All eligible applicants for ST1 Paediatrics posts are guaranteed an interview. There are a limited number of available posts at ST2, so interviews cannot be guaranteed. Successful applicants can then choose which Selection Centre they would like to attend for their interview. Interview centres are located in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Newcastle, Stirling and Belfast. Applicants must book their appointment using the Oriel system.
Details of interviews for 2019 entry are not currently available.
Applicants have a briefing session at the start of the Selection Centre session. At the end of the interview they can give their feedback.
Applicants go through four stations that are marked by two consultants, and then they have to undertake a Safe Prescribing task. Each station lasts 10 minutes.
Applicants can achieve a maximum score of 180 points, with each station yielding a maximum score of 40, and the prescribing task a maximum of 20. Four stations are scored by two consultants for a total of 20 marks per assessor. Only one assessor scores the prescribing task.
The minimum mark at which a candidate is considered appointable is 99 out of the maximum 180. It is possible for an applicant to score greater than 99 but still be deemed not appointable if there are serious concerns or red flags, such as those regarding patient safety – but this is an exceptional situation.
Applicants are tested on their awareness of issues surrounding paediatrics. However, the stations do not require candidates to have extensive knowledge of paediatrics, or experience specific to the field. Candidates therefore only need to show that they have the clinical competences expected of a Foundation doctor.
Applicants need to show that they have the relevant paediatric knowledge and clinical skills necessary for an ST2 post.
Candidates have to complete the following interview stations:
- Governance and Reflective Practice,
- Paediatric Clinical Thinking Station, and
- The Safe Prescribing Task.
In the communication station, candidates demonstrate their ability to interact with patients, parents, and carers. They begin by reading a scenario description two minutes before they go into the interview room. The scenario involves explaining a clinical condition, an intervention, or the reasons for a transfer. The applicant will interact with an actor.
Applicants have to prepare no more than 12 sides of A4 paper from their portfolio of choice that show their commitment to a career in paediatrics. Candidates can present their portfolio in their format of choice, and not necessarily as direct print-outs from their e-Portfolio.
Applicants are marked on the content of their documentation, such as whether it is complete or relevant, in addition to the answers they give. The consultants will therefore be exploring the candidate’s motivation and commitment to a paediatric career.
Governance and Reflective Practice Station
In the 20-mark Governance section of the station, candidates will answer a question which tests their awareness and understanding of clinical governance. The scenario is likely to involve an adverse incident, audit-changing practice, or a colleague who is having difficulties.
In the 20-mark Reflective Practice section, candidates will reflect on a significant event from their career. This is the candidate’s opportunity to show they have the ability to be resilient, and describe how they have used their experiences to help them progress in their career. They will answer questions along the following lines:
- Describe a significant event in your career where things went particularly well or not well.
- What was your role in this event and what were your reflections on it?
- How did this event develop your practice?
- In the future, how would you deal with these feelings?
Paediatric Clinical Thinking Station
Candidates will undertake a case-based scenario with one of the consultant assessors. They will then need to describe relevant issues and how they would manage the situation. Although the station focusses on Paediatrics candidates for ST1 posts, those without paediatric experience will not be at a disadvantage.
Safe Prescribing Task
Candidates have to complete a Safe Prescribing Task and then give their complete drug chart to an administrator when they leave the station. The prescribing assessor then assesses the candidate’s chart.