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.

Applications for 2022 are now closed as of 17 November.
Last modified
18 November 2021

See all sub-specialties

Oriel application FAQs

We have received a few queries about the Oriel application form, mainly to do with questions in part 2, which are part of the standard medical application form. We have included below, four questions which have been causing some confusion and the answers to choose. 

If you have any questions about this, please contact us at or 020 7092 6139.

Training history / Previous training details
Do you currently hold a National Training Number (NTN) or Deanery Reference Number (DRN) in the specialty to which you are applying and are you applying to continue your training in another area/region?
Please choose the option ‘no’

Personal details
If you currently hold an NTN, are you applying to this specialty with the intention of pursuing dual training with your current specialty?
Please choose the option ‘no’

Competences / Eligibility
Entry qualification - applicants to Oral and Maxillo Facial Surgery only
Please leave this blank

Accreditation of transferable capabilities
If successful in your application to this specialty, would you be interested in accrediting transferable capabilities?                        
Please choose the option ‘no’


Please add something to each mandatory field. Once you have provided details on all your publications/presentations/posters, please put N/A in any empty fields and choose any item for the item drop box. Please leave enough time for this, as there are enough fields to document 16 items, and each box needs something in it to submit the application.

Sub-specialty recruitment events

We held two different online information and Q&A events in October 2021. If you're applying this year, and weren't able to join either or one of the events, we encourage you to watch the recordings:

Paediatric sub-specialty training applications and interview- live Q&A

Paediatric sub-specialty training information event- live Q&A:


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

*The deadline of Monday, 8 November 2021 if for confirmation of eligibility forms to be sent to the deanery. The deadline for the forms to be submitted to is the same deadline for submitting the Oriel application by Wednesday, 17 November 2021.

Interview dates

Virtual interviews will run over the course of two weeks, with different sub-specialties interviewing on set dates. Applicants will need to take note of the dates set aside for the sub-specialty/specialties they are applying to, as it will not be possible to schedule individual interviews on other dates. 

The following interview dates can now be confirmed:

 Sub-specialty  Interview dates
Paediatric Intensive Care Medicine (PICM) Wednesday 19 to Friday 21 January 2022*
 Paediatric Allergy  Thursday 27 January 2022 
 Community Child Health  Wednesday 19 to Friday 21 January 2022*
 Paediatric Diabetes & Endocrinology  Tuesday 1 February 2022
 Paediatric Immunology & Infectious Disease  Friday 28 January 2022
 Neonatal Medicine  Tuesday 25 to Thursday 27 January 2022
 Paediatric Nephrology  Tuesday 25 January 2022
 Paediatric Neurodisability  Monday 24 January 2022
 Paediatric Neurology  Monday 17 January 2022
 Paediatric Oncology  Friday 28 January 2022
 Paediatric Inherited Metabolic Medicine  Wednesday 26 January 2022 
 Paediatric Palliative Care Medicine  Monday 31 January 2022
 Paediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM)  Tuesday 18 to Wednesday 19 January 2022
 Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition (PGHAN) Tuesday 18 January 2022 
 Paediatric Respiratory Medicine  Wednesday 19 January 2022
 Paediatric Rheumatology  Tuesday 1 February 2022

Dates for Paediatric Clinical Pharmacology are still being confirmed.

*For PICM and CCH Wednesday 19 January is an extra day if needed. The main interview days will be 20 and 21 January.

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 experience from the CSAC chair, if applying with less than the indicative training time left before their CCT date*
  • Certificate of Level 2 Paediatrics Training for EEA trainees for applicants in the EEA

*Please see individual sub-specialty programme lists below for indicative training times

Contact us

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