Specialty training at Level 1 - application guidance

Most doctors enter paediatric training at Level 1, predominantly starting their posts at ST1 (in August or September). This is known as 'National Round 1'.

Applications for 2022 recruitment are closed as of 16:00, 1 December 2021.

For reference, you can find information on recruitment below, including the 2022 applicant guide and person specification. The applicant guide for the upcoming round can also be accessed via the downloads box at the bottom of the page.
Last modified
24 March 2022

National recruitment processes for 2022

The format of recruitment for all specialties for 2022 has been discussed and agreed by the Medical & Dental Recruitment and Selection Group (MDRS). Under normal circumstances, recruitment for National Round 1 paediatrics would have been based around face-to-face interviews, across our six regional centres. While the exceptional circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic continue, there will again be no face-to-face interviews for national recruitment for any specialties. As a result, adapted processes have been put together and discussed the MDRS group.

Paediatric recruitment 2022

Recruitment for ST1 paediatrics will this year be composed of two scoring elements:

  1. Application form (white-space questions): to cover Past achievements, Clinical experience, Career motivation, Transferable Skills, Governance
  2. 30-minute virtual interview, one panel of four assessors/30-minute virtual with two x 15-minute stations, two panels of two assessors:* to cover Communications, Career motivation, Clinical reasoning, Reflective practice

(*A new online platform is currently under testing with the regional recruitment offices, that would be used in place of Microsoft Teams if confirmed as fit-for-purpose. If this new platform is used, specialties will have the option of running interviews with more than one panel – the exact format of the interviews will be confirmed as soon as testing has been completed.)

Note: We can confirm that Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA) will not be used in the paediatric recruitment process for 2022.

The overall scores for each part will be combined into an overall recruitment score, with a final appointability threshold of 55% or more:

  • Application form
  • Interview

Note: Application scores will be used as a shortlisting tool if the number of eligible applicants (after longlisting) exceeds the interview capacity available across our virtual interview centres. This capacity will be confirmed in advance of the application window opening at the start of November 2021.

For further details of each part of the recruitment process, see:

Webinar recording

Our webinar on 18 October outlined the processes for 2022 and gave prospective applicants the opportunity for some live Q&A. If you plan to apply this year and weren't able to join us, we recommend you watch the recording:

We're now collating an accompanying FAQs to this webinar - available on this page soon.

National round 1 paediatric recruitment timelines for 2022

Timelines for Paediatric National Recruitment for level 1 entry posts, starting in August/September 2022 are as follows:

Vacancies published Tuesday 2 November 2021, 17:00
Applications open Thursday 4 November 2021, 10:00
Applications close Wednesday 1 December 2021, 16:00
Interview window Between Tuesday 4 January to Friday 18 March 2022
Preferencing window Between Monday 10 January to Tuesday 29 March 2022
Interview booking window Wednesday 19 to Friday 21 January 2022
Initial offers released Thursday 30 March 2022, 17:00
Hold deadline Tuesday 5 April 2022, 13:00
Upgrade deadline Monday 11 April 2022, 16:00

Due to the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been some delays in confirming recruitment processes for some specialties. The HEE website also provides general information on the impact of COVID-19 on national recruitment. It will also shortly be updated with the full timelines and 2022 specific guidance documents.

The paediatric level 1 applicant guide will be published here as soon as it has been fully updated. In the meantime, you can still refer to the 2020-2021 guide:

Note: We can confirm that Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA) will not be used in the paediatric recruitment process for 2022.

Interview dates for 2022

ST1 paediatric interviews take place virtually, managed by the local teams, and confirmed dates are as follows (all in 2022):

  • Tuesday, 1 February
  • Wednesday, 2 February
  • Thursday, 3 February
  • Friday, 4 February
  • Tuesday, 8 February
  • Wednesday, 9 February
  • Thursday, 10 February
  • Friday, 11 February
  • Thursday, 3 March
  • Friday, 4 March
  • Monday, 7 March
  • Tuesday, 8 March
  • Wednesday, 9 March
  • Thursday, 10 March

Final post numbers for 2022

The below table lists the final post numbers for all UK regions.

There will be a separate preferencing window for applicants to rank their choices, and preferencing will not take place during the application window. This preferencing window will likely be opened in January 2022, after longlisting has been completed.

Region Final post numbers
East Midlands 31
East of England 31
KSS 22
LaSE 109
North East 20
North West 42
Northern Ireland 17
Scotland 25
South West Peninsula 8
South West Severn 14
Thames Valley 11
Wales 19
Wessex 14
West Midlands 36
Yorkshire and The Humber 47

Past application numbers and competition ratio

In 2020, 712 applications were made for 461 posts overall across the UK. 645 applicants were invited to interview. The competition ratio for paediatric posts was therefore 1:40, equivalent to a little under 1.5 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, saw a considerable increase for the 2020 national recruitment round 1. Remaining unfilled posts were still re-advertised in the national round 1 re-advert.


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