In 2023 the Core Surgical Training competition rate for the UK was 4.2:1. This means that for every 4.2 people that applied, 1 was successfully appointed. 42% of  those that applied were invited to interview and 57% of those interviewed were successfully appointed.

There are roughly 550 Core Surgical Training (CST) posts available each year but this number can vary considerably. These jobs are divided up according to deaneries. Below summarises the Core Surgical Training Competition Rates over the last few years and the number of jobs advertised.

Interview year Competition ratio (applicants:successfully appointed) Competition ratio (interviewed:successfully appointed) Percentage of applicants who were interviewed Percentage of those interviewed successfully appointed
2019 2.8 2.3 81% 44%
2020 4 2.4 59% 42%
2021 4.6 1.6 35% 63%
2022 3.7 2 55% 49%
2023 4.2 1.8 42%


These competition rates do not refer to the likelihood of being offered a job in your first choice deanery. Because certain deaneries are more competitive, applicants looking to secure jobs there will need to ensure that they score highly at the interview stage.

The annual change in the number of applicants and those successfully appointed following interview is shown in the graph below…

Core Surgical Training competition rates 2023

Core Surgical Training competition rates 2023

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