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ST1 Guidance for Applicants (August 2018)

To view the guide, please expand the relevant chapters. A copy can be downloaded via the above link or via the Resource Bank. Applicants are also strongly advised to read the 2018 NHS Medical Specialty Recruitment Applicant Handbook.

The General Practice National Recruitment Office (GPNRO) co-ordinates the nationally agreed and quality assured process for recruitment to General Practice (GP) Specialty Training (ST1) Programmes.

Academic Clinical Fellowships (ACF) and Global Health Fellowships routes are also available in GP training however these are independent from the national process and are recruited to locally by individual HEE Local Offices and Deaneries (henceforth referred to as region or regions). Therefore, this guidance deals only with the ST1 Programme.

Recruitment to GP Specialty Training will take place three times a year, twice for August 2018 commencement and once for February 2019 commencement. Round 1 and Round 1 Re-advert cover August 2018 commencement; Round 2 covers February 2019 commencement. This guide relates to posts commencing in August 2018.

All submitted applications for GP Specialty Training will be assessed using a standard, national and consistent staged process outlined below. This is an established and well-researched selection process using modern methodologies that are fair, robust and fit for purpose. The competency based selection process allows applicants to demonstrate their abilities and suitability for GP training - applications are assessed by the demonstration of competences as outlined in the GP ST1 Person Specification (2018).

Applicants are reminded that entry to GP Specialty Training is highly competitive. Information about competition ratios in previous rounds and the number of available vacancies in each region are available on the GPNRO website.

For a GP Specialty Training post an applicant will make one application for all participating regions. The short-listing method, known as the Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA), involves undertaking a computer based assessment. Following the MSRA, eligible applicants will be invited to book a place at a Selection Centre of their choice, subject to availability. Applicants will be considered for appointment across the whole of the UK (based on their performance and rank). This method is known as Single Transferable Score (STS) as applicants are not restricted to being considered for appointment in a single specific region. The STS system is designed to maximise opportunities for successful appointment.

Applicants should only preference programmes in regions they are willing to work in. In making those decisions, researching regions carefully is recommended.

There have been some significant changes to the recruitment process in recent years so you are advised to read all the following information before you commence the on-line application form. This will enable you to familiarise yourself with the GP assessment and selection process and the essential entry requirements. You should also refer to both the Oriel Applicant User Guide (for general guidance on how to navigate Oriel and technical help with the on-line application form) and the 2018 Medical Specialty Recruitment Applicant Handbook (for general information about the administration of national recruitment processes).

All applications must be made via the on-line Oriel system. Late applications will NOT be considered. The dates and deadlines relating to 2018/19 recruitment activity are available on the GPNRO website.

The GP application form will only ask for factual information about you and your employment history. Once your application has been submitted you are unable to make any changes, apart from to update your own contact and referee details so please ensure that you do not submit unless it is complete.

Please be aware that the Oriel system does not support internet browsers that have reached the end of their product support lifecycle.

Contact regarding your GP application will be via direct messaging through Oriel. GP administrators will also send an email as a secondary form of communication. However, as emails are external to Oriel, delivery cannot be guaranteed and therefore this method of communication should not be relied upon.

You should also make sure that you are using an email account that you can access at any time and will not be blocked by your employer’s IT security system. If you are uncertain about this, you should check with your IT department at work.

To ensure messages from the GPNRO are not filtered by your email provider’s junk / spam filters, you are strongly advised to add gpnro@hee.nhs.uk and noreply@oriel.nhs.uk to your email whitelist.

Applicants are allowed to submit ONE application, per Round, for a standard GP training programme. In 2018, at the time of application, you will be asked to indicate your preferences from all GP Training Programmes available in the UK, in rank order; this means that you can be considered for appointment across the whole of the UK. Please only preference the programmes that you would be prepared to work in, including those listed with zero vacancies as posts may become available at a later date. GP Training Programmes are available at ST1 entry level only and are for 3 years duration however, Scotland also offer some 4-year programmes. This information will be shown in the preference detail.

