Applying for ST1 and ST2 - guidance for a new paediatrician

This information is for doctors applying for paediatric specialty training (ST) at ST1 or ST2 in the UK, for posts commencing in August/September 2019. Applications closed on 29 November. Longlisting will be completed by 21 December, and invites to interview sent on 7 January, with the interviews taking place across the UK in January and February.
Last modified
20 December 2018

Dates for the national recruitment process

Advert appears Wednesday 31 October 2018
Applications open (10:00) Wednesday 7 November 2018
Applications close (16:00) Thursday 29 November 2018
Longlisting completed by Friday 21 December 2018
Invites to interview sent out Monday 7 January 2019
Deadline for interview booking (16:00) Thursday 10 January 2019
Interview window opens Monday 21 January 2019
Interview window closes Friday 15 February 2019
First national offers released Tuesday 26 February 2019
Hold deadline (13:00) Friday 8 March 2019
Upgrade deadline (16:00) Friday 15 March 2019

About the recruitment

The RCPCH has an ongoing commitment to improve the national recruitment process for paediatrics and ensure that applicants have as much flexibility as possible. So, we made some changes to the recruitment process for ST1 and ST2 entry in 2019.

No restrictions on prior paediatric experience: This means that applicants who have spent a bit longer working in paediatrics outside the UK Foundation programme (or equivalent) are not ‘penalised’ and so left with fewer options of where to apply to enter our training programme.

One merged vacancy for ST1 and ST2: Applicants were able to make one application for both ST1 and ST2 entry. (There is therefore no separate vacancy for ST2 entry on Oriel.)

Opportunity to be assessed for completing Level 1 training in two years rather than three years: Applicants who can evidence at least 12 months experience in paediatric posts, outside the UK Foundation programme (or equivalent), at point of application, have the opportunity to be assessed and deemed capable of completing Level 1 training in two years (instead of the standard three years) and so have the option of progressing through their Level 1 training more quickly. This assessment will be carried out firstly via the evidence of posts on the application form and finalised by the assessors at interview, who will be assessing the suitability of these applicants for quicker completion of Level 1 training in of the each stations.

  • England and Wales will offer all their regional preferences at ST1 level. But, any applicant deemed capable after interview of completing Level 1 training in two years will subsequently be earmarked for fast tracking. These applicants will be flagged to their employing LETB/deanery and will progress to ST3 after one year of training, as long as their progress in their first year of training is sufficient to allow this. Fast track progression will ultimately be confirmed at their first ARCP (annual review of competence progression) but will be closely tracked with their educational supervisor throughout that first year. We will provide specific guidance on this shortly.
  • Scotland and Northern Ireland will also offer posts on a regional basis but will include a set, maximum number of posts that will start at ST2 level. Therefore any applicant deemed capable after interview of completing Level 1 training in two years and who accepts a post in Scotland will be able to start their training at ST2, depending on the number of ST2 entry posts available within the preference that they have accepted a post.

Safe prescribing station at interview: This station will now be scored out of 10.

All other parts of the paediatric recruitment process will be the same as in in 2018.

You can download the Applicant guidance for reference below.

Vacancy and applications process

Applicants were able to apply on the Oriel application system - though applications are now closed.

This process is managed by the Paediatrics National Recruitment Office (Paeds NRO), working out of the HEE West Midlands office. For queries, please contact them at

Person specification

As noted above, there is now a single person specification that covers entry at both ST1 and ST2. You need to be registered with and licensed by the General Medical Council (GMC) by the intended start date of the post you are applying for. (You don't need to be registered with or licensed by the GMC at the time of application.) For paediatric training posts, this is typically August or September, depending on the UK region. All start dates will be clearly displayed when you make your preferences on the Oriel system, once the vacancy is 'live'. If you need clarification, please contact the relevant HEE office.

You can download the Person specification for reference below. It's also available on the HEE Specialty Recruitment website.

Interviews - locations and dates

Applicants who have been longlisted will invited to book their interview at their preferred Selection Centre. You will need to do this between 7 and 10 January 2019 - as interview slots will be available on a first come, first served basis, please ensure you are able to log in to Oriel during this period to avoid disappointment.

Applicants will attend one Selection Centre, but will be considered for appointment to programmes in all preferenced regions.

Paediatric Selection Centres are delivered using six cluster-led centres - described as follows, with the lead highlighted in bold.

Cluster breakdown Selection Centre location Interview dates
London/KSS Kia Oval Cricket Ground, Kennington Oval, London, SE11 5SS 29 Jan - 1 Feb  2019
Thames Valley/South West/Wales/Wessex The Kassam Stadium, Grenoble Road, Oxford, OX4 4XP 12 - 13 Feb 2019
West Midlands/East Midlands/East of England Birmingham City FC, St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium, Cattell Rd, Birmingham B9 4RL 21 - 22 Jan 2019
North East/North West/Yorkshire & Humber St James' Park Stadium, Barrack Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4ST 22 - 23 Jan 2019
Scotland Hampden Park, Letherby Drive, Glasgow, G42 9BA 28 - 29 Jan 2019
Northern Ireland
La Mon Hotel & Country Club, 41 Gransha Rd, Comber, Belfast, BT23 5RF
12 Feb 2019

Past application numbers and competition ratio

In 2018, 580 applications were made for 440 posts overall across the UK. 480 applicants were invited to interview. The competition ratio for paediatric posts was therefore 1:1.31, equivalent to a little under 1-1/2 applicants for each post advertised.

Some regions do prove more popular than others. However, applicants can preference any or all of the preferences for any or all regions, so it is not possible to give an accurate competition ratio by region.

Both overall application numbers and consequently also competition ratios were down for the 2018 national recruitment round 1 and as a consequence, some posts were re-advertised in the national round 1 re-advert. We will confirm on our website whether there will be a re-advert for 2019 by 17 December 2018.


If you have any further queries please contact