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.
Once you have registered and had your documentation collected and/or checked, you will have your photograph taken. This is simply to ensure that the assessors can identify you during the selection process.
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 HEE Local Office or Deanery directly to ascertain whether alternative arrangements can be made. Alternative arrangements cannot be guaranteed.
All HEE Local Offices and Deaneries are aware of the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 as detailed in Section 7.4. 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 HEE Local Office or Deanery 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.
19.1 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. Inappropriately revealing styles such as low-cut necklines and mini-skirts, dangling jewellery/accessories should be avoided. Equally, forms of dress that cover the face will normally be deemed inappropriate in such consultations.
19.2 Selection Centre Format
At the Selection Centre each applicant will have a number of opportunities to demonstrate some of the competences outlined in the GP ST1 Person Specification. Each of these competences will be assessed more than once in a number of exercises which are observed and assessed by trained assessors.
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.
19.2.1 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.
19.2.2 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.
19.3 Preparation hints
- Be yourself and be natural. Do NOT “act”
- Listen and 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 that you to 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.