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The applicants guide

 

The applicants guide - GP guidance

The National Specialty Recruitment Handbook 2014 as developed by HEE can be found at: http://specialtytraining.hee.nhs.uk/applicant-handbook/

1. Introduction

The National Recruitment Office co-ordinates the nationally agreed and quality assured process for recruitment to GP Specialty Training Programmes. All submitted applications for GP specialty training will be assessed using a standard, national and consistent staged process outlined below. This is an established and well-researched selection process using modern methodologies that we are confident are fair, robust and fit for purpose. The competency based selection process allows applicants to demonstrate their abilities and suitability for GP training - applications are assessed by the demonstration of competencies as outlined in the national person specification.

Applicants are reminded that entry to GP specialty training is highly competitive. Information about competition ratios in previous rounds and the number of available vacancies in each LETB/deanery are available.

Applicants make one application for up to four preferred LETBs/deaneries. The short-listing method (Stage 2) involves undertaking a computer based assessment. Successful applicants will be matched in rank order to their highest available preferred LETB/deanery for the next stage of assessment (Stage 3) This then becomes the LETB/deanery that will make them an offer if successful. The system is designed to maximise the numbers of applicants successfully short-listed, and to maximise opportunities for successful appointment.

It is common sense advice that you should only apply for LETBs/deaneries you are happy to work in. In making those decisions, it might be worth researching the geography of the LETBs/deaneries carefully, particularly with regard to boundaries. You may be surprised to learn that a LETB/deanery you had not considered applying to actually has a scheme very close to the one that you selected in your first choice, which could then be considered as your second choice LETB/deanery. Links to individual LETB/deanery web sites are available from the LETB/deanery profile pages.

You are advised to read ALL the following information before you begin to complete the on-line application form so that you are familiar with the GP assessment and selection process and the essential entry requirements. You should also refer to our guide to applying online for help with the on-line application form.

2. Submitting an Application

All applications must be made via the on-line system. Applications submitted after the deadline will NOT be considered. See dates and deadlines relating to current recruitment activity. We do not accept applications for a planned deferred start date. Start dates may be delayed in cases of illness or maternity only provided all the eligibility requirements for the application start date have been met.

The GP application form asks only for factual information about you and your employment history – we do not ask you to write essay-type answers to competency based questions and we do not “score” CVs. Once your application has been submitted you are unable to make any changes, apart from to update your own contact details so please ensure that you do not submit unless it is complete. You are, however, able to update your referee details and change your LETB/deanery preferences up to a point.

We strongly recommend that applicants read our guide to applying online for help with the on-line application form. See Stage 1 - Eligibility Requirements for more information about the essential requirements for entry into GP specialty training.

3. Equality and Diversity

All LETBs/deaneries are committed to ensuring that their selection procedures are subject to best equal opportunities practice and that no one is disadvantaged by ethnic background, gender, marital status, sexual orientation or age. LETB/deanery equal opportunity processes are regularly monitored. Responses to questions on the application form regarding Equal Opportunity Monitoring information are NOT seen by any of our assessors.

All appointments will be made against the agreed national person specifications. Our selection methods are continuously evaluated and monitored. Candidates should be able to demonstrate their commitment towards a career in General Practice.

Flexible Training

All LETBs/deaneries welcome applications from suitably qualified doctors who wish to train flexibly on a part-time basis. The opportunity to train flexibly is available in all LETBs/deaneries. You should state your intention to work flexibly on your application form; this will NOT be seen by anyone assessing your application. Please refer to individual LETB/deanery web sites for information on the policies and procedures regarding flexible training.

Disabled Doctors

We welcome applications from those who consider themselves to be disabled provided they meet the essential eligibility criteria and we will make all reasonable adjustments required to accommodate specific disabilities at Stage 2 Assessment and Stage 3 (Selection Centre) provided we are informed about them in advance. If appointed to a GP training programme, we will discuss any reasonable adjustments required to the job. All doctors are subject to an occupational health check by the employing Trust as part of the pre-employment checks.

Disabled doctors are able to request consideration for a “guaranteed interview” under the two ticks scheme. The GP process does not include an interview as such but for these purposes we will ensure that those granted a “guaranteed interview” are allocated to their first choice LETB/deanery for Selection Centre provided the entry requirements and the minimum required standard in the Stage 2 initial assessment are met.

