Paediatric sub-specialty training - application guidance

In the UK Paediatric Training Programme it's possible to choose to sub-specialise during specialty training (ST5-ST7). Applications are made through a competitive recruitment process at ST4 or higher, subject to having completed core training (ST1-ST4) and enough time left to complete the required capabilities before the certificate of completion of training (CCT) date.

Those who complete an approved programme of sub-specialist training are eligible to enter on the GMC specialist register as a paediatrician with a sub-specialty.
Last modified
21 February 2024


These are the key applicant dates for the 2023-24 sub-specialty recruitment round.

Stage of process Date
Programmes advertised on RCPCH website with links to job descriptions on SharePoint Wednesday 11 October 2023
Webinar on applying to sub-specialty training 15:30 - 16:30 Wednesday 18 October 2023
Applications open on Oriel 12 noon Wednesday 25 October 2023
Confirmation of eligibility forms to deanery via ePortfolio by Monday 6 November 2023*
Applications close 12 noon Wednesday 15 November 2023
Shortlisting process Wednesday 22 November - Monday 11 December 2023
Invitations to interview and shortlisting outcomes via Oriel From Tuesday 19 December 2023 (not before 16:00)
Shortlisting feedback emailed out Thursday 21 December 2023
Shortlisting appeals deadline 09:00 Thursday 4 January 2024
Webinar on the interview process (invite only) 15:00 Thursday 18 January 2024
Virtual sub-specialty interview period Thursday 25 January - Friday 9 February 2024
Deadline for confirmation of preference choices 09:00 Monday 12 February 2024
Matching process w/c Monday 12 February 2024
Offers will be made on Oriel From Tuesday 20 February 2024
Hold deadline Tuesday 27 February 2024
Upgrade deadline Thursday 29 February 2024
Clearing round From Friday 1 March 2024
Interview feedback uploaded to ePortfolio Thursday 14 March 2024

Interview dates

Sub-specialty 2024 dates
Community Child Health Wednesday 31 January / Thursday 1 February / Friday 2 February
Neonatal Medicine Monday 5 / Tuesday 6 / Wednesday 7 February
Paediatric Allergy Thursday 25 January
Paediatric Diabetes & Endocrinology Thursday 1 February
Paediatric Emergency Medicine Thursday 25 / Friday 26 January
Paediatric Gastroenterology (PGHAN) Monday 29 January
Paediatric Hepatology (PGHAN) Tuesday 30 January
Paediatric Immunology & Infectious Disease Friday 26 January
Paediatric Intensive Care Medicine Thursday 8 / Friday 9 February
Paediatric Nephrology Monday 5 February
Paediatric Neurodisability Monday 29 / Tuesday 30 January
Paediatric Neurology Thursday 1 February
Paediatric Oncology Friday 2 February
Paediatric Palliative Medicine Tuesday 6 February
Paediatric Respiratory Medicine Tuesday 30 / Wednesday 31 January
Paediatric Rheumatology Friday 9 February

What sub-specialty posts can I apply for?

The programmes for the sub-specialties recruiting in the 2023-24 round are available to view in the Downloads box at the bottom of this page. The programmes include links to the SharePoint folder where the job descriptions are available to view.

Child Mental Health, Paediatric Clinical Pharmacology and Paediatric Inherited Metabolic Medicine will not be recruiting.

Who can apply for sub-specialty training?

All applicants should ensure that they meet the criteria listed below in order for their application to be considered. Paediatric sub-specialty training is available for all trainees in the UK Paediatric Training pathway, along with some specific exceptions for trainees from related specialties, as detailed below.

There is no person specification for individual sub-specialties.

Applications that do not meet these criteria will be longlisted out of the process

RCPCH trainees

  • Currently in the UK paediatric training programme at ST4 or above
  • Completion of MRCPCH examinations
  • Completion or expected completion of Core paediatric training by the time of entry to the sub-specialty training programme
  • Annual Review of Competency Progression (ARCP) must be an outcome 1 or expected to be an outcome 1 by entry into sub-specialty training
  • Must have enough time to complete sub-speciality training before CCT date (demonstrated on the Confirmation of eligibility form)

ST4 trainees will need to need to have an interim review of their capability-based progression to ensure they are on track to complete their level 2/core training by summer 2024.

RCPCH academic trainees

  • As above (for RCPCH trainees)
  • As above (for RCPCH trainees)
  • Should have an Academic Clinical Lectureship (ACL) post already lined up**

Republic of Ireland (ROI) paediatric trainees

All ROI Trainees must demonstrate the following by submitting a completed Certificate of Core Training Capabilities for ROI Trainees.