Applicants are also advised to read the regions’ profile pages and access individual region websites for more information about the opportunities available. We suggest that you research not only the types of programmes offered in each region but also the geography of each region, the main Trusts within the geography, transport links to home and so on.

The ability to record your preferences will be locked at point of application submission however you will be presented with a further window to continue preferencing; this window will span from the date of invitation to the Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment until 48 hours before the first offers date; these dates are published on the GPNRO website for all relevant rounds.

The GP Training Programmes that you preference in your application will be used to make you an offer, subject to the successful completion of the selection process.

Targeted Enhancement Recruitment Scheme (TERS)

This scheme is an initiative that will offer total payments of £20,000 to GP trainees committed to working in a select number of training places in England, Scotland and Wales that have been hard to recruit to for the past three years. These areas often have an extremely good track record for education, but are initially less popular simply because of their geographical location. However, those trainees that do choose to train there usually stay after training. For more information please visit GPNRO website.

In 2017, England, Scotland and Wales introduced formalised processes to better assist applicants with training in their desired locations of the country.

Special Circumstances

To ensure that applicants with special circumstances and a requirement to train in a particular location are treated in a fair and consistent way, those applicants wishing to be considered for special circumstances pre-allocation should ensure that they state this on their application form. Requests for consideration of special circumstances received in any other way will not be accepted.

Applicants wishing to be considered for special circumstances should complete the special circumstances application form (available from https://www.oriel.nhs.uk/Web/ResourceBank) and forward this, together with the following supporting evidence by email to mdrs.nationalrecruitment@hee.nhs.uk as soon as their application has been submitted electronically

It is important that you review the relevant section in the 2018 Medical Specialty Recruitment Applicant Handbook for full details on the eligibility criteria and administrative process.

Facilitated Placements

This process aims to offer solutions to applicants who have been allocated to different regions to their partner or family.

The process is open to all applicants, except for those who applied to academic posts, locally recruited posts or those looking to move into or out of Northern Ireland, who are not participating in the initiative. Applicants are only eligible for one facilitated placement per recruitment year.

Note: Applicants deferring their commencement in training will not be permitted to apply for a facilitated placement.

Applicants who accept a post, but would like to try and swap this for another post should contact GPNRO as soon as possible. Whilst the swap cannot be guaranteed, recruiters will try and accommodate this, where possible. Applicants who would be happy for either their post or their partner’s post to be swapped should contact GPNRO and the other lead recruiter independently. You need to ensure that you mention your partner and the specialty that they have accepted. This will allow GPNRO to liaise with the other lead recruiter, if applicable, to try and agree a mutually acceptable swap.

As applicants now have the ability to change preferences up until the upgrade deadline (see Section 21.1 for more details), the GPNRO will only review facilitated placement requests once the upgrade deadline has passed and offer exchanges/enhanced preferencing can no longer be utilised. Any requests received before this date will not be reviewed. Facilitated placements requests received after the upgrade deadline will be reviewed as soon as a request is received. There is not a national timeline in which to review these.

It is important that you review the relevant section in the 2018 Medical Specialty Recruitment Applicant Handbook for details on the eligibility criteria and administrative process.

Step On, Step Off (SST) Policy

Deferment to GP ST1 training in the UK is different in each country and is detailed on the GPNRO website.

Applicants who wish to defer will need to highlight this on their application form and will be required to undertake the full selection process. Successful applicants will be able to defer for up to 12 months and will be able to “bank” their accepted GP training programme.

Applicants who will require a Tier 2 Visa to undertake GP training should seek immigration advice to ensure they are eligible for deferment.

All recruiters are aware of the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and in this regard, recruiters will make reasonable adjustments to accommodate applicants at Assessment and Selection Centres provided these are made known in advance. Applicants who require adjustments (e.g. wheelchair access, extra time, nursing mothers) will be required to submit supporting evidence to substantiate the required adjustment. This evidence will need to be uploaded to Oriel via the Document Upload dashboard as “Supporting evidence” and attached to the application form at the point of application.

