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 are currently closed. Please see information, including key dates on the 2023 recruitment round below. Further guidance will be published in due course.
Last modified
23 May 2022

See all sub-specialties


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

Stage of process Date
Programmes advertised on RCPCH website with links to SharePoint Wednesday 12 October 2022
Applications open on Oriel Wednesday 26 October 2021
Confirmation of eligibility forms to deanery latest Monday 7 November 2022*
Applications close 12 noon Wednesday 16 November 2022
Shortlisting process Wednesday 23 November  2022 - Wednesday 7 December 2022
Invitations to interview and shortlisting outcomes via Oriel From Wednesday 14 December 2022
Shortlisting feedback emailed out Wednesday 21 December 2022
Shortlisting complaints deadline Wednesday 4 January 2023
Virtual sub-specialty interview period Thursday 19 January - Friday 3 February 2023
Deadline for confirmation of preference choices Friday 3 February 2023
Matching process w/c Monday 6 February 2023
Offers will be made on Oriel From Tuesday 14 February 2023
Hold deadline Tuesday 21 February 2023
Upgrade deadline Thursday 23 February 2023
Clearing round From Friday 24 February 2023
Interview feedback uploaded to e-portfolio Wednesday 15 March 2023
Interview complaint deadline Wednesday 29 March 2023

*The deadline of Monday 7 November 2022 is 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 12 noon Wednesday 16 November 2022.

Interview dates

The interview dates for 2023 are Thursday 19 January - Friday 3 February. The interview dates for each sub-specialty will be published in due course.

What sub-specialties can I apply for?  

We recruit to the following sub-specialties and trainees can apply to up to two in each round:

Child Mental Health*
Community Child Health (CCH)
Neonatal Medicine
Paediatric Allergy
Paediatric Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics* 
Paediatric Diabetes & Endocrinology
Paediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM)
Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition (PGHAN)
Paediatric Immunology & Infectious Disease
Paediatric Inherited Metabolic Medicine
Paediatric Intensive Care Medicine (PICM)
Paediatric Nephrology
Paediatric Neurodisability
Paediatric Neurology
Paediatric Oncology
Paediatric Palliative Medicine
Paediatric Respiratory Medicine
Paediatric Rheumatology

*These sub-specialties will not be recruiting in the 2023 round.

Who can apply for sub-specialty training?

It is open to:

  • UK trainees holding an NTN (National Training Number), or
  • Trainees in an equivalent programme in the Republic of Ireland

Anaesthetic, intensive care medicine and emergency medicine trainees can apply for Paediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM) and Paediatric Intensive Care Medicine (PICM). Please contact to check the eligibility criteria.

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. 

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

Sub-specialty training is capability based. Typically a sub-specialty programme takes 24 - 36 months indicatively to complete. Applicants must ensure they have enough time left in training before their agreed CCT (Certificate of Completion of Training) date. CCT dates cannot be changed to accommodate sub-specialty training.

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, 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.

Which posts are available?

Sub-specialty programmes in the 2023 round will be available to view on Wednesday 12 October 2022 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 Oriel application. Any applications missing this form are automatically longlisted out of the process.

Trainees from the Republic of Ireland

Trainees from the Republic of Ireland will need to complete the Certificate of Level 2 Paediatrics Training for Republic of Ireland 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. 

Anaesthetic, intensive care medicine and emergency medicine 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.

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 2021 or 2022 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 circumstances.

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.

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.

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 trainees applying from the Republic of Ireland

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

Sub-specialty recruitment events

The RCPCH Recruitment and Careers team are holding a Paediatric Sub-specialty Careers Event Online on Tuesday 5 July 2022. This event is aimed at trainee paediatricians interested in applying to sub-specialty training and medical students and foundation doctors are also welcome. 

Contact us

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