Specialty training at ST1 and ST2 - application guidance

This information is for doctors applying for paediatric specialty training (ST) at ST1 or ST2 in the UK - known as National Round 1 - for posts commencing in August/September 2019. Applications, including for the re-advert, are now closed.
Last modified
29 March 2019

National Round 1 dates

Interview window closed Friday 15 February 2019
First national offers released Tuesday 26 February 2019
Hold deadline Friday 8 March 2019, 13:00
Upgrade deadline Friday 15 March 2019, 16:00

National Round 1 re-advert dates

This re-advert recruits to Level 1 entry posts that had not been filled from National Round 1, along with some 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.

Adverts open Wednesday 13 February 2019
Applications open Tuesday 26 February 2019, 10:00
Applications close Thursday 14 March, 2019, 16:00
Interview invitations sent out Wednesday 27 March 2019
Deadline for interview booking Monday 1 April, 16:00
Interview date Tuesday 9 April 2019
Initial offers out by Tuesday 30 April 2019, 17:00
Hold deadline Friday 3 May 2019, 13:00
Upgrade deadline Friday 3 May 2019, 16:00
Paperwork deadline Wednesday 8 May 2019

About recruitment

The RCPCH has an ongoing commitment to improve the national recruitment process for paediatrics and ensure that applicants have as much flexibility as possible. So, we made some changes to the recruitment process for ST1 and ST2 entry in 2019.

  • No restrictions on prior paediatric experience: This means that 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 merged vacancy for ST1 and ST2: Applicants were able to make one application for both ST1 and ST2 entry. (There is therefore no separate vacancy for ST2 entry on Oriel.)
  • Opportunity to be assessed for completing Level 1 training in two years rather than three years: 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 be assessed and deemed capable of completing Level 1 training in two years (instead of the standard three years) and so have the option of progressing through their Level 1 training more quickly. This assessment will be carried out firstly via the evidence of posts on the application form and finalised by the assessors at interview, who will be assessing the suitability of these applicants for quicker completion of Level 1 training in of the each stations.
    • England and Wales will offer all their regional preferences at ST1 level. But, any applicant deemed capable after interview of completing Level 1 training in two years will subsequently be earmarked for fast tracking. These applicants will be flagged to their employing LETB/deanery and will progress to ST3 after one year of training, as long as their progress in their first year of training is sufficient to allow this. Fast track progression will ultimately be confirmed at their first ARCP (annual review of competence progression) but will be closely tracked with their educational supervisor throughout that first year. We will provide specific guidance on this shortly.
    • Scotland and Northern Ireland will also offer posts on a regional basis but will include a set, maximum number of posts that will start at ST2 level. Therefore any applicant deemed capable after interview of completing Level 1 training in two years and who accepts a post in Scotland will be able to start their training at ST2, depending on the number of ST2 entry posts available within the preference that they have accepted a post.
  • Safe prescribing station at interview: This station will now be scored out of 10.

All other parts of the paediatric recruitment process are the same as in in 2018.

You can download the Applicant guidance for reference below.

Vacancy and applications process

Applicants were able to apply on the Oriel application system - though applications are now closed.

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 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.

You can download the Person specification for reference below. It's also available on the HEE Specialty Recruitment website.


Interviews have taken place for National Round 1 at the six regional centres.

Longlisted applicants for the re-advert are invited to book their interview. These take place on 9 April at West Bromwich Albion Football Club, The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, West Midlands B71 4LF.

Past application numbers and competition ratio

In 2018, 580 applications were made for 440 posts overall across the UK. 480 applicants were invited to interview. The competition ratio for paediatric posts was therefore 1:1.31, 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 2018 national recruitment round 1 and as a consequence, some posts were re-advertised in the national round 1 re-advert. We will confirm on our website whether there will be a re-advert for 2019 by 17 December 2018.

Full guidance and other resources

You can download below Paediatric ST1 and ST2 Recruitment 2019 - Applicant Guidance. For any queries, please contact PaedsNRO@hee.nhs.uk