide

Portfolio Guidance

Offers of Appointment

All specialty training offers will be made through Oriel.
Appointments to training programmes or posts will be offered in rank order, based on selection scores.
Not all candidates deemed eligible for appointment by the interview/selection panel will be offered a post as recruitment offices will invite more applicants to interview than posts available.
Following interview and/or assessment, the recruitment office will contact applicants, if successful, with news of an offer. Unsuccessful applicants will receive a message informing them that they have not been successful on this occasion.
Applicants deemed eligible for appointment who rank below the number of vacancies available, could still receive an offer, if offers made to higher ranked candidates are rejected.
Applicants receiving training offers through Oriel will have the option to accept, decline or hold (until the hold deadline) the offer made. Applicants will be given 48 hours (excluding weekends but including bank holidays) from release of the offer to decide whether to accept, reject or hold it.
Offers which are not responded to within the 48 hour deadline will expire and will be offered to another applicant.

Single Transferable Score:  Please note, where a recruitment process is using Single Transferable Score, applicants should be reminded that offers should be accepted with upgrades.

Further information is available via the Applicants Handbook

Career Information
Candidate Feedback

Written feedback will, be made available to candidates on request.

The following information will be made available:

  • Your score per station
  • Your total score
  • Maximum score available
  • Your appointability and the minimum score required for appointability
  • Your rank and the rank needed to obtain a post

For National Recruitment processes using the digital scoring system, all candidates will receive feedback no later than 7 days after the nationally agreed offers deadline.

Candidates may request feedback by submitting the form below:


Feedback Form 382.93 KB 80 downloads


Written feedback, other than the information identified above, is not provided. Verbal feedback is also not provided.

Requests for scoresheets / interview notes will be dealt with under the Subject Access Provisions of the Data Protection Act. For details of how to make a request, please visit our Data Protection and Freedom of Information Page.

Pre-Placement Checks
Reference reports are not used for scoring purposes during shortlisting or interview but will be reviewed during the selection process and again prior to confirmation of appointment for successful applicants. The reference process is designed to check the accuracy of your previous employment and training history and to provide assurance of your suitability for employment.  You must provide contact details, including up-to-date e-mail addresses, of three referees who have supervised your clinical training within the past three years. If you are applying to more than one specialty, you may opt to nominate different referees for each specialty. If you have recently had a career break and can not nominate referees from the past three years, then your referees must include your two most recent supervisors.  You should contact your clinical referees in advance to confirm that they are willing to provide a reference and are available and able to do so in the time period required for selection and appointment.  If you are offered, and accept a training programme, your employer will not be able to issue a contract without references.  It is important that applicants confirm referee email addresses prior to completing the application form. Once offers have been accepted, referees will be contacted by email with details of their referee account. It is therefore important that email addresses are and for email accounts that are regularly accessed.

2018 Reference Form 75.00 KB 159 downloads

Access NI Checks (Criminal Records Checks)
From 1 April 2015 AccessNI checks will be completed online. Applicants for forthcoming interviews will no longer be required to bring a completed AccessNI form to interview with them; they will however still need to bring the required ID documents (see link for AccessNI page below). On acceptance of an offer, applicants will be emailed with instructions on how to apply for an AccessNI Certificate online.  Please bring the original document and one photocopy of each piece of ID to your document check with you.  Please visit the Access NI page for further information.
Fitness to Practise Declarations
As part of the application process to specialty training, applicants are required to declare any fitness to practise issues to recruitmentconfidential.nimdta@hscni.net. These declarations are held confidentially by the Professional Support Department until the recruitment process is complete. Declarations from successful applicants will be shared with the Trainee Review Group (TRG) to establish if the information provided warrants completion of an individual Transfer of Information (TOI) form. The information will also be forwarded to the Medical Director, Director of Medical Education and Medical HR within each future employing Trust for the duration of the training programme.

Please complete and return the form below to declare any Fitness to Practise issues:


Fitness to Practse Declaration Form 382.85 KB 18 downloads

Pre-Placement Health Assessment

NIMDTA co-ordinates pre-placement health assessments on behalf of the employing Trusts. Successful applicants will be unable to commence employment without having completed a satisfactory PPHA and may result in withdrawal of the offer of appointment. It is vitally important that all appointed candidates comply with requests for information either by NIMDTA or the employing Trust. Further information on how this will be carried out will be provided on the NIMDTA website.

Evidence of Advanced Life Support (ALS)
All CT1/ST1 Person Specifications have as one of their eligibility criteria the possession of an ALS certificate. This will be checked pre-employment, and any offer of a training programme will be conditional upon you presenting it to your first employer or the Deanery.
Right to work in the UK
From 6 October 2019, all medical practitioners have been added to the Shortage Occupation List in the UK. This means that all medical practitioners are exempt from the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) and can apply for any specialty in any recruitment round, subject to eligibility.
Applicants to Public Health will still be subject to the RLMT.

Home Office Requirements

• Criminal Records Certificates
The Home Office requires those applying to come to the UK as a Tier 2 doctor or dentist in training, and their adult dependants, to produce a criminal record certificate from any country in which they have been resident for 12 months or more, consecutively or cumulatively, in the previous 10 years, aged 18 or over.

As it can take some time to obtain a criminal record certificate, applicants should begin the process of seeking certificates, if required, at the earliest opportunity.  Further information is available from page 11 of the Applicants Handbook available from the Oriel Resource Bank.

