Specialty training at ST3 - application guidance

This page is for doctors applying for paediatric specialty training (ST) at ST3 in the UK. It covers the application process, including the application timeline, eligibility criteria, post numbers and a helpful webinar. You can download the full applicant guide, person specification, scoring framework and certificate of core paediatric training capabilities.

ST3 posts may be available at two points in the national specialty recruitment calendar, in what is known as National Round 2 (R2) and National Round 3 (R3).

Applications for recruitment into ST3 in National Round 3 (R3), for posts starting in February 2025 will be open from 10:00 on 23 July 2024. The full timeline is below.

Please note: Paediatrics will no longer be recruiting into ST4 after 2023. Therefore, ST3 will be the only higher level entry point to the training pathway from 2024.
Last modified
23 May 2024

National recruitment processes for 2024

The format of recruitment for paediatrics will mirror last year's process and will therefore involve a shortlisting process, based on part of the application, which will determine those applicants that are invited to be interviewed. Interviews themselves will be held virtually.

Paediatric Recruitment 2024

Recruitment for ST3 paediatrics is composed of two elements:

  1. Application form (white-space questions) for shortlisting: to cover Past achievements, Teaching, Management, Clinical experience
  2. 40-minute virtual interview, made up of 2 x 20-minute stations: to cover Communication, Clinical thinking, Reflective practice and Governance & Leadership.

In recent years the number of eligible applicants (after longlisting) has exceeded the interview capacity available across our virtual interview centres, by a good number. So application scores will be used as a shortlisting tool to determine invites to interview against overall capacity.

Appointability will then be determined using the interview scores, with a final appointability threshold of 55% or more. Full details of stations, scenarios and scoring can be found in the ST3 applicant guide - see Downloads box.

National Round 3 - dates for 2024/2025 recruitment

Applications for National Round 3 (R3), for applicants looking to join the paediatric training pathway at ST3 in February 2025 will be opening at 10:00 on 23 July 2024. The complete timeline is published in the table below.

The recruitment process includes three parts: longlisting; shortlisting (based on the application form); and a virtual interview, for those who are successfully shortlisted. Successful trainees will commence their posts in February 2025.

Stages 2024 Dates
Advert appears By 17:00 Monday 22 July
Applications open  10:00 Tuesday 23 July
Applications close 16:00 Tuesday 13 August
Shortlisting window opens Tuesday 27 August
Shortlisting window closes 12:00 Monday 9 September
Invite to interview, Applicant Declaration sent Wednesday 11 September
Deadline for interview booking, Applicant Declaration return Monday 16 September
Interview window opens Monday 30 September
Interview window closes Thursday 3 October
Offers released By 17:00 Thursday 10 October
Hold deadline 13:00 Thursday 24 October
Upgrade deadline 16:00 Friday 25 October
Paperwork must be submitted by Wednesday 6 November

The NHSE website also provides general information on national recruitment, including full national timelines and 2024 specific guidance documents.

Person specifications and application guidance

You will make their application via the Oriel application system.

You need to demonstrate relevant paediatric training equivalency, and be registered with and licensed by the General Medical Council (GMC).

You will not need to upload accompanying evidence, apart from the Certificate of Core Paediatric Training Capabilities 2024-25 form. N.B. This replaces the earlier versions of this form and only this version will be accepted for the 2024 recruitment rounds. The form can be found in the download box at the bottom of this page.

The ST3 applicant guide, 2024 person specification, application scoring framework and certificate form from Round 2 can be downloaded below. Any revisions for Round 3 will be announced at the top of this page before applications open. Make sure you have read and understood all the updated guidance documents before making your application.

You should refer to the scoring framework to guide your completion of the free text sections of the application form, in particular. All applications will be shortlisted by two clinical assessors (all paediatric consultants and possibly some senior paediatric trainees).

Paediatric specialty training webinar and Q&A - 1 November 2023

The webinar was hosted by the RCPCH Medical Recruitment team in advance of the 2024 round, for anyone planning to apply to ST1 or ST3. It was presented by Dr Blanche Lumb, RCPCH Trainee Representative for Recruitment, Dr Simon Broughton, RCPCH Officer for Recruitment, Eloise Rodgers, RCPCH Medical Recruitment Coordinator and James Clark, RCPCH Head of Medical Recruitment. The audience is guided through all parts of the recruitment process and provided tips on what makes a successful application, including completing your application form and how to start preparing for the interview. 

Post numbers

340 applications were made to ST3 in 2023, for a total of 55 posts. The final fill rate was 100%, with all posts filled at the end of the overall recruitment process.

Indicative post numbers for Round 3 will be published in July 2024.

Region Indicative Post numbers
East Midlands TBC July 2024
East of England TBC July 2024
KSS TBC July 2024
LaSE (London) TBC July 2024
North East TBC July 2024
North West TBC July 2024
Northern Ireland TBC July 2024
Scotland TBC July 2024
South West Peninsula TBC July 2024
South West Severn TBC July 2024
Thames Valley TBC July 2024
Wales TBC July 2024
Wessex TBC July 2024
West Midlands TBC July 2024
Yorkshire and The Humber TBC July 2024


For any queries about the process, please contact the Paediatric National Recruitment Office at england.paedsnro@nhs.net