Applications for ST3 and ST4 posts

Information about applying for ST3 and ST4 posts, including the application process, person specifications and guidance.

We hope you find the information on this page helpful. If after reading this information you have any further queries please contact the Recruitment and Careers Team on For regular updates, follow us on Twitter @paedjobs.

The 2015 national recruitment for ST3/ST4 is now complete, all offers have been made.

Applications opened at 10:00 BST on 11 November 2014 and closed at 16:00 BST on 4 December 2014. The recruitment round included posts for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Full Advert 2015 (PDF, 293 KB)

The following information is for the 2015 round for ST3 and ST4 posts

On this page:

  1.  Competition ratios
  2. Application processDoctor in white coat and young girl patient
  3. The Oriel Application system
  4. Advert,post numbers and interview dates
  5. Person specifications
  6. Application form
  7. Specialty competences
  8. Guidance for applicants
  9. Shortlisting and interviews
  10. Deferred entry
  11. Information for overseas nationals
  12. Contact us

1. Competition ratios

RCPCH strongly advises you consider competition ratios for information only as they can change significantly from round to round.

ST3 competition ratios 2014 (PDF, 206 KB)

ST4 competition ratios 2014 (PDF, 240 KB)

2. Application process

ST3 and ST4 posts will be run in accordance with a single-centre model which means that all applications will be reviewed by a single centralised team, with interviews being conducted in a single venue.


Once applications close, candidates are progressed to the longlisting stage to assess their eligibility against a range criteria outlined in the person specification. These include right to work in the UK, previous specialty experience and GMC/Fitness to Practise status. If you are found not to be eligible, your application will not progress any further.

Shortlisting/Invite to interviews

For the 2015 round of ST3/4 recruitment interviews will be delivered via a single-centre model. This means all applicants invited to interview will be considered at the same time, in the same place. Wherever possible all eligible applicants at ST3 and ST4 will be offered an interview. If applications exceed capacity we will undertake a competitive shortlisting process, in accordance with the guidelines outlined in the shortlisting framework. In this event, those ranking below the cut off for interview will not progress further within this round of recruitment.

Due to the nature of single-centre interviews, if you are unable to attend interview we will be unable to progress your application, even if eligible, on this occasion.

Following interview

All appointable applicant will be ranked in accordance with interview score. Offers will be made in accordance with this rank and post preferences selected.

3. The Oriel Application System

The UK health departments have been working with trainee doctors and other stakeholders to put in place an offers process allowing applicants to receive all their training offers electronically.

The process for making offers for specialty training posts will co-ordinate all first offers across all specialties so that applicants can accept, reject or hold an offer.

Accessing the Oriel Application System

All specialties/deaneries/LETB's will be using the Oriel Application System to coordinate the process for all training programmes from application all the way through to offers.  If you wish to apply for a training post you will need to register on the Oriel Application System.

Selecting preferences - deanery/LETBs (Local Education & Training Boards) or specific programmes within a deanery/LETB

When you make an application to either an ST3 or ST4 post in this round you will make an application to 'Paediatrics'. At the point that invite to interviews are sent, you will have the opportunity to indicate your specific preferences in accordance with posts available for that level. You may preference as many or as few preferences as you wish, remembering that by not preferencing posts you will not be considered for them.

You will have the facility, via your applicant dashboard on the Oriel Application System, to view the different preferences that are available to you. Full instructions on how to select and confirm preferences will be available on the preference page.

Your preferences along with your final rank are used to determine which offer, if any, you receive. If you are deemed to be appointable after interview, then you may be made an offer of your highest available preference.  The higher you are ranked at interview, the more likely you are to be offered your preference, although all offers are subject to eligibility and post availability.

If you are not prepared to accept an offer of training in a certain deanery/LETB, then you should not rank it.

By ranking a preference (deanery/LETB or specific programmes within a deanery/LETB), you are stating that you would be prepared to undertake a training programme in that area, if none of your other preferences are available to you. It is important that you think carefully about this choice when applying for posts. Interview panels will not have access to your preferences.

Please read the programme descriptions carefully, paying close attention to the deanery/LETB in which the post is actually located as this may not be within the deanery that manages the recruitment to the post.

Receiving an offer on the Oriel Application System

If you receive an offer through the Oriel Application System, you will be able to accept, reject or hold the offer until a set date. This date will be clearly identified if you receive an offer. You will have 48 hours from the time your offer is made, including weekends and bank holidays, to decide whether to accept, reject or hold it. By responding, you accept certain conditions.

If you do not respond to your offer within 48 hours, we will interpret this as meaning you have rejected the offer and it will be offered to another applicant.

If you intend to reject an offer, please do so as soon as possible as this will allow the offer to be made to another applicant. If you were not offered a post in the initial release of offers, this does not mean you will not be offered one later on, as offers are recycled if other applicants reject them.

Further information on how to respond to offers is available in the applicant guidance (see item 8).

4. Adverts, post numbers and interview dates

Information about interviews for the next round of applications will be provided here in due course.

