Specialty training at ST3 and ST4 - application guidance

This information is for doctors applying for paediatric specialty training (ST) at ST3 or ST4 in the UK - known as National Round 2. It covers the application process, including the application timeline, eligibility criteria and other useful details. You can download the person specifications and new Certificate to demonstrate Completion of Level 1 Paediatric Training Capabilities for 2021, along with the full application guide.

Applications for 2022 recruitment are closed as of 9 December 2021.
Last modified
8 February 2022

Latest updates

The up-to-date Applicant Guides and Certificate of Level 1 Training Paediatrics are now available the bottom of this page in Downloads box. Please ensure you have read these before applying.

RCPCH ran an applicant webinar and Q&A on Wednesday 17 November 2021 for anyone considering applying to either ST3 or ST4 Paediatrics in the upcoming recruitment round, and we'll make this recording available soon.

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 2 paediatrics would have been based around face-to-face interviews, managed by the West Midlands team. 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 through the MDRS group.

Paediatric ST3 and ST4 recruitment 2022

Recruitment for ST3 and ST4 paediatrics will this year be composed of two scoring elements:

  1. Application form (white-space questions): to cover Past achievements, Teaching, Management, Clinical experience
  2. 30/40-minute virtual interview*: to cover Communication, Governance, Leadership, Clinical thinking, Reflective practice

(*A new online platform is currently under testing with the regional recruitment offices, that will 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 therefore be confirmed as soon as testing has been completed.)

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 at our virtual interview centre. This capacity will be confirmed in November 2021.

National Round 2 - dates for 2022 recruitment

Applications for national round 2, for applicants looking to join the paediatric training pathway at ST3 or ST4, is now closed.

Scoring for the recruitment process will be based on two parts: shortlisting-style questions on the application form, followed by a virtual interview. Trainees will commence their posts in August or September 2022, depending on the deanery.

These are the key dates:

What Date
Advert appears Tuesday 16 November 2021
Applications open (10:00 UK local time) Thursday 18 November 2021
Applications close (16:00) Thursday 9 December 2021
Invite to interview, applicant declaration sent Monday 21 February 2022
Deadline for interview booking and applicant declaration return (16:00) Friday 25 February 2022
Interview window opens Tuesday 29 March 2022
Interview window closes Friday 8 April 2022
Offers are released Thursday 21 April 2022
Hold deadline (13:00) Tuesday 3 May 2022
Upgrade deadline (16:00) Wednesday 4 May 2022
Paperwork submitted (16:00) Friday 6 May 2022

Note: All times referred to in this timeline are UK times.

You can download further guidance on the new process for this year's recruitment. The HEE website has general information on the impact of COVID-19 on national recruitment.

Person specifications and application guidance

Applicants make their application on the Oriel application system.

Applicants need to demonstrate paediatric Level 1 training equivalency, be registered with and licensed by the General Medical Council (GMC) by the intended start date of the post they were applying for and complete the form, Certificate of Level 1 Training Paediatrics 2022 in the downloads box below.

The self-assessment will not form part of the application process for ST3 & ST4 Paediatric posts in National Round 2. As such applicants will not need to upload accompanying evidence, apart from the Certificate of Level 1 Training Paediatrics 2022 form.

The scoring framework for the whitespace questions in the application can be found in the downloads box at the bottom of this page. Please refer to it when completing your application form.

The latest paediatric ST3 and ST4 applicant guides as 2 February 2022 are published here as well, in the downloads box below.

    Post numbers

    Indicative post numbers for the majority of regions are as follows: 

    Region Indicative post numbers ST3 Indicative post numbers ST4
    East Midlands 1 2-4
    East of England 3-5 3-7
    KSS 0-3 0-3
    LaSE (London) 0-15 0-10
    North East 0 0-4
    North West 0 0
    Northern Ireland 2 0
    Scotland 0-1 0-1
    South West Peninsula 0-1 0-1
    South West Severn 0 7
    Thames Valley TBC TBC
    Wales 1-2 0-1
    Wessex TBC TBC
    West Midlands 0-2 0-3
    Yorkshire and The Humber 0 10

    The table will be updated with any missing indicative numbers, as soon as those regions have been confirmed them to the operational team at the Paediatric National Recruitment Office (PaedsNRO).

    There will be a separate window in which applicants can register their preferences on Oriel after the longlisting process is complete, opening on 31 January 2022.


    For any queries about the process, please contact the Paediatric National Recruitment Office at PaedsNRO@hee.nhs.uk.