Recruitment in England, Scotland, and Wales
The recruitment process for CST programmes in England, Scotland, and Wales is organised by the London and South East (LaSE) recruitment office. The Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency organises recruitment for CST programmes in Northern Ireland.
Applicants make one application for CST through Oriel, with LaSE then managing the application process, and conducting interviews on behalf of all the Local Educational Training Boards (LETBs) and deaneries. If applicants meet the person specification, they are guaranteed an interview. The essential criteria include
- an MBBS degree or equivalent,
- details of removal from or relinquishment of a training programme in surgery – if applicable,
- an ALS certificate valid on commencement of CST,
- full GMC registration with a licence to practise,
- the right to work and fitness to practise in the UK,
- less than 18 months of experience in surgical training,
- health requirements as set out in the GMC’s ‘Good Medical Practice’,
- proficiency in English language skills as evidenced by medical degree completed in English,
- proficiency in English language skills as evidenced by an overall IELTS score of 7.5 – for those without a primary medical degree in English, and
- evidence of achievement of the foundation competencies, as evidenced by
- the name of their foundation school for those currently undergoing foundation training,
- proof of completion of F1 at the CST interview,
- an expectation of completion letter from a foundation school if the applicant is working in a standalone F2 post,
- confirmation of a Foundation Achievement of Competence Document (FACD 5.2) for those who have completed a foundation programme within the three years prior to their application for CST, or
- confirmation of FT completion from a supervising consultant for those who completed foundation training more than three years prior to their application for CST.
Successful candidates can book a time and date for their interview on a first-come, first-served basis through Oriel. The interview comprises three 10-minute stations separated by at least three-minute break:
The Management Station
The management station features tasks designed to encourage candidates to think quickly – such as
- delivering a pre-prepared three-minute presentation,
- answering two minutes of questions about the presentation, and
- answering five minutes of questions about a management scenario.
The Portfolio Station
Because this station is based on the candidate’s portfolio, there are no set questions. Instead, members of the interview panel review the portfolio 10 minutes before the interview. In addition to answering questions about their portfolio, candidates must also complete a checklist and put it at the front of their portfolio ahead of the interview.
The Clinical Scenario Station
Candidates will be asked two questions about clinical scenarios. They are given three minutes to read the first question outside of the interview room, and then five minutes to answer it. The interview panel then ask the candidate questions about a second clinical scenario.
Example Interview Questions
Questions asked during past CST interviews have included
- What are the qualities of a good doctor?
- What do you think will be the biggest challenge for you in this post?
- Can you give me an example of where you managed a clinical scenario well and one where you didn’t?
- You are dealing with an emergency on the ward, but are urgently called to review another patient. How do you prioritise and handle the situation?
- What can you tell me about clinical governance? Has it improved patient safety?
- What factor influenced you to choose surgery?
- What is the most interesting advance in surgery?
- How do you see surgery developing over the next five years?
- What journals do you read?
- ensure they know what the person specification and competences for the post, and prepare examples to show how they meet them;
- bring all the documents that have been requested to the interview, and dress appropriately;
- practice interview technique and questions with peers and senior colleagues, and
- research the background of the trust or deanery where the post is based.
A second round of recruitment to CST programmes will only be held if there are CST programmes that remain unfilled after Round 1. Applicants will need to submit another application for Round 2, which is also organized nationally.
Non-UK and on-EEA applicants will need to take the Resident Labour Market Test. Applications to CST programmes from international graduates who need a Tier 2 visa to work in the UK and have limited leave to remain will only be considered if there are no candidates from the UK or EEA who are suitably qualified for the posts.
2019 interview dates are not currently available. Check back regularly for updates.