Recruitment into sub-specialty training- application guidance

At Level 3 of training (ST6-ST8), paediatric trainees may sub-specialise in a specific area of paediatrics. 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. This process is also known as the NTN Grid recruitment.

Sub-specialty programmes for 2022 are now available to view below in the downloads section.
Last modified
14 October 2021

See all sub-specialties


This timeline is for sub-specialty training starting in August or September 2022. The dates are later than previous years to allow applicants more time before the application window opens to decide which sub-specialty to apply for.

Stage of process Date
Programmes advertised and advert published by End of day, Wednesday 13 October 2021
Applications open Wednesday 27 October 2021
Confirmation of eligibility forms to deanery latest Monday 8 November 2021
Applications close 12 noon, Wednesday 17 November 2021
Shortlisting commences Monday 22 November  2021
Shortlisting to be completed by Monday 6 December 2021
Invitations to interview w/c Monday 13 December 2021
Sub-specialty interview period Monday 17 January - Wednesday 2 February 2022
Deadline for confirmation of preference choices Wednesday 2 February 2022
Matching process w/c Monday 31 January 2022
Offers will be made  From Wednesday 9 February 2022
Clearing round  w/c Monday 21 February 2022

Who can apply for sub-specialty training?

It is open to:

  • UK trainees holding an NTN (National Training Number), or
  • EEA (European Economic Area) trainees that are still in training in an equivalent programme within the EEA.

Applications from those outside of a UK/EEA 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 EEA, 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.

Anaesthetic, intensive care medicine, emergency medicine and EEA trainees should read the information on page 5 and 6 of the applicant guide and contact the sub-specialty recruitment team with any questions.

How long do I need to complete sub-specialty training?

Sub-specialty training is capability based. However, a sub-specialty programme is typically for two to three years indicatively. Applicants must ensure they have enough time left in their training before their agreed CCT (Certificate of Completion of Training) date. CCT dates cannot be changed to accommodate sub-specialty training.

Candidates may apply from a higher level of training, eg ST6 or ST7 providing that sufficient sub-specialty training can be completed without an extension of the current CCT date. Applicants would be expected to have met some of the capabilities before starting their sub-specialty post. Candidates in this position are advised to discuss their circumstances carefully with their local deanery and the CSAC Chair. 

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

As of 17 March 2021, RCPCH agreed that trainees will not be limited in the number of attempts that they can apply to sub-specialty training. See more details on pages 7 and 9 of the sub-specialty applicant guide below.

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.

Which posts are available?

Please see the sub-specialty programmes available in the downloads section at the bottom of this page. 

What do I need to do before I apply?

RCPCH (UK) trainees

Applicant's local deanery need to complete the confirmation of eligibility form, including the applicant's name and sub-specialty(s) they are applying for. This confirms that the applicant is eligible for sub-specialty training. Once completed this needs to be emailed to the sub-specialty recruitment team and uploaded to the trainee's application. Any applications missing this form are automatically longlisted out of the process.

Download the Confirmation of eligibility form and Deanery contacts

EEA / anaesthetic, intensive care medicine and emergency medicine trainees

Please check the eligibility criteria in the applicant guide on page 5 and 6 and contact the sub-specialty recruitment team at with any questions.

EEA trainees will need to complete the certificate of level 2 paediatrics training for EEA trainees, demonstrating completion or expected completion of level 2 training by the time of entry to the sub-specialty programme as outlined in RCPCH Progress curriculum. 

Download the certificate of level 2 training paediatrics for EEA trainees

Anaesthetic, intensive care medicine and emergency medicine trainees need to upload a completed confirmation of eligibility form for anaesthetic, ICM and EM trainees to their application. This needs to be filled out by their local deanery and confirms they are eligible for sub-specialty training.

Download the confirmation of eligibility form for anaesthetic, ICM, EM trainees

How do I apply?

All applications to sub-specialty training are made via the NHS Oriel recruitment system. Following the introduction of a new Oriel system in 2020, all previous applicant accounts were erased, so trainees will need to register again, even if they had a previous account from joining the programme through National Recruitment. NB. This does not apply to those that set up an account in the last round. Applicants are recommended to submit their application at least 48 hours before the closing date to allow for any technical problems. Late applications are not accepted under any circumstance.

Download the applicant guide 2021/2022

What criteria will applications be marked on?

Shortlisters mark applications to sub-specialty training using the RCPCH sub-specialty shortlisting scoring criteria. Applicants should refer to this when making their application, which can be downloaded below.

Shortlisting scores will no longer 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.

Our plans for RCPCH Progress+, our response to Shape of training, will not affect the eligibility criteria for applicants in the 2021/2022 round. 

What other information do I need to submit with my application?

Applicants need to provide:

  • Confirmation of eligibility form for UK trainees and a separate version for anaesthetic/ICM/EM trainees - completed by their local deanery
  • Fitness to practice declarations if necessary
  • Confirmation of approval of level 3 capabilities from the CSAC chair, if applying from ST6 or above only
  • Certificate of Level 2 Paediatrics Training for EEA trainees for applicants in the EEA

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact the RCPCH sub-specialty recruitment team: