The 2022 application round timeline and key dates are as follows:

Adverts appear By 5pm Tuesday 2nd November 2021
Applications open 10:00am Thursday 4th November 2021
Applications close 4:00pm Wednesday 1st December 2021
Evidence upload portal opens Friday 10th December 2021
Evidence upload portal closes Thursday 30th December 2021
Invites to interview sent on Tuesday 25th January 2022
Interview window 7th February to 18th February 2022
Preferencing window 7th to 21st March 2022
Initial offers released By 5pm Thursday 24th March 2022
Hold deadline Tuesday 5th April 2022
Upgrade deadline Monday 11th April 2022

The Core Surgical Training application process takes place at a national level (Northern Ireland applications are done separately), and is coordinated by Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex. 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. These are then verified and scored and the approximately the highest scoring 1,100 candidates are invited for a remote interview.

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.

Rough CST numbers per region
East Midlands 41
East of England 49
Kent, Surrey, Sussex 38
London 79
North West 79
Northern (North East) 31
Thames Valley (Oxford) 18
South West 43
Scotland 47
Wessex 23
West Midlands 51
Yorkshire and Humber 54
Wales 44
Total 596

Map of UK core surgical training application deaneries

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.

To sign up to the CoreSurgicalPrep mailing list and be the first to hear about our mock interview and updates for the 2022 application and interview round, click here.