Specialty training at ST3 and ST4 - application guidance

This information is for doctors applying for paediatric specialty training (ST) at ST3 or ST4 in the UK - known as National Round 2. It covers the application process, including the application timeline, eligibility criteria and other useful details. You can download the person specifications and other useful documents, along with the full applicant guide.

Applications for 2023 posts closed on 8 December, and shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview from February/March.

Update 17 January 2023: The preferencing date for ST3 & ST4 posts has been pushed back to Monday 6 March 2023. Applicants will still be able to amend their preferences up to and during the offers process.
Last modified
17 January 2023


25 November 2022 - The indicative post numbers for ST3 and ST4 for all UK regions can be viewed in the Post numbers section.

10 November 2022 - We ran a live webinar and Q&A for anyone considering applying to ST3 or ST4 Paediatrics in this round, and the recording can be viewed below.

25 October 2022 - Revised applicant guidance, application form scoring frameworks and Certificate of Equivalent Paediatric Training are available in the Downloads box. Applicants were asked to ensure they read the new documents, before starting their application, including the requirements for Neonatal and General Paediatric experience and Core Capabilities form, which was revised per the updated training programme and curriculum, Progress+ launching in August 2023.

National recruitment processes for 2023

The format of recruitment for all specialties for 2023 has been discussed and agreed by the Medical & Dental Recruitment and Selection Group (MDRS). Under normal circumstances, recruitment for National Round 1 paediatrics would involve face-to-face interviews, across our six regional centres. Following on from the exceptional circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been agreed that there will again be no face-to-face interviews for national recruitment for any specialties.

As a result, virtual interviews will again be conducted following a shortlisting process, which will determine those applicants that are invited to be interviewed.

Paediatric ST3 and ST4 recruitment 2023

Recruitment for ST3 and ST4 paediatrics will this year be composed of two elements:

  1. Application form (white-space questions) for shortlisting: to cover Past achievements, Teaching, Management, Clinical experience
  2. 50-minute virtual interview, made up of 2 x 25-minute stations*: to cover Communication, Career Motivation, Clinical thinking, Reflective practice, Governance & Leadership.

*A new online platform is has been developed to allow for improved and more robust interviewing, including the ability to run multiple stations.

The number of eligible applicants (after longlisting) has exceeded the interview capacity available across our virtual interview centres in recent years by a good number, so application scores will be used as a shortlisting tool to determine invites to interview against overall capacity. We will aim to provide an idea of this capacity on this webpage, in advance of the application window opening in November 2022.

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 and ST4 applicant guides - see Downloads box.

National Round 2 - dates for 2023 recruitment

Applications for national round 2, for applicants looking to join the paediatric training pathway at ST3 or ST4 in August/September 2023, will open on 17 November 2022.

The recruitment process will include three parts: longlisting, shortlisting (based on the application form) and a virtual interview, for those who are successfully shortlisted. Trainees will commence their posts in August or September 2023, depending on the deanery.

These are the key dates:

What Date
Advert appears Wednesday 16 November 2022, by 17:00
Applications open Thursday 17 November 2022, at 10:00
Applications close Thursday 8 December 2022, at 16:00
Longlisting completed by Friday 6 January 2023
Shortlisting window opens Tuesday 17 January 2023
Shortlisting window closes Wednesday 15 February 2023
Invites to interview* Wednesday 22 February 2023
Interview booking deadline* Friday 24 February 2023
Preferencing Monday 6 March 2023
ST3 interviews day 1 Tuesday 14 March 2023
ST3 interviews day 2 Wednesday 15 March 2023
ST4 interviews day 1 Thursday 16 March 2023
ST4 interviews day 2 Friday 17 March 2023
ST3 & ST4 interviews - contingency date Wednesday 29 March 2023
Offers are released Wednesday 12 April 2023
Hold deadline Tuesday 25 April 2023, 13:00
Upgrade deadline Wednesday 26 April 2023 16:00

*Applicants who have been successfully shortlisted will also receive the 'Applicant Declaration' form along with their invite to interview. This must be completed and returned when the interview booking window closes.

The HEE website also provides general information on national recruitment, including full national timelines and 2023 specific guidance documents.

Person specifications and application guidance

Applicants make their application via the Oriel application system.

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

You will not need to upload accompanying evidence, apart from the Certificate of Paediatric Core Capabilities 2023 form.

The updated ST3 & ST4 applicant guides, revised application scoring frameworks and 2023 person specifications can be downloaded below.

Please note that the revised Certificate of Paediatric Core Capabilities form replaces the Certificate of Level 1 Training in Paediatrics from this year's recruitment rounds.

Applicants should also refer to the updated 2023 application form scoring framework for shortlisting to guide their 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).

Please ensure you have read and understood all the updated guidance documents before making your application. 

*Note - it the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that they are registered with the GMC before they start a paediatric training post - please refer to section 13.1 of the ST3 and/or ST4 applicant guides for full details. Not having GMC registration in time for a training start date may result in an applicant losing their post.

Post numbers

The below table lists the indicative post numbers for ST3 & ST4 for all UK regions for the 2023 round: 

Region Post numbers ST3 Post numbers ST4
East Midlands 0 1
East of England 0-3 0-5
KSS 0-5 0-5
LaSE (London) 0-15 0-15
North East 0 0-4
North West 0-1 0-4
Northern Ireland 3 0
Scotland 0-4 0-1
South West Peninsula 0-1 0-1
South West Severn 2 5
Thames Valley 0 4
Wales 1-3 0-1
Wessex 0-2 0-2
West Midlands 0-4 0-1
Yorkshire and The Humber 2 5

301 applications were made to ST3 in 2022, with 78 applicants interviewed for a total of 23 posts.

261 applications were made to ST3 in 2022, with 111 applicants interviewed for a total of 72 posts.

The final fill rate for both levels was 100%, with all posts filled at the end of the overall recruitment process.

There will be a separate window in which applicants can register their preferences on Oriel after the longlisting process is complete, opening in March 2023.

Paediatric specialty training at ST3 and ST4 webinar and Q&A - 10 November 2022

Hosted by the RCPCH Medical Recruitment team, this webinar was for anyone planning to apply to ST3 or ST4. Presenters Dr Blanche Lumb, RCPCH Trainee Representative for Recruitment, Dr Simon Broughton, Officer for Recruitment and James Clark, Head of Medical Recruitment, guided the audience through this year's recruitment process and provided tips on what makes a successful application and how to start preparing for your interview now.


For any queries about the process, please contact the Paediatric National Recruitment Office at PaedsNRO@hee.nhs.uk.