Adjustments cannot be guaranteed if evidence is provided late and no adjustments can be made on the day of the assessment.

In some instances, to satisfy requests for adjustments, it may be necessary to schedule an Assessment/Selection Centre place at a specific time or a specific location.

Applicants without right of residence will be able to apply in all rounds of GP recruitment. Applicants without right of residence will not be rejected solely due to their immigration status and, should they be successful, will be considered for an offer in this round. For these applicants to be appointed, the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) will need to be satisfied.

It is strongly suggested that you read the 2018 Medical Specialty Recruitment Applicant Handbook in order to familiarise yourself with the immigration information contained within.

Tier 4 Visa Applicants

Applicants with a Tier 4 visa, currently in a UK Foundation Programme who have graduated from a UK Medical school without a break between graduation and commencement of Foundation Programme will be eligible for consideration and will not be required to satisfy the Resident Labour Market Test.

All applicants will need to provide evidence of their English language skills at any interview attended in line with the acceptable evidence detailed in the GP ST1 Person Specification (2017).

Evidence of Communication Skills for Medical Performers’ Lists

Eligibility for entry onto a UK Medical Performers’ List is an essential criterion and therefore, applicants must also ensure their evidence of communication skills complies with the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) or Guidance issued by the relevant Primary Care Organisations (PCOs) responsible for maintaining a medical performers’ list in each of the four countries.

PCOs are NHS England in England, Health and Social Services Boards in Northern Ireland, Local Health Boards in Wales, and primary care divisions within area health boards in Scotland.

All applicants to ST1 posts are required to provide evidence of achievement of Foundation Competence within the 3.5 years prior to the intended commencement date for the advertised post(s). Foundation competency can be demonstrated in any of the following ways:

  • Currently on a Foundation Programme - Applicants currently undertaking a recognised foundation programme in the UK which is due to finish in August 2018, will need to confirm the name of their Foundation School but do not need to submit any other evidence at the point of application. Any offer of a training programme will be conditional upon successful completion of the Foundation Programme and being awarded a Foundation Programme Certificate of Completion (FPCC) before August 2018. Those applying who will require a delayed start date due to illness or maternity, will be permitted to apply and defer to allow them to complete their Foundation Programme.

  • Already completed a Foundation Programme - Applicants who have successfully completed a UK Foundation Programme no earlier than 1st January 2015 are required to upload their FACD 5.2 or FPCC to their application form, at the time of application submission.

  • Currently on a Specialty Training Programme - Applicants currently in active clinical or clinical and academic practice in a UK educationally approved training post (CT/ST/LAT or equivalent), holding either a National Training Number (NTN) or Deanery Reference Number (DRN) will be considered as having had their foundation competences assessed on entry to their current post and do not need to demonstrate these again, regardless of when foundation competences were signed off.

    Applicants in this category, who relinquish their NTN or DRN between the time of application and commencement will be required to submit an Alternative Certificate of Foundation Competence for the period out of training.

  • Anybody who is not covered by the above - Applicants who do not fall into any of the above categories will be required to submit an Alternative Certificate of Foundation Competence signed by a consultant who has supervised them for at least 3 months (whole time equivalent and continuous period) since 1st January 2015.

    In addition, applicants are also required to have 12 months experience after achieving full registration with the GMC, or equivalent medical regulatory body, by the start date for the post they are applying for.

You may submit more than one Alternative Certificate from different posts in order to show evidence of achievement of all outcomes but all certificates must relate to posts undertaken for at least 3 continuous months (whole time equivalent) 1st January 2015. You should ideally attach scanned copies of the certificate(s) to your application form, however if this is not possible you will have until Friday 27th April 2018 to submit the completed Alternative Certificate(s).

PLEASE NOTE:

  • this extended period for the submission of the Alternative Certificate is applicable to GP applicants only.

