Specialty training at Level 1 - application guidance

This information is for doctors applying to enter paediatric specialty training (ST) at Level 1 in the UK - known as National Round 1 - for posts starting in August/September 2020. Applications will open in November 2019.
Last modified
25 September 2019

National Round 1 dates

Advert appears Thursday 31 October 2019
Applications open (10:00) Thursday 7 November 2019
Applications close (16:00) Thursday 28 November 2019
Longlisting completed by Tuesday 17 December 2019
Interview invitations sent out Monday 6 January 2020
Deadline for interview booking (16:00) Thursday 9 January 2020
Interview window opens Monday 20 January 2020
Interview window closes Wednesday 26 February 2020
First national offers released Tuesday 3 March 2020
Hold deadline (13:00) Friday 13 March 2020
Upgrade deadline (16:00) Friday 20 April 2020

National Round 1 re-advert dates

This will recruit to Level 1 entry posts not filled in National Round 1, along with additional posts that were not available to advertise in the original round.

Full post numbers and regions recruiting cannot be made available until the offers process for National Round 1 has completed. Preferencing of posts will take place after longlisting is completed on 20 March.

Advert appears Wednesday 12 February 2020
Applications open (10:00) Tuesday 25 February 2020
Applications close (16:00) Thursday 12 March 2020
Longlisting completed by Friday 20 March 2020
Interview invitations sent out Tuesday 24 March 2020
Deadline for interview booking (16:00) Friday 27 March 2020
Interview dates Monday 20 & Tuesday 21 April 2020
Initial offers released Monday 27 April 2020
Hold deadline (13:00) Friday 1 May 2020
Upgrade deadline (16:00) Friday 1 May 2020
RLMT to be issued by (for overseas applicants) tbc
RCoS applications to be submitted by (for overseas applicants) tbc

About recruitment

We at RCPCH have an ongoing commitment to improve the national recruitment process for paediatrics and to ensure applicants have as much flexibility as possible. We made some changes over the past year, which will continue for the 2020 rounds and beyond.

No restrictions on prior paediatric experience: 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 vacancy for Level 1 entry: There is no longer a separate vacancy for ST2 entry on Oriel, as all trainees will now enter UK training programmes at ST1.

Opportunity to be fast-tracked through Level 1 training in two years rather than three years: As there is now no separate ST2 entry, 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 decalre this on their application and have the opportunity to complete Level 1 training in two years (instead of the standard three years). Any such prior experience should be evidenced via the Oriel application form.

Employing deaneries will be informed of all new trainees who have evidenced 12 months minimum prior experience on their application and fast track progression will be closely tracked by their educational supervisor throughout that first year. ultimately be confirmed at a trainees first ARCP (annual review of competence progression) but

Scotland: Applicants for Scottish posts should be able to evidence a minimum of six months first on experience in General Paediatrics with an additional 6 months experience at first on level in a level 3 neonatal unit in order to be eligible for early fast tracking to ST2 level, following appointment - this will be confirmed following the offers process.

Application guidance For reference, you can download the 2019 application guidance below. The 2020 version will be published on this page by early October.

Vacancy and applications process

Applicants will need to apply on the Oriel application system.

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 PaedsNRO@hee.nhs.uk.

Person specification

There is a single person specification that covers entry at Level 1, both ST1 and ST2. 

Applicants 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.

Person specification For reference, you can download the 2019 person specification below. The 2020 version is currently being signed off, and we can confirm there are no changes to the basic eligibility criteria.

This document is also available on the HEE Specialty Recruitment website.


Interviews for National Round 1 will again take place at six centres. Some venues are being finalised.

Centre Interview date(s) Venue
London 24, 25, 26 February 2020 tbc
West Midlands 29 & 30 January 2020 Hawthorns, West Bromwich Albion Football Cub
Oxford 11 February 2020 Kassam Stadium
Newcastle 22 & 23 January tbc
Belfast 26 February 2020 tbc
Glasgow 27 & 28 January 2020 Hampden Park

Past application numbers and competition ratio

In 2019, 583 applications were made for 475 posts overall across the UK. 480 applicants were invited to interview. The competition ratio for paediatric posts was therefore 1:1.23, 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 2020 national recruitment round 1 and as a consequence, some posts were re-advertised in the national round 1 re-advert. We are currently planning to run a re-advert for 2020, the dates for which are listed above.


For any queries, please contact PaedsNRO@hee.nhs.uk