Indicative post numbers (MS Word, 207 KB) - please note, these are a guide only and may be subject to change.

5. Person specifications

Before applying for an ST post you are advised to ensure you meet the the requirements outlined in the appropriate person specification.

ST3 Person Specification 2015 (PDF, 356 KB)

ST4 Person Specification 2015 (PDF, 348 KB)

6. Application form and guidance

You must complete your paediatric application for either ST3 or ST4 online using the Oriel Application System

Applicants can find out more about completing the application in the Oriel Applicant Guidance (PDF, 913 KB)

7. Specialty competences

It is a requirement that applicants hold the appropriate level of paediatric competences for the post to which they are applying.

There are different requirements for those wishing to enter at ST3 and those wishing to enter at ST4.

Specialty competences - ST3

If you are seeking to apply at ST3 you will need to be able to demonstrate a minimum of 24 months post-graduate, post-Foundation school (or equivalent) experience in paediatrics.

In order to be eligible for an ST3 post you will end to be able to demonstrate that you hold competences equivalent to those undertaken by someone who has completed ST1 and ST2 of the UK Paediatric training programme.

Further information on how to demonstrate competences for ST3 applications can be found in the Guidance for Applicants ST3/4 (PDF, 6.25 MB)

Specialty competences - ST4

If you are seeking to apply at ST4 you will need to be able to demonstrate a minimum of 24 months post-graduate, post-Foundation school (or equivalent) experience in paediatrics.

In order to be eligible for an ST4 post you will end to be able to demonstrate that you hold competences equivalent to completion of those outlined in Level 1 of the Paediatric Curriculum.

Further information on how to demonstrate competences for ST4 can be found in the Guidance for Applicants ST3/4

For ST4 applicants only: For those requiring an alternate certificate of Level 1 competency, the form and guidance notes can be found in Certificate Confirming Completion of Level 1 Competency (PDF, 60.1 KB)

8. Guidance for applicants

We recommend that you read the following guidance documents, which have been designed to assist you during various stages of the application process. 

This guide will be updated as required during the recruitment round, so please ensure you are familiar with the most recent version.

Guidance for Applicants ST3/4 (PDF, 6.25 MB)

Structured Reference Form (MS Word, 75 KB)

Complaints Procedure ST3/4 (PDF, 771 KB)

HEE Applicant Handbook (PDF, 663 KB)

Oriel Applicant Guidance (PDF, 913 KB)

If you are applying to re-join the ST training programme (previously resigned, been removed from, or relinquished a post) you must submit a complete a Support for Reapplication Document (MS Word, 75.5 KB)

9. The shortlisting/interview process

Shortlisting Framework (ST3-4) 2015 (PDF, 771 KB)

The interview process, including stations and cut off, is different for ST3 and ST4 posts. Please ensure you read the correct information for your level of application from the two options below:

ST3 Interview Framework (PDF, 1.32 KB)

ST4 Interview Framework (PDF, 1.45 MB)

10. Deferred entry

In accordance with the Gold Guide (fifth edition), deferred entry may only be considered for statutory reasons (e.g. maternity, ill health) only. If you are unsure whether you qualify for deferred entry please email the Recruitment and Careers Team on

11. Information for overseas nationals

If you are subject to immigration control, you will be required to provide evidence of your immigration status as at the closing date of the post to which you are applying. If you have limited leave to remain, you will be considered for the post as long as your immigration category allows you to take up a training programme and is valid on the closing date of the post to which you are applying.

Where an applicant needs to 'switch' to another visa category, the Resident Labour Market Test will be applied (unless the applicant is a graduate of a UK medical / dental school). If you need to 'switch' your visa category, you should check the UK Visas and Immigration website to see if you may switch within the UK.

If you do not fall within one of the categories cited, any sponsor will have to apply for a “restricted” CoS (Certificate of Sponsorship) and you will have to return home and make an application out of country. The issue of a restricted CoS and / or a successful application for new entry clearance cannot be guaranteed.

IMPORTANT: ST3 and ST4 paediatric posts in Scotland are currently exempt from the Resident Labour Market Test. Accordingly applicants for these posts that are eligible to receive offers will be considered on the basis of their ranking and made offers accordingly.

For those who require a Tier 2, but wish to work elsewhere (i.e. England, Northern Ireland or Wales), you will ordinarily be subject to the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT). For this round, you will be progressed through longlisting, shortlisting (as required) and interview provided you fulfil all other eligibility criteria. You will then be interviewed alongside all other applicants.

At the point of offer, we must first seek to exhaust the pool of settled workers before we can consider those needing a Certificate of Sponsorship. Assuming we have exhausted the pool of settled workers, but have posts remaining, these will be offered to applicants requiring a Certificate of Sponsorship based on interview ranking and preference.

Information to assist you in determining whether or not you are eligble to apply for a Specialty Training post can be found in Annex B: Information for Overseas Nationals in the HEE Applicant Handbook.

12. Contact us

Email: Recruitment and Careers Team -

Phone: 020 7092 6144