  • if you are required to satisfy the Resident Labour Market Test you will have until Friday 2nd March 2018 to submit a completed Alternative Certificate

Applicants who fail to provide an Alternative Certificate at the time of application will not be removed from the process but any subsequent GP offer received will be conditional upon the original document(s) being seen by the above date. If you are not able to provide an Alternative Certificate at the time of submitting your application then you will need to ensure you answer ‘No’ to the question regarding achievement of foundation competences. The system will then ask you to justify why you feel you are exempt. You will be required to provide information justifying why you believe you will have it by the date specified above. It is strongly suggested you complete your application form as early on as possible in the application window if this applies to you.

If you answer yes to any of the Fitness to Practise questions on the application form, you will be required to send information about this declaration to your first preference region by the application closing date. Appropriate contact details for Fitness to Practise Declarations can be found in Annex C of the 2018 Medical Specialty Recruitment Applicant Handbook.

Failure to provide this evidence by the application closing date will result in your application not progressing any further in the recruitment round.

Many core competences are common across some, but not all, specialty curricula. When moving from one approved training programme to another, competences gained in Core, Specialty or General Practice training should not have to be repeated if already achieved.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has developed the Accreditation of Transferable Competences Framework (ATCF) to assist trainee doctors in transferring competences achieved in one Core, Specialty or General Practice training programme, where appropriate and valid, to another training programme.

Trainees who decide to change career path could transfer competences achieved in another training programme and reduce the length of their new training programme.

The ATCF applies only to those moving between periods of GMC approved training (i.e. you must have a valid NTN or DRN at the time of transfer) and is aimed at the early years of training. The time to be recognised within the ATCF will need to be reviewed at the trainee’s first Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP), if appointed.

To qualify for ATCF, you must be transferring from one of the following approved specialty training programmes:

  • ACCS programmes
  • Anaesthetics
  • Emergency Medicine
  • General (Internal) Medicine (Core Medical Training programme)
  • General Psychiatry (Core Training in Psychiatry programme)
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Paediatrics

Applicants wishing to be considered for accreditation of transferable competences should indicate this on their application form.

Further information on the ATCF is available from COGPED website.

Specialty training posts and programmes are not normally available to any doctor who has previously relinquished or been released or removed from that training post/programme. However;

Support for Reapplication to Specialty

If you have previously resigned or been removed from a GP training programme, you will need to provide full details of the resignation/release/removal. This must be provided on the Support for Reapplication to a Specialty Training Programme form and approved by both the Head of School/Training Programme Director and Postgraduate Dean in the HEE Local Office or Deanery where training was previously undertaken. This evidence should be emailed to your first preference region at the point of application.

Any applications from excluded trainees without submitted evidence will not progress any further in the recruitment process.

Support for Reapplication to Specialty Training in a Different Region

Trainees currently working in General Practice, applying to continue their training in another HEE Local Office or Deanery, without a break in service, will need to provide information relating to this. You must gain support from your current HEE Local Office or Deanery by completing the Support for Reapplication of Specialty Training in a Different Region form. This evidence should be emailed to your first preference region at the point of application.

Any applications without submitted evidence will not progress any further in the recruitment process.

As you progress through your application it may become apparent that you will be required to upload some form of documentation to allow GPNRO to assess your eligibility.

If you are required to do this you must:

  • Ensure that the document is uploaded as a single document and not in separate pages
  • Ensure that the document label describes the nature of the document
  • Ensure that the document is uploaded in to the correct document section

GPNRO reserves the right to request re-submission of documentation if the above rules are not followed.

All applications will be assessed against the essential criteria outlined in the national GP ST1 Person Specification (2018).

All eligible applicants (i.e. those who have been assessed as demonstrating evidence of eligibility as outlined in section 14) will be invited to attend the next stage of the recruitment and selection process. The MSRA is a computer based assessment which forms the short-listing process. The assessment has been fully researched and evaluated and has been shown to have high predictive validity.

GPNRO lead on the delivery of the MSRA and has developed a separate guide which provides GP applicants with information about the whole MSRA process (e.g. registering to sit the test, centre locations, format of the assessment, etc.).

