Blogs > NHS Recruitment Process

How to apply for training via Oriel

  • March 18, 2022

What is Oriel?

Oriel is the UK-wide portal and recruitment system for specialty medical and public health training vacancies. Oriel will allow you to register for training posts, view vacancies, book interviews and assessment centres and manage your offers.

NHS specialty recruitment is organised nationally by Health Education England and the Head Deanery. This means that you only need to complete one online application and state your preferred geographical location, rather than submitting multiple applications.

National Recruitment Rounds

NHS specialty recruitment is split into five recruitment rounds throughout the year.

  1. Academic Recruitment – Academic Clinical Fellowship posts are advertised
  2. Round 1 – Recruitment for all CT1/ST1 specialty training posts across the UK, some run through specialties at higher entry levels. Adverts tend to open in November time and posts will start in August.
  3. Round 2 – This is the first time that ST3/4 posts in uncoupled training programmes will be advertised. This round may also include ST3 entry level posts in run through specialties. Adverts typically appear in late January and posts will start in August.
  4. Round 1 Re-Advert – If any posts advertised from Round 1 remain vacant, a second round is run to fill the remaining posts. Adverts open in February.
  5. Round 2 Re-Advert – Not all specialties will advertise for this round and it is not limited to CT1/ST1 or ST3/4. Posts will usually not start later than December.

How competitive are NHS posts?

When deciding which posts and specialties to apply for, you are advised to consider carefully the likely levels of competition involved and be prepared to be flexible about your specialty choices: not all doctors will be successful in getting a place in their first-choice specialty and/or region.

How to plan your Specialty training application

Once you have decided what specialty you are going to apply for, you need to check that you are eligible to make your application. HEE person specifications are available here.

How to evidence your foundation competences

All doctors applying to CT1/ST1 posts are required to provide evidence of achievement of Foundation Competence within the 3.5 years prior to the start date to the post applied for.

The accepted competencies are:

  • Currently on an NHS foundation programme
  • Completed an NHS foundation programme
  • Currently on a HEE specialty training programme (e.g. WAST)

Your Oriel application

Before you submit your application, you should check you have uploaded the following:

  • Your application based against the specialty applicant guidance
  • Criteria contained within the person specification
  • Any mandatory documentation
  • Evidence to support your application: From the dates and titles of your qualifications, publications, presentations, research, audit etc. If you are invited to an interview, you will need to provide the original copies
  • Career research: You must demonstrate your reasons for applying for a specialty and what you can bring in terms of your skills and personal attributes
  • Referees: who have supervised your clinical training in the last two years
  • Immigration status and your right to work in the UK
  • GMC Registration
  • English language skills as per the eligibility criteria as demonstrated by registration with the appropriate regulator
  • Any examination/competency/experience requirements in line with the post


Please note this blog post is just a guide to applying for NHS specialty training. If you would like official guidance and support, please contact HEE directly.

Relocation to the UK

If you are an international doctor who would like support in securing a service post before you apply for an NHS specialty training programme, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to the UK today.

Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have hundreds of videos about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS!


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