  • Currently in the ROI paediatric training programme
  • Completion of MRCPI in Paediatrics and all BST General Paediatrics Mandatory Courses
  • Demonstration of completion or expected completion of core training capabilities by the time of entry to the sub-specialty programme as outlined in RCPCH Progress+ curriculum

Other allied medical specialties

There is no requirement for trainees in other allied medical specialties to have MRCPCH examinations or the paediatric capabilities listed in the RCPCH Trainee eligibility criteria. But they should be aware of their own essential requirements.

All Anaesthetic, Intensive care medicine (ICM) and Emergency medicine (EM) trainees need to demonstrate the following by submitting a completed Confirmation of eligibility form for Anaesthetic, ICM & EM trainees.

Anaesthetic trainees

  • Currently in UK Anaesthetics training pathway
  • Ensure that 24 months WTE OOP is approved for PICM training
  • Have FRCA
  • Have completed ST5 by the time of entry into PICM training
Contact for more information

Intensive care medicine (ICM) trainees

  • Currently in the UK ICM training pathway
  • Have Primary FRCA, MRCEM/intermediate FRCEM, MRCP (UK) or equivalent
  • Have completed Stage 1 of the ICM Training Programme (ST4) by the time of entry into PICM training
  • Dual CCT ICM trainees (with either Acute Internal Medicine (AIM) or EM or Anaesthesia) will need to gain approval to extend their training to complete PICM training. Single ICM CCT trainees will have no extension to training.
Sub-specialty recognition
  • ICM trainees are eligible for sub-specialty recognition of PICM in their CCT. It is preferable that applications to PICM are made by the end of Stage 1 of the ICM Training Programme, to give the best chance of integrating it into their training.
Contact for more information

Emergency medicine (EM) trainees

  • Currently in the UK EM Training pathway
  • Have MRCEM/Intermediate FRCEM
  • Have completed EM ST4 by the time of entry into PEM or PICM training

Please contact PEM ISAC for more information on entry into PEM training and PICM ISAC for more information into PICM training.

Contact for more information
  • PEM ISAC for more information on entry into PEM training
  • PICM ISAC for more information on entry into PICM training

Trainees outside of a UK/ROI training programme

Applications from those outside of a UK/Republic of Ireland training programme are not eligible to apply. If someone has training, qualifications and experience in paediatrics but has gained these partly or completely outside of an approved CCT training programme (for example, they have trained outside the UK or Republic of Ireland, moved abroad or taken a career break) and they are looking to join the GMC Specialist Register, they may be eligible to apply for CESR.

Trainees from outside of a UK/Republic of Ireland training programme may be eligible to apply to core paediatric training and then apply to sub-specialty training once in the UK training programme.

ST4 applicants

Any ST4 trainees that applies in the 2023-24 round will need to be on track to have completed all their Progress Level 2 capabilities / Progress+ core training capabilities by August 2024. In January 2024 the College team will be asking deanery contacts (for sub-specialty) to re-confirm that all short-listed ST4 trainees, who have joined the training programme via National Recruitment, in August/September 2023, are still on track to complete their Core Training capabilities. This will be carried out via an interim ARCP-style review. Please discuss with your Training Programme Director if you have any concerns or questions.

N.B. ST4 trainees who were already in the training programme prior to August/September 2023, do not need to have an interim ARCP-style review in January 2024.

Indicative training time

Sub-specialty training is capability based and programmes are typically two to three years indicatively. Applicants must ensure they have enough time to complete the required capabilities before their agreed CCT date, as it cannot be changed to accommodate sub-specialty training.

A maximum of one-year WTE (whole time equivalent) specialty training UK experience or equivalent (Out of Programme Pause or OOP Training) can be counted towards sub-specialty training, as long as it has been approved by the relevant CSAC Chair prior to the application process.

How many times can I apply to do sub-specialty training?

Trainees are not limited in the number of attempts that they can apply to sub-specialty training, subject to having enough time left before their CCT date and can count up to one year WTE towards training.

How many sub-specialties can I apply for?

Applicants can apply for a maximum of two sub-specialities in each round. Separate application forms must be submitted for each sub-specialty.

Can I defer my place?

A deferral request will be accepted for statutory reasons only (for example, parental leave, ill health). Applicants applying for deferred entry must put their intention to defer and their intended start date (if known) on their application form. We are no longer accepting deferral requests for any other reasons. This does not affect trainees applying while they are out of programme (OOP) if they meet the eligibility criteria, but trainees will no longer be able to defer for studying for a higher education qualification.

How do I apply?

Applications are made via the Oriel recruitment system.