All applicants are expected to read this document in full to develop an understanding of this particular stage of the recruitment process and what is expected of applicants; it is available from the GPNRO website.

All applicants who achieve a combined total score of 575 in the MSRA will qualify for a streamlined route which does not require them to attend a face-to-face assessment at Selection Centre. If you qualify for this route, you will be ranked first, before those who were deemed appointable via Selection Centre, increasing your chance of receiving an offer of training at a programme in one of your most preferred programmes/locations.

If you qualify for this direct route but are subject to the Resident Labour Market Test, you will only be offered a post after all UK/EU/EEA applicants have been offered, including those who underwent an assessment at Selection Centre.

On completion of the Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA) process, applicants who have met the minimum required standard will be considered for Selection Centre, with the exception of those that qualify for the Direct Pathway to Offers.

Applicants who are successful at the MSRA will be able to choose where they would like to attend Selection Centre. Applicants will be invited to attend one Selection Centre and will be considered for appointment to programmes in all preferenced regions.

Booking a Selection Centre

If you are invited to attend a Selection Centre, you will be required to log into your Oriel account and use the self-service functionality to the book an appointment at a centre, date and time of your choosing, subject to availability. The only exception to this is if you have requested a special accommodation under the Equality Act 2010; in this instance, the GPNRO will pre-book your appointment at a Selection Centre hosted by your first preference region.

When booking your Selection Centre, it is strongly recommended that you avoid booking from a mobile device or internet browsers that have reached the end of their product support lifecycle as these are unlikely to be supported.

Confirmation of booking

Once you have booked your Selection Centre, you will receive an automated confirmation of booking message in Oriel and a secondary automated message will be sent to your registered email address. If you do not receive confirmation, log into your Oriel account to confirm if the booking process was completed in its entirety.

The Selection Centre involves applicants completing a number of exercises which are observed and assessed by trained assessors. This competency based selection process has been researched and evaluated. We are confident that it is fair, robust and fit for purpose.

On the day of the Selection Centre, please ensure that you allow yourself plenty of time to get to the Selection Centre venue to allow for applicant registration and evaluation of essential entry criteria, e.g. documented proof of identity, immigration status, confirmation of award of medical degree, foundation competences etc. Applicants can expect the Selection Centre to last approximately 3 hours, however this can vary.

If you are booked to attend Selection Centre and are unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances or an emergency, you must contact the organising region directly to ascertain whether alternative arrangements can be made. Alternative arrangements cannot be guaranteed.

All recruiters are aware of the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 as detailed in Section 6. Extra time is only available for the written assessment. If you feel that there are any particular issues related to a disability need you may have, you MUST discuss these with the region before the assessment as no adjustment can be made for any applicant afterwards.

Applicants should note that children are not permitted at Selection Centre.

Important: On arrival at Selection Centre, if you find you have a conflict of interest with a panel member, for example you are already familiar with them and you are not comfortable in being assessed by them; it is your responsibility to inform a member of the recruitment team at your earliest opportunity so that alternative arrangements can be made, such as being interviewed by a neutral panel member.

Dress Code

Recruitment and selection may involve contact with simulated patients who should be treated as if they were patients, for clinical communication and assessment of clinical performance. Conventionally in the UK, formal professional practice between doctors and patients is appropriately marked by a certain formality of dress. The same dress code will apply for selection centre as it does for day to day clinical practice/contact with patients; this means that forms of dress should not constrain the applicants’ ability to demonstrate recognised skills. All doctors should ensure their appearance does not impede their professional roles and responsibilities; including communication with patients, relatives, carers and other staff. Casual streetwear, sportswear, revealing styles such as low-cut necklines and mini-skirts, dangling jewellery/accessories will normally be deemed inappropriate. Equally, forms of dress that cover the face will also be deemed inappropriate in such consultations.

Selection Centre Format

There are no interviews and assessors do not have access to your application form, your CV or any other biographical information.