Overseas Doctors

LETBs/deaneries welcome applications from suitable qualified doctors from overseas provided they are also able to legally work in the UK as a doctor in training. Overseas doctors are those who, regardless of where they obtained their primary medical qualification are not nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA). They commonly do not have a right of indefinite residence in the UK or benefit from European Community rights. Some applicants may be considered before others on the basis of immigration status in accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006.

Overseas doctors with indefinite leave to remain (settled status) and those whose immigration status entitles them to work without restriction in the UK are eligible to apply for specialty training programmes and will be considered on an equal basis with UK and EEA nationals. Other non-UK or non-EEA nationals with limited leave to remain in the UK and whose employment will require a Tier 2 sponsorship, are subject to the Resident Labour Market Test. (RLMT). The Resident Labour Market Test means that such doctors can only be made an offer of a training programme if there are no suitable UK or EEA national candidates.

We will consider your immigration status as at the closing date for applications. You will be able to tell us if you expect your immigration status to change before commencement of the post you are applying for. Evidence of immigration status should normally consist of a biometric residence card, date stamped passport and accompany letter from the Home Office. Such evidence must be provided at Stage 3 Selection Centre.

Further information regarding overseas doctors is available from:

In April 2012 the UK Border Agency will close the Tier 1 (post study work) immigration route. UK graduates, who are on a UK Foundation Programme and have limited leave to remain (usually Tier 4 or Permit Free Training) which expires August 2012, are able to apply for ST1 level specialty training programmes and will be considered along with all UK/EEA applicants. If appointed to a specialty training programme, they will need to apply for a Tier 2 sponsorship but and are exempt from having to satisfy the Resident Labour Market Test.

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4. Choosing a LETB/deanery

Applicants are allowed to submit ONE application for a standard GP training programme and can indicate up to FOUR LETBs/deaneries in preference order. Programmes are available at ST1 entry levels only and are for 3 years duration. Some LETBs/deaneries also offer a few 4 year programmes.

Academic Clinical Fellowship Programmes are also available in some LETBs/deaneries. You can submit an application for these once you have submitted an application for a standard GP training programme. Available programmes and competition ratios are published on this web site.

Applicants are also advised to read the LETB/deanery profile pages and access individual LETB/deanery websites for more information about the opportunities available at each LETB/deanery. We suggest that you research not only the types of programmes offered at each LETB/deanery but also the geographical areas covered by each LETB/deanery, the main Trusts in each of those areas, transport links to home and so on.

If your circumstances change after you have submitted your application, you may change your LETB/deanery preferences up until the Stage 2 assessment window closes. If your circumstances change after that you are advised to contact the NRO directly who may be able to facilitate a change of LETB/deanery preferences for you, depending on the circumstances. Applicants should note that submitted applications will be reviewed and dealt with by their original first choice LETB/deanery even if this is changed after submission. Please read more about transferring LETBs/deaneries.

You are not required to indicate your preferred geographies within the LETBs/deaneries at the application stage. You will be able to do this once you have been allocated to a LETB/deanery for Stage 3 (Selection Centre). We do not provide an opportunity for you to indicate any special circumstances or geographical restrictions at the application stage. Once you are allocated to a LETB/deanery for Stage 3 (Selection Centre), you may be able to inform the LETB/deanery of any geographical restrictions you have and you will be required to provide documentary evidence. See Programme Allocation and Offers for more information.

We do not provide a facility to link with any other applicant – if you are both applying to GP you need to ensure that you both indicate the same LETBs/deaneries in the same preference order. If you are allocated to different LETBs/deaneries for Stage 3 SAC, you are advised to contact the NRO directly who will arrange for you both to be assessed by the lower preferenced LETB/deanery.

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5. Stage 1 – Eligibility Requirements

All applications will be assessed against the competences outlined in the National Person Specification by the first choice LETB/deanery. To be eligible for a GP Specialty Training Programme you will need:

To hold a recognised primary medical qualification Applicants that do not hold a recognised primary medical qualification will not be considered. Applicants will be required to produce their certificate when attending selection centre.
To be fully registered with the UK GMC at the time of application OR be eligible for full UK GMC registration at time of application Applicants who are not fully registered and not eligible for full registration with UK GMC will not be considered. There is no exemption from PLAB for GP training. Applicants will be required to produce evidence of their GMC registration when attending selection centre. Applicants are reminded that from 16th November 2009, all doctors must also hold a valid licence to practice from the UK GMC.
Evidence of current employment in a UK Affiliated Foundation Programme OR evidence of achievement of Foundation Competencies within the last 3 years Applicants who have not completed a UK foundation programme within the last 3 years must be able to provide evidence of achieving equivalent foundation competences within this time-frame by submitting an Alternative Certificate. This must be attached to the application form before submission. These will be assessed locally in the first instance and the LETB/deanery will let applicants know if their evidence has been accepted. Further information regarding standard documentation required is given below. All applicants will be required to produce original documentation for verification when attending selection centre.
To hold a current valid driving licence OR able to provide satisfactory alternative as a means of providing emergency and domiciliary care to fulfil the requirements of the post Applicants who do not hold a valid driving licence will be asked to agree to a statement of intent that they will provide an alternative means of transport in order to undertake home visits and emergency out of hours care with minimal additional assistance from the employing practice. Applicants will be required to produce their driving licence or sign a statement of intent when attending selection centre.
Evidence of English Language Proficiency Applicants whose primary medical degree was not taught in English or those who have not achieved an overall Academic IELTS score of 7.0 or above and a score of 7.0 or above for each component within the last 2 years, will be asked to provide alternative supporting evidence of their English language proficiency. This could be that they have worked in the UK NHS for at least two years or that they have another English Language qualification (not PLAB) achieved within the last 2 years or, if they have worked in the UK NHS for less than 2 years, a letter from a supervising consultant confirming English language proficiency. Such evidence will need to be produced when attending selection centre. If none of the above is applicable, the applicant must detail what evidence they are able to submit in order to demonstrate their English language proficiency.
Advanced Life Support Certificate Applicants are required to provide a recent ALS certificate from the Resuscitation Council UK or equivalent (as required to complete foundation competences) by the intended start date. See FAQ's for further information.
To be able to legally work in the UK Applicants must be able to legally work in the UK. Doctors who require a work permit (Tier 2) or Certificate of Sponsorship from an employer may apply if eligible but will only be made an offer where there are no remaining suitable UK/EEA applicants. See Overseas doctors for more information.
To not have resigned or been released from a UK GP training programme Applicants who have previously completed part of a UK GP training programme/Vocational training scheme and resigned or been released will not be considered unless in extraordinary circumstances and they have a letter of support from either the PG Dean or GP Director of the LETB/deanery in which they worked. Examples of being released include ARCP outcome 4 or two or more failed VTR1 or GP RITA E’s.
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6. Evidence of Foundation Competence

The National Person Specification for entry to all specialty training programmes (including FTSTA posts) requires applicants to provide evidence of achievement of Foundation competences within the last 3 years in line with GMC standards/Good Medical Practice including:

All applicants to General Practice specialty training must demonstrate all the competences without exception using the prescribed evidence as outlined below.

Possession of foundation competences is essential for successful applicants to cope with, and progress through specialty training. Demonstrating foundation competences also ensures that doctors can practise safely in line with GMC standards. To achieve this, it is crucial that this submitted evidence is current. It is not sufficient to have achieved each competence once. Competences must be achieved, maintained and demonstrated.

The acceptable methods for demonstrating foundation competences are listed below. No other evidence will be accepted as previous experience has shown it to be unreliable. For example, specialist qualifications do not demonstrate the breadth of foundation competences and candidates are not typically readily able to cope with the first year of core or specialty training. Candidates who achieved foundation competences in the past but since then focused their career in a small specialised area would also typically find it difficult to cope in the first year of specialty training. The broad spectrum of foundation competences must be demonstrated to qualify the candidate for entry to year one of specialty training. It is the candidate’s responsibility to satisfactorily demonstrate that this criterion has been fulfilled.

There are a 3 WAYS you can demonstrate your achievement of foundation competency

The application form will ask you a series of questions to help you determine the most appropriate form of evidence. Your answers to these questions will also allow us to assess your eligibility to apply for a GP specialty training programme and you will be expected to provide standardised documentation to verify your answers. This guidance is provided to help you to prepare your 2014 application.

  1. Currently on a foundation programme
    If you are undertaking a recognised foundation programme in the UK which is due to finish in August 2014, we will ask you to confirm the name of your Foundation School. You do not need to do anything else. You do not need to submit any evidence. Any offer of a programme will be conditional upon you successfully completing this programme and being awarded an FACD 5.2 before August 2014. This includes those applying for a delayed start date due to illness or maternity. If you are undertaking a “stand alone” FY2 post that is NOT part of a recognised foundation programme attached to a UK foundation school and you do not expect to be awarded with an FACD 5.2 upon satisfactory completion, then you must answer NO to this question on the application form (Are you currently on a UK Foundation Year 2 Programme?) and you will be required to submit an alternative evidence as detailed below.

  2. Already completed a foundation programme
    If you have already completed a UK foundation programme within the last 3 years (since 1st August 2011), we will ask you to confirm that you have been awarded an FACD 5.2. You MUST attach a scanned copy of your FACD 5.2 to your application. Our guide to applying online explains how to do this. You will be expected to provide the original certificate at a later date.

  3. Anybody who is not in 1 or 2 above
    If you have not undertaken a UK foundation programme within the last 3 years, you will be able to submit alternative evidence by asking a consultant who has supervised you for at least 3 months since 1st August 2011 to attest to your achievement of foundation competences. (For the purposes of this documentation, consultant includes GPs, Clinical Directors, Medical Superintendents and anyone on the specialty register). You may submit more than one Alternative Certificate from different posts in order to show evidence of achievement of all competencies but all certificates must relate to posts undertaken for at least 3 months (wte) since August 2011. Alternative certificates will be available from our download section very shortly.

You MUST attach scanned copies of the certificates to your application form. Please refer to our guide to applying online which includes some helpful tips on how to do this. You will be expected to provide the original document(s) at a later date.

We expect ALL doctors applying to a specialty training programme to have had at least 24 months experience in certain posts, either in the UK or overseas, since gaining their primary medical qualification and before commencing a specialty training programme.

You will be asked to confirm that you have...

*An internship is a period of pre-graduate or post-graduate clinical experience that provides an accepted foundation for future practice as a fully registered and licensed medical practitioner. Internships must be either a 12 month programme that includes a minimum of 3 months in surgery and 3 months in medicine OR a programme of at least 10 months duration that includes a minimum of 3 months in surgery and 3 months in medicine with an additional study period of up to 2 months OR the equivalent of 12 months full time post-qualification at a publicly funded hospital in at least two branches of medicine.

You will not be required to submit evidence of your previous experience at the application stage but the LETB/deanery may request you to provide it later during the recruitment process.

With regard to the Alternative Certificates, please note that:

The signatory does not necessarily have to personally witness the demonstration of every competence, but he or she must be able to judge whether the evidence they have seen/had presented to them demonstrates competence. The LETB/deanery have no discretion in this regard. The post the certificate refers to must be of at least 3 months duration (whole time equivalent), has to have been completed by the time of the submission deadline and undertaken within the 3 years before commencement of the post you are applying for.

Clinical attachments do NOT count as experience.

If you are unable to provide any of the above because, for example, you have not worked within the last 3 years then you are advised to secure a second year UK foundation programme post before applying for a specialty training programme. Alternatively, you could secure a post that will enable you to demonstrate foundation competency to a consultant who could then provide you with an Alternative Certificate, eg. A locum or Trust post.

We understand that refugee doctors may have less access to standardised documentation and in rare cases may not be able to obtain an Alternative Certificate. If you are unable to provide any of the above because of your refugee status, you should contact your first choice LETB/deanery for advice before submitting your application form. Refugee doctors will be required to provide an Alternative Certificate wherever possible.

Note:

There will is a new Alternative Certificate for applications for August 2014 and this must be used. Earlier documentation will NOT be accepted. Alternative certificates are now available from our download section.

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7. Stage 2 Assessment (Computer Based Test)

All eligible applicants (i.e. those who have been assessed as demonstrating evidence of eligibility as outlined above) will be invited to attend the next stage of our recruitment and selection process. Stage 2 is an initial assessment which forms our short-listing process and also enables us to rank candidates before allocating them to a LETB/deanery for Stage 3 selection Centre. The Stage 2 assessment has been fully researched and evaluated and has been shown to have high predictive validity.

Pearson VueFrom 2011, the Stage 2 assessment has been delivered using computer based testing methods which will allow us to run the assessment on a number of consecutive days in a large number of Pearson Vue Computer Testing Centres throughout the whole of the UK. The format of the assessment remains unchanged although we will be using a large number of different equated test forms. See below for more information about the Stage 2 assessment.

The opportunity to sit the stage 2 assessment outside of the UK will be available in round 1 only in 2014 for those working abroad during the Stage 2. We can arrange assessments in Australia (Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth) New Zealand (Wellington only). To find out about locations not listed, please contact Victoria Johnson at the NRO – Victoria.GPrecruitment@wm.hee.nhs.uk. Locations not listed MUST be approved via the NRO before application. Candidates working or based in Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man may be accommodated in a local test centre subject to availability. Candidates working or based in Europe are expected to travel to the UK to attend the assessment. Overseas assessment places will be given on a first come first served basis subject to availability. You will be able to specify, on the application form, where you require your overseas assessment and we will take your assessment centre preferences plus the date of submission of the application form to allocate you to a centre for stage 2. The number of places in some centres is limited and candidates are therefore advised to submit their application forms as soon as possible.

Applicants should note that children are not permitted at any of the test centres.

None of the GP question writers take part in or endorse any preparation courses or books. All the information you need to prepare for the GP Stage 2 assessment is available on this web site. There is no option to take the initial assessment a year early if you are planning to take a gap year between foundation and specialty training.

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8. More about the Stage 2 assessment

Candidates must present themselves at the test centre 15 minutes before the scheduled appointment time to complete the necessary check-in procedures. It is absolutely essential that you arrive on time – candidates who arrive late will NOT be admitted.

Failure to attend a booked test will result in the NRO informing your referees and passing the cost on to you. If you are unable to attend your scheduled test, you MUST cancel 24 hours before the test is due to be delivered via the www.pearsonvue.com/nro website.

You will be required to present a current valid passport or current valid UK or EU photo card driving licence as means of identification. If you present a biometric passport that does not have a signature, you will need to provide a secondary form of identification with your full name and signature for example, a debit or credit card. The name on your identification documents must match the name used on your GP specialty training application form. If the names are different, for example, if one is a maiden name and the other a married name, you must present official documentation that links the two names, for example, a marriage certificate.

Candidates who do not provide acceptable identification will NOT be admitted!

You are not allowed to take anything into the test room itself, including food and drink. There are lockers at every test centre where items such as watches, mobile phones, wallets, food and drink can be securely kept. You are allowed to leave the test room for water or the toilet but no additional time will be given.

The assessment will begin with a short tutorial to familiarise you with the controls and layout of the screens and that you know how to record your answers. Applicants can also access the tutorial in advance from PearsonVUE. There are two parts to the Stage 2 assessment; both are designed to assess some of the essential competences outlined in the National Person Specification and are based around clinical scenarios.

Professional Dilemmas

This part focuses on your approach to practising medicine. The paper lasts 110 minutes. You are presented with scenarios you might meet when practising as a doctor. Each scenario encapsulates a professional dilemma and you are asked about dealing with it. The paper is designed to assess your understanding of appropriate behaviour for a doctor in difficult situations and allow you to demonstrate the application of competencies such as professional integrity, coping with pressure, and empathy and sensitivity. It does not require specific knowledge of general practice but does assume general familiarity with typical primary and secondary care procedures.

Your responses should represent appropriate behaviour for a second year Foundation doctor. Scoring is based on how close your responses are to the most appropriate response for the question. The most appropriate response is determined by a panel of expert GPs. We only include questions that have been tested and where there is a consensus among our expert panel regarding the most appropriate response to the situation. Applicants can score highly in these questions by providing an answer that is close, but not identical to that from the expert group. The closer your answer is to our experts responses the more points you will gain for the question.

Clinical Problem Solving

This part lasts 75 minutes. The questions present clinical scenarios and require you to exercise judgement and problem solving skills to determine appropriate diagnosis and management of patients. This is not a test of your knowledge, but rather your ability to apply it appropriately. The topics will be taken from areas with which a Foundation Programme Year 2 doctor could be expected to be familiar. There are no questions requiring a specific knowledge of general practice.

Questions may be presented in a variety of formats and you will have to choose your answer from the given responses according to your clinical judgement. The examples available for download illustrate some of the question formats that may be used and the type of topics to be covered. Other question formats may be used when appropriate. Download examples of Clinical Problem Solving and Professional Dilemma’s questions – some practice questions are also included!

Preparation hints:

We understand that candidates may wish to revise and prepare for the Stage 2 assessments with each other in small groups. However, sharing information about the actual assessments is unacceptable and is viewed as unprofessional behaviour. The Stage 2 assessment uses a large number of different equated test forms and therefore knowledge of questions in one paper will not necessarily benefit others. We would also remind all applicants that entry to GP specialty training is competitive. The Scoring and Psychometric properties of the previous assessments are available in our Download section.

All candidates will receive the result of their Stage 2 assessment shortly after the assessment has been concluded. Applicants who do not achieve the minimum required standard in either part of the Stage 2 assessment will not progress further.

9. Allocation to Stage 3 – (Selection Centre)

Entrance to General Practice training is competency based, with successful candidates being able to demonstrate the competencies that we know are required for General Practice training to a satisfactory level. Once selected, successful candidates are allocated to regions based on ranking them by their total score achieved over the exercises involved in the selection process. Higher scoring candidates are offered first choice of region. However, there are several flaws and risks in carrying this process to the next level of allocation to individual programmes. These are summarised below. As the balance of these risks is different in different regions, each region has developed its own allocations policy in an attempt to minimise them, and you should visit the website of the relevant LETB/Deanery for further details of their allocations policies before applying.

LETBs/deaneries will provide approximately 1.5 places at Selection Centre for every 1 vacancy. Applicants with the highest ranked scores will be allocated a Selection Centre place at their first choice LETB/deanery. If no Selection Centre places remain at the first choice LETB/deanery, applicants will be allocated a Selection Centre place at their second, third or fourth choice LETB/deanery if places are available there. If no Selection Centre places remain available at any of the applicant’s LETB/deanery choices, the applicant can not progress further. However, if Selection Centre places remain at other LETBs/deaneries, the NRO may offer these instead.

Around 90% of short listed applicants are allocated to their first choice LETB/deanery. Usually all selection centre places at London and Northern Ireland (the two most highly competitive LETBs/deaneries) are allocated to candidates who gave these LETBs/deaneries as their first preference. Lower ranked candidates who give these LETBs/deaneries, and possibly a few other competitive LETBs/deaneries, as their first preference are more likely to be allocated to their second, third or fourth choice LETBs/deaneries.

Applicants will only be invited to attend Selection Centre at one LETB/deanery and will be considered for a GP training programme at that LETB/deanery. Please read more about transferring LETBs/deaneries here.

There is no facility to “link” applications with that of another GP applicant. However, if partners find that they have been allocated to different LETBs/deaneries for Selection Centre, they should contact the NRO immediately. We may be able to arrange for you both to be assessed by the lower preferenced LETB/deanery and if we are unable to change Selection Centre we may be able to take this to account before making offers.

Applicants will be notified if they are invited to Selection Centre via e-mail and will be able to book their Selection Centre place using the on-line application system.

Stage 2 assessment results will be e-mailed to all applicants around this time.

Once you have been allocated to a LETB/deanery for Stage 3 (Selection Centre), you will be asked to indicate your preferred geography or programme from those available at that LETB/deanery. Information about the programmes available within the LETB/deanery will be published on individual LETB/deanery web sites and will also be available at the Stage 3 Selection Centre. See Programme Allocation for more information about how LETBs/deaneries allocate successful candidates to a particular geography or programme.

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10. Stage 3 – (Selection Centre)

The Stage 3 Selection Centre involves candidates completing a number of exercises which are observed and assessed by trained assessors. This competency based selection process has been well researched and evaluated. We are confident that it is fair, robust and fit for purpose. More information about the Stage 3 Selection Centre assessments is available below.

You will be required to provide photographic proof of identity such as a passport or driving licence. You will be asked to provide documentation relating to your right to work in the UK. You must bring your original medical qualification certificate and a photocopy of this for us to keep. If you do not currently hold a driving licence, you will be asked to confirm that you have suitable arrangements for attending emergencies and providing domiciliary care. You will also need to bring originals of the evidence you submitted to demonstrate achievement of foundation competency for verification. LETBs/deaneries will provide you with a full list of documents to bring once your Selection Centre place has been booked. You will be required to bring at least one photocopy of everything with you.

Dress Code

Recruitment and selection may involve contact with simulated patients who should be treated as if they were patients, for clinical communication, physical examination 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 candidates’ ability to demonstrate recognised skills. All doctors should ensure their appearance does not impede with 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 and hairstyles that may interfere with a physical examination, should be avoided. Equally, forms of dress that cover the face will normally be deemed inappropriate in such examinations.

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.

During Selection Centre each candidate will have a number of opportunities to demonstrate some of the competences outlined in the National 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. None of the GP assessors take part in or endorse any preparation courses or books. All the information you need to prepare for the GP Stage 3 Selection Centre is available on this web site.

All LETBs/deaneries are aware of the requirements of the DDA and in this regard we will make all reasonable adjustments to accommodate disabled applicants at the assessment provided these are made known to us in advance. Applicants who require adjustments (wheelchair access or extra time for example) must inform the LETB/deanery of any special requirements at the earliest possible opportunity. Documentary evidence will be required. It may be necessary for the LETB/deanery to schedule a Selection Centre place at a specific time or in some cases it may be necessary for you to attend at another LETB/deanery. Extra time is only available for the written assessment at Stage 3. If you feel that there are any particular issues related to a disability need you may have that is covered by this, you MUST discuss these with the LETB/deanery before the assessment as no adjustment can be made for any candidate afterwards.

Applicants should note that children are not permitted at Selection Centre.

There are only TWO possible outcomes from Selection Centre:

  1. If you have satisfactorily demonstrated all the competences that are being assessed, you will be awarded a rating based upon your performance both at Stage 3 Selection Centre and the Stage 2 assessment. This is used for ranking purposes and you will be made an offer of a GP training programme subject to availability and your ranking. If no vacancies remain in your allocated LETB/deanery, as a reserve candidate you may be considered for remaining vacancies in any of your other preferred LETBs/deaneries through our local clearing system or elsewhere through our national clearing system. See Local and National clearing for more information.

  2. If you do not satisfactorily demonstrate the competences that are being assessed, we are unable to progress your application further in the current round although there may be an opportunity for you to be assessed again for any remaining vacancies in a second round. More information about this is on our Round 2 page. Feedback from Selection Centre will be sent to all candidates at the end of the recruitment process. If a second round is necessary, feedback from Round 1 will not be available until all recruitment activity in Round 2 has been concluded.

11. More about Stage 3 – (Selection Centre)

The competences that are assessed at Selection Centre are Communication Skills, Empathy & Sensitivity, Conceptual Thinking & Problem Solving and Professional Integrity. Please refer to the National Person Specification for more information about these.

Simulation Exercises

These will involve simulators and 3 different situations - a consultation with a patient; a consultation with a relative or carer and 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.

Written Exercise

The written exercise will usually 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 our Download section. 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.

Preparation hints

We understand that candidates may wish to revise and prepare for Stage 3 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 candidates against altering their behaviour based on the advice of other applicants. We also remind applicants that entry to a GP specialty training is competitive.

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12. Programme Allocation and Offer of Training

 

New!   References will be requested once offers have been accepted.

Message centre on the candidate portal
Once the LETB/deanery has made you an offer and you have indeed accepted this, we will email your referees and ask them to log on to a password protected referee portal and submit their references electronically. You will not be able to change your referee details after 10th february 2014. You will receive an email once we have requested your references and will be able to check, via your candidate portal, if a reference has been received from each of your referees at this time. You should chase them accordingly.

If your referees do not submit an on-line reference using the referee portal, you are required to obtain a hard copy and send this directly to your offer deanery/LETB. You can download a Structured Reference Form from our download section. All offers made will be on the condition of the LETB/Deanery receiving 3 satisfactory references.

The LETB/deanery will NOT chase your referees! You are required to give details of your last three clinical or educational supervisors from your current post, your previous post and the post before that. More information about submitting references is given in our guide to applying online

Programme Allocation

Entrance to General Practice training is competency based, with successful candidates being able to demonstrate the competencies that we know are required for General Practice training to a satisfactory level. Once selected, successful candidates are allocated to regions based on ranking them by their total score achieved over the exercises involved in the selection process. Higher scoring candidates are offered first choice of region. However, there are several flaws and risks in carrying this process to the next level of allocation to individual programmes. These are summarised below. As the balance of these risks is different in different regions, each region has developed its own allocations policy in an attempt to minimise them, and you should visit the website of the relevant LETB/Deanery for further details of their allocations policies before applying.

