The Core Surgical Training application process takes place at a national level (excluding applications to Northern Ireland), and is coordinated by the London and South East Recruitment Office. The application window opens once per year at about the start of November. Applications are submitted via the Oriel Recruitment Portal. As part of the application, candidates have to complete a set of Self-assessment Questions.
Following this, each Deanery (or LETB as they are now called) releases the number of jobs they have available. This number often varies, and may not be confirmed until the last minute. The table below shows the average number of CST jobs per deanery over the last 3 years. Please note that Competition Rates for jobs vary between deaneries.
|Average CST numbers (range)|
|East Midlands||41 (41-42)|
|East of England||49 (47-51)|
|Kent, Surrey, Sussex||38 (37-39)|
|North West||79 (77-81)|
|Northern (North East)||31 (29-32)|
|Thames Valley (Oxford)||18|
|South West||43 (40-47)|
|West Midlands||51 (46-56)|
|Yorkshire and Humber||54 (53-54)|
Once all the jobs have been released, applicants then have to rank them in order of preference. How well candidates perform in their interview determines how likely they are to get their first preference. Some Core Surgical posts are themed towards a particular surgical sub specialty.
The Improving Surgical Training Pilot Scheme
This is a scheme which took on its first trainees in August 2018.
- It is a run through scheme – trainees enter at the ST1 level and progress through to ST8
- It will have the same curriculum and required competencies as the current Core Surgical Training scheme
- It will be applied for through the same application process and interview as Core Surgical Training – one application and one interview however when it comes to ranking you rank the IST jobs as well as the CST jobs and they will be allocated based on the score from interview
What are the benefits of these IST posts?
- The RCS has started this scheme in order to try and address the current imbalance between training and service provision
- The aim is for better access to learning opportunities including simulation, less on call commitments and greater multidisciplinary support for trainees
More on this can be found on the Royal College of Surgeons Website.
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