The competences that are assessed at Selection Centre are:

  • Communication Skills,
  • Empathy & Sensitivity,
  • Conceptual Thinking & Problem Solving,
  • Professional Integrity.

Please refer to the GP ST1 Person Specification for more information about these.

There will be a briefing session at the start of your Selection Centre session and an opportunity for questions at the end of it; this is NOT a feedback session. Feedback on your performance will be given later and will be after the offers have been made.

Simulation Exercises

These will involve simulators and 3 different situations:

  • A consultation with a patient
  • A consultation with a relative or carer
  • A consultation with a non-medical colleague.

They do not involve a physical examination and clinical expertise is not specifically assessed. The time allowed for each is 10 minutes.

Written Exercise

The written exercise will require some prioritisation or ranking of issues and a justification of your responses. The time allowed for the written exercise is 30 minutes.

All exercises will have specific and individual written instructions, with advice to spend time reading and being familiar with the requirements of the exercise. You can download example Selection Centre scenarios from GPNRO website.

Preparation Hints

  • Be yourself and be natural. Do NOT “act”
  • Listen to and, carefully read carefully all instructions given on the day about the exercises>
  • Be honest
  • Trust the process which has always had excellent applicant evaluation; specifically the evaluation says the process is fair, even from those who are not successful first time Practice the example scenarios with your colleagues by all means but we do NOT recommend you book commercial courses or purchase advice and guidance books specifically aimed at doctors undertaking the GP Selection Centre. None of the GP assessors take part in or endorse any preparation courses or books

We understand that applicants may wish to revise and prepare for Selection Centre with each other in small groups and would encourage this. However, sharing information about the actual Selection Centre is unacceptable and is viewed as unprofessional behaviour. Assessments at Selection Centre are competency based and there is published evidence demonstrating that prior knowledge of the content and context of assessment does not positively affect performance. We would counsel applicants against altering their behaviour based on the advice of other applicants. We also remind applicants that entry to GP Specialty Training is competitive.

All applicants will be notified of their final results on the published offers date. The offers date can be found on the Recruitment webpage of the GPNRO website.

The results, including your final national rank will be published in your Oriel account against your GP ST1 application as interview scores. Detailed guidance on how to locate or view these scores is contained in the Oriel Applicant User Handbook.

Composition of Final Result

The final mark for all applicants that have undertaken GP selection is calculated by combining results from both the MSRA and Selection Centre. To give an applicant’s final selection score, the PD element of the MSRA and Selection Centre scores are weighted at 40% each and the CPS element of the MSRA at 20%.

Assessment Weighting
MSRA
  • PD Paper
  • CPS Paper
60%
40%
20%
Selection Centre 40%

To achieve an accurately weighted final score, it is important that all results use the same scale. Therefore, the weighted MSRA scores for the PD and CPS have to be rescaled to allow them to be combined with Selection Centre scores.

An applicant’s final score is then calculated by combining the weighted PD, CPS and Selection Centre scores in the agreed manner. A cut-off will be set to determine the minimum mark an applicant needs to achieve to be deemed ‘successful at selection’. Applicants who achieve this score or above will be ranked and offers allocated accordingly. An applicant’s final score, their rank, and the agreed cut-off score will be provided as feedback.

Appealing the Outcome

The outcome is final and cannot be reviewed, re-marked or disputed. There is no appeals process.

If you feel your application has not been managed correctly and have evidence of a failure in the process, there is a national complaints policy and procedure. You should explore this route if you have any concerns about your application. A copy of the policy can be located in the GPRNO Resource Bank.

All offers will be made via Oriel by GPNRO. Offers received in any other way will be deemed invalid. If you are made an offer, you will need to respond to this on Oriel.

Applicants will be ranked in a single national list based on their performance throughout the selection processes. Applicants who qualified for Direct Pathway to Offers will be ranked first, above those who were deemed appointable via the Selection Centre. Offers are made in rank order based on this national ranking.