  • Access the Oriel system and register for an account with Oriel using the same email registered on ePortfolio
  • Read the shortlisting scoring criteria thoroughly when completing the application. It contains all the details of the marking scheme and what the maximum score is for each assessment domain. It also contains the white space questions for each section, so applicants can start planning their answers in advance of the application window.
  • Applications close at 12 noon on Wednesday 15 November 2023 (see full timeline at the top of this page). It is recommended that applications are submitted at least 48 hours before the closing date to allow for any technical problems or unforeseen circumstances.
  • Late applications will not be accepted under any circumstances.
  • Reasonable adjustments and special circumstances requests need to be noted on the application and the relevant form (available in the Downloads box below) completed and returned to the sub-specialty team. Please see the applicant guide below for more information.

Shortlisting scores do not contribute to the final score. They will determine if an applicant goes through to the interview stage and will be used in the situation of a tie break. Applicants will be appointed based on their interview score and their preferences.

Confirmation of eligibility forms and equivalent

All applicants need to submit a confirmation of eligibility form or equivalent to demonstrate their eligibility to apply to sub-specialty training. The next sections have more information per type of trainee.

RCPCH trainees

Available on ePortfolio. Trainees need to ask their local deanery (see the Downloads box for the deanery contact list) to complete the Confirmation of eligibility form on ePortfolio before submitting an application.

To open a form once logged into ePortfolio, click on ‘create’ under ‘create a new event’ and scroll down to ‘uncategorised’ where ‘Confirmation of eligibility form for sub-specialty training’ is listed, click on the link to open a new form. Trainees need to fill out section 1 of the form, then submit it to their deanery contact.

Forms need to be submitted to the local deanery before the application window closes by Monday 6 November 2023. Late forms may not be accepted and in this situation will be at the discretion of the deanery. In the form asks the deanery contact to confirm that the trainee is eligible to apply to sub-specialty training and that they have no concerns regarding their training progress. One form is needed for each applicant, not for each application, unless sub-specialty training experience is being counted towards different applications. The form does not need to be uploaded to the Oriel application.

Any application submitted without a confirmation of eligibility form on ePortfolio will be longlisted out of the process.

Republic of Ireland (ROI) paediatric trainees

Trainees from ROI will need to complete the Certificate of Core Training Capabilities for ROI Trainees form. It needs to be completed by a consultant that has worked with the trainee for a minimum of three months WTE within 3.5 years prior to August 2024. The completed form needs to be emailed back to the recruitment team before an application is submitted. The form will be available in the Downloads box below.

Anaesthetic, Intensive care medicine and Emergency medicine trainees

Trainees from these specialties need to ask their local deanery to complete a Confirmation of eligibility for Anaesthetic, ICM, and EM trainees form and email it back to the recruitment team before an application is submitted. The form is available in the Downloads box below.


On 18 October 2023 the RCPCH Medical Recruitment team held a webinar on the application process for sub-specialty training, followed by a question and answer session. 

The guest speakers included Dr Karin Schwarz, Assistant Officer for Recruitment and Dr Blanche Lumb, Trainee Representative for Recruitment.

Listen to the recording of the webinar below:

On 10 July 2023 the RCPCH Medical Recruitment team held an online Paediatric Sub-specialty Careers Event with morning and afternoon sessions. Below is a recording of the Opening Talk held in the first hour of each session. The individual sub-specialty stalls were not recorded. This is the programme of the recording:

  • Introduction to paediatric sub-specialty training - Eloise Rodgers, Medical Recruitment Coordinator and Dr Karin Schwarz, Assistant Officer for Recruitment
  • Sub-specialty introductions: Neonatal Medicine, Paediatric Allergy, Paediatric Diabetes and Endocrinology, Community Child Health, Paediatric Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Paediatric Intensive Care Medicine, Paediatric Nephrology
  • Who can apply when? - Dr Blanche Lumb, Trainee Representative for Recruitment
  • Sub-specialty introductions: Paediatric Neurology, Paediatric Oncology, Paediatric Respiratory, Paediatric Rheumatology, Paediatric Inherited Metabolic Medicine, Paediatric Neurodisability, Paediatric Palliative Medicine, Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
  • Questions & Answers

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact the RCPCH Sub-specialty Recruitment team:

  • *The deadline of Monday 6 November 2023 is for confirmation of eligibility forms to be sent to the deanery. The deadline for the forms to be submitted to the RCPCH sub-specialty recruitment team is the same deadline for submitting the Oriel application by 12 noon Wednesday 15 November 2023.
  • **These academic posts are supernumerary to the clinical posts that we advertise in the recruitment programmes, and they are therefore not included in the preferences and offers process.