• Maintenance
Public bodies cannot offer to certify maintenance on the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). If applicants are successful in being appointed to a training programme in the UK, and require Tier 2 sponsorship, they will be required to provide evidence of maintenance (funds) to the Home Office when they make their visa application.
Full guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-application-for-uk-visa-as-tier-2-worker

Evidence of immigration status would be a biometric residence card, date stamped passport and/or identity card. All of these documents need to be dated as at or prior to the application closing date.  You will be asked to bring your passport and proof of your immigration status to any interviews or assessments you attend

Further information will be made available via the NIMDTA Immigration page.  A link to the page will be added here in due course.

Information for applicants from the EU
You will be aware that the UK is in the process of leaving the European Union.  This means freedom of movement will be affected in the future.  The HSC will continue to welcome and value staff and trainees from Europe as it does the whole world.

From 31 October 2019 the UK will have left the European Union. If an agreement is reached with the EU, then EU citizens and their family members will be able to move to the UK until 2021 on the same basis as you could do today, with the same rights to work and study freely, as you currently do. For EU citizens who already live in the UK, you are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.  All EU citizens who have lived in the UK for more than five years continuously will be eligible for ‘settled status’ (equivalent to indefinite leave to remain).  If you have lived in the UK for less than five years you will be eligible for ‘pre-settled status’ and can upgrade this to ‘settled status’ when you have been here for five years.  As the Prime Minister announced on 21 January, this process is free to all from 30 March 2019. Any payment made for an application before this date will be refunded. More information on the settlement scheme can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families

In the event that an agreement is not reached, from 31 October 2019 EU nationals could still continue to come to the UK as they do now under retained free movement laws until 31 December 2020 before the UK’s new immigration system begins in 2021. During this period, newly arriving EU citizens will still be able to enter the UK as they do now and will be able to visit, work or study without applying for a visa, but they will not be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.  European Temporary Leave to Remain (Euro TLR) has been introduced as a new transitional immigration status for EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members who arrive in the UK after a no-deal exit day and before 31 December 2020. If you want to stay in the UK, you can apply from within the UK for Euro TLR status which will be granted for 36 months, subject to identity, criminality and security checks. Application for the Euro TLR status is voluntary, however if you do not gain Euro TLR status before 31 December 2020 you will be required to apply for a work visa under the future immigration system. Being granted the Euro TLR status does not secure a right to stay in the UK when the 36 month period expires. It can be used as a bridge to a new immigration status where the time accrued under Euro TLR can be used towards a qualifying period for settlement under a future immigration system.
More information will be available soon on the process to register and how the UK’s Future Immigration System will work.  To keep up to date, please regularly visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-immigration-after-free-movement-ends-if-theres-no-deal

Disability Discrimination Act
You will be asked to identify on your application from if you consider yourself disabled as set out in the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA.) You will also be asked to give specific arrangements you require to attend interview if invited. This information WILL NOT be available to short-listing or selection panels.For more information on the DDA please click here.
Guaranteed Interview Scheme
You will be asked to show on your application form if you consider yourself disabled as set out in the Equality Act 2010 and whether you wish to be considered under the Guaranteed Interview Scheme. This information will not be available to short-listing panels. For further information visit: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/RightsAndObligations/index.htm.  Where necessary and possible, reasonable adjustments will be made to facilitate attendance at interview to meet the needs of applicants with disabilities. Applicants will need to ensure that they enter into an early dialogue with the relevant recruiting organisation. Eg NIMDTA, College or other UK Deanery.
Travel Expenses
Please note candidates travel to attend interviews at their own cost. Travel expenses will not be reimbursed by NIMDTA.
Allocation of Placements for Doctors in Training
When you submit an application for specialty training, you are applying for a place on an educational training programme. You are not applying for a specific programme, rotation or post.  If you are successful at interview, you will be allocated to the most appropriate programme based on your selection score and programme availability. Your programme preferences will be taken into consideration wherever possible. You will receive confirmation of your placement and a contract of employment will be issued by the employing organisation, subject to satisfactory pre-placement checks.
Deferral of Start Date
Applicants can only defer the start of their specialty training programmes on statutory grounds such as personal ill health or maternity leave. Commencement cannot be deferred for reasons such as research, except in the case of candidates who have accepted a GP Post (subject to approval). Applicants who have had a period of ill health or maternity during the training programme from which they are applying will be permitted to defer their entry to specialty training by the same period of time. Tier 2 visa applicants wishing to defer should also discuss this with the appropriate Tier 2 sponsor to ensure they are able to do so under current immigration rules. Applicants must complete the form below and forward it to gpspecialtytraining.nimdta@hscni.net or specialty.nimdta@hscni.net as soon as possible after acceptance of post.
For Hospital Specialty Training applications, NIMDTA will seek support from the appropriate Head of School and Training Programme Director. All applications will be considered by the relevant Head of Department and applicants will be advised by email of the outcome.
Special Circumstances
Allocation of placements will take place on completion of the recruitment process. If you have special circumstances which need to be considered when allocating your placement, please complete the appropriate documentation in the ‘Special Circumstances – Guidance for Specialty Trainees’ which can be found here.
Complaints Process
The complaints policy is available here.This has been recently amended to take into account the changes to the selection processes that have been necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic
Trust Information
Information regarding working patterns, detailed job descriptions, salary scales and Terms and Conditions of Employment for Specialty Training Doctors will be available on the Trust websites. Our Trust HR Information page contains details of forms which must be downloaded and completed for commencement of your placement, and also details the documentation you are required to supply on our first day.
Code of Practice - Provision of Information for Postgraduate Medical Training
Doctors in training require details about the programmes and posts they are applying for, where they will be working and their conditions of employment. This Code of Practice lays out the agreed set of information that Deaneries and employing Trusts should provide to doctors in training at each stage of the recruitment process.

View Information for Newly Appointed Doctors in Training.  If you have any questions regarding the information above, please contact specialty.nimdta@hscni.net.