Initial offers will be released by close of business on the first offer date published for the current round (see the GPNRO website). Please do not contact GPNRO about offers prior to this date, as it could delay the release.

You will be given 48 hours (exclusive of weekends) to respond to an offer and you have the option to accept, decline or hold. Only one offer can be held at any one time, across all specialty applications in a given round. If you fail to respond to an offer within the 48-hour window you will be deemed to have declined the offer.

If you are holding an offer and try to hold another, the original held post will be automatically declined on your behalf by Oriel.

Once you have accepted a post, you will not receive any further offers from any other specialty in this round (i.e. Oriel will automatically withdraw you from all other applications you have in the given recruitment round).

Offers that are declined will be reoffered in rank order to other applicants.

If you choose to hold an offer, you can keep this offer held up until the hold deadline published for the current round (see the GPNRO website). Before this deadline, you will be required to go back into Oriel and make a final decision on the offer. Any offers still held when the deadline is reached will be deemed to have been declined and the system will automatically change your status to show that you have declined the post.

After the hold deadline has passed, any offers made will only have the option of accept or decline.

Please note:

  • Applicants whose immigration status would require an employer to obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship can only be made an offer if there are no remaining suitable UK/EEA applicants.
  • Applicants who let their offer expire (and are withdrawn from the recruitment process) can be reinstated if they contact the GPNRO; however, their original offer cannot and will not be guaranteed.

If you rank highly enough to be made an offer, this will be made to the highest ranked Training Programme preference that is available when your final rank is reached. If this Training Programme offer is suitable for you and you do not want to be considered for any other preferences you have ranked higher, you can choose to simply accept it.

However, applicants do have the option of getting one of their higher ranked GP Training programme preferences, should they become available, by opting into upgrading. The upgrading option is available to all offers that have been held or accepted, but not where an offer has been declined. An applicant who has accepted or held an offer can opt in or out of upgrading at any time during the window which runs until the upgrade deadline published for the current round (see the GPNRO website). Please be aware that due to the ranking of your GP Training Programme preferences you may move into a different region if you are upgraded.

If you opt into upgrades and a higher preferenced offer becomes available, the upgrade will be automatic. You will be placed in the higher preferenced post and an automated message will be sent to you Oriel informing you of the upgrade; you will not be given 48 hours to decide whether you wish to accept or decline the upgrade. If an upgrade is made, the previously held or accepted post will be released and will be reoffered to another applicant.

Once you have been upgraded you will be sent an automated message through Oriel to inform you of this. Details of the upgrade made will be available in the relevant section on Oriel.

Once the upgrading deadline has passed, no further upgrades will be offered, even if a more preferred GP Training Programme becomes available at a later date.

Offer Exchanges/Enhanced Preferences

Applicants can have a change in circumstances for any number of reasons in the time between programme preferences being made and offers being released. To assist applicants in this situation, flexibility around preferencing has been introduced for 2018 recruitment.

For applicants who have accepted or held a post, there will be an option to select upgrade options which not only include those programmes that were originally ranked higher than the offered post, but also those that were ranked lower.

Please note: Any changes to preferences made between the offers algorithm being run and offers being released will not be considered until the next offers match is run.

Applicants who have not been made an offer may also have a change in circumstances that requires them to make amendments to their expressed preferences. GPNRO will keep their programme preferencing open throughout the recruitment process, however this will be temporarily disabled before each offer algorithm is run, until the offers have been released.

These processes will continue up until the upgrading deadline in each recruitment round (see the GPNRO website).

More detailed guidance on this process is contained in the Oriel Applicant User Handbook.

Referees should be contacted at the earliest opportunity to confirm that they are happy to support the application and provide a reference. You are required to give details of your last three clinical or educational supervisors from your current post, your previous post and the post before that.

All offers made will be on the condition of the offered region receiving three satisfactory references. Obtaining references is an applicant’s responsibility. The offered region will NOT chase your referees.

Reference Requests

Reference requests are an automated process in Oriel. A request will be triggered and sent electronically to your nominated referees when you accept or, accept with upgrades an offer of GP training. To ensure that the requests are not blocked or filtered by your referees’ email providers you are strongly advised to inform your referees to add noreply@oriel.nhs.uk to their email whitelist.

Completing a Reference

Referees are required to submit references electronically, using the online referee portal in Oriel. You will be advised, via your Oriel portal, when your referee has submitted a reference.

In rare cases there may be a need for your reference to be provided on paper. We will instruct you if this is necessary. You can download a Structured National Reference Form from the Oriel Resource Bank and you will need to ask the affected referee to return the completed form directly to the offered region.

Changing Your Nominated Referee

For any references that have not yet been submitted you are able to update the details of or, change your, nominated referees. However, if a referee has already submitted your reference, you will not be able to make any changes to their details.

If you change the email address against a referee, a new reference request will be sent to the newly provided email address, and the original request will be withdrawn.

Once you have accepted an offer of training at a region and the upgrade deadline has passed, you will be asked, by the offered region, to indicate your preferred geography and/or rotational posts from those that are available within the Training Programme that you have accepted.

Information regarding these further preferences will be published on individual region websites.

The GPNRO does not have any involvement in this process. Any queries relating to this should be sent to the region where the training offer was received.

Allocation of Trainees within Local Training Programmes

Once offered a Training Programme within a region it is expected that further preferences will be based on individual ranking and achievement over the exercises involved in the selection process, i.e. higher performing applicants are offered a higher preference from the pool of local placements/rotations on offer.

There is, however, a risk associated with the lower level of allocations to programme level if done purely by choice. Therefore, each region has developed its own allocation policy to mitigate risk. You should visit the website of the relevant region for further information on this.

Using the Single Transferable Score model in GP recruitment means there will be no option for clearing. Therefore, if you do not receive an offer in this round of recruitment it will be for one of two reasons:

  1. All of your GP Training Programme preferences being accepted before your rank is reached (this could happen even if you are considered appointable in the process).

  2. You were unsuccessful at a certain part of the recruitment process (you will be notified if this is the case).

Applicants will be given feedback throughout the recruitment process and will not need to make a formal request to receive it.

Applicants that are rejected at the longlisting stage will be advised of the reason why their application was rejected. Applicants that are rejected following MSRA will be advised of their total scores, and the scores needed to be invited to Selection Centre. Selection Centre feedback will be released within seven days after the initial offer date.

Applicants who wish to request feedback above and beyond the standard feedback that is provided (i.e. their actual score sheets) can do so by making a request to the GPNRO.

GPNRO expect the score sheets to be sent back to applicants within 20 working days however applicants must understand that in busy periods this could take longer to receive.

There is no further feedback that can be provided after score sheets have been requested.

The offer and allocation of a Training Programme referred to above is NOT an offer of employment. An employment contract detailing the terms and conditions of employment will be issued by the responsible employing organisation and is made subject to satisfactory pre-employment checks. Your offer of employment will include the name of your employer, the start date and length of the period of employment, the location, the hours, the minimum rate of remuneration and the notice period applicable.

Information regarding pay, hours, sick pay and annual leave entitlements, notice period, study leave, pension scheme etc. are set out in the national terms and conditions available from NHS Employers. A framework for a written contract of employment for GP specialty registrars is also available from the BMA. Individual region websites may also provide additional local information and links to individual employer websites.

The employing organisation carry out a number of pre-employment checks before an offer of employment can be confirmed. These will include verification of identity, registration and qualifications, right to work (immigration), employment history and employment reference checks (these are different from the clinical reference checks that the region needs), a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and an occupational health check. Some of these (verification of identify, registration and qualifications and right to work for example) may also be undertaken by the region during the recruitment process.

Any claims for expenses incurred in travelling to a Selection Centre should be made to the region that interviewed you, not the GPNRO. This should normally be a venue close to your residence or place of work. You will be expected to explain why this is not the case if you appear to have excessive expenses.

Please contact the organising region for further guidance on their expenses policy.