Factors considered in developing local processes:

Applicants whose immigration status would require an employer to obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship can only be made an offer if there are no remaining suitable UK/EEA candidates. Such applicants therefore may not receive an offer until local and national clearing processes have begun.

Offers will be made using a nationally co-ordinated offer system. More information about the nationally co-ordinated offers process is available on the Specialty Training website at http://specialtytraining.hee.nhs.uk/recruitment-stages/stage-3-interviews-and-offers/training-offers/

13. Local and National Clearing

There will be applicants who, although considered suitable for GP Training, do not receive an initial offer from the LETB/deanery where they attended Selection Centre because they are not ranked highly enough for the number of posts available at that LETB/deanery. Such applicants are referred to as ”reserve candidates” and will be considered on a ranked basis for any posts that are declined within the LETB/deanery.

LETBs/deaneries will continue to make offers as offers are declined. If you have not received a GP offer by the initial deadline, you may still be made an offer after this as declined programmes become available. This re-cycling of declined offers is known as “local clearing”. Local clearing will continue until either all programmes at the LETB/deanery have been accepted OR until all appointable candidates at the LETB/deanery have been exhausted.

Because we operate a national, standard selection process, it is possible for candidates who are not made offers in the LETB/deanery where they attended selection centre to be considered at other LETBs/deaneries if places remain elsewhere. This is known as “national clearing”. The National Recruitment Office will attempt to offer all remaining vacancies to suitable reserve candidates from other LETBs/deaneries where appropriate according to their overall ranking after Selection Centre and taking into account original LETB/deanery preferences. If vacancies still remain, the NRO will offer these posts to remaining reserve candidates irrespective of their original LETB/deanery preferences.

If there are any remaining GP training programmes after recruitment activity in Round 1 has concluded, we will re-advertise these in a second advertisement. All reserve candidates from round 1 will be considered through the local and national clearing processes before any offers are made in round 2. Reserve round 1 candidates (including those who require sponsorship due to immigration status) should not re-apply in round 2.

14. Appeals and Complaints

The National GP Recruitment process is carried out jointly by all LETBs/deaneries acting within an agreed framework, and supported by the National GP Recruitment Office. There is an agreed process for dealing with queries and complaints to which principles all LETBs/deaneries adhere.

Applicants to GP training and candidates who have any concerns about the process of administration of their application at any stage should seek to contact the LETB/deanery dealing with their application. Until allocated to a LETB/deanery for selection centre, this will be your original first choice LETB/deanery.

LETBs/deaneries will endeavour to clarify and resolve any concerns or queries as soon as possible and this process of clarification will be the first part of any complaint process for all applicants. Please note that LETBs/deaneries will try to resolve any errors of process or administration under their control, unless this relates to errors that are the responsibility of individual applicants. Feedback will be given to all candidates about the outcome of their assessment at Stage 3 (selection centre), but it is not possible to address any complaints about the confirmed outcome of an assessment in the GP Recruitment Selection process.

For further information, please download our complaints and appeals policy which includes information on who to contact should you wish to complain or appeal. Further contact details for each LETB/deanery are available from the LETB/deanery profile pages.

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15. Remaining vacancies (Round 2)

If there are any remaining vacant GP training programmes after initial recruitment activity has been concluded, they will be re-advertised.

The recruitment and selection processes remain the same except that applicants will not be asked to indicate their LETB/deanery preferences until later in the process. We will ask you to choose your preferences only from those LETBs/deaneries with remaining vacancies.

LETBs/deaneries that expect to have remaining vacancies are shown on our vacancies page. More information about specific vacancies will be published as soon as it is available. Competition ratio’s of re-advertised posts tend to be higher, as there are fewer vacancies available.

New Candidates (Round 2)

If you did not apply to GP initially, you can apply for any remaining re-advertised vacancies provided you meet the essential entry criteria. It is particularly important that you read the Stage 1 Eligibility Requirements and especially the requirement for demonstrating evidence of achievement of foundation competency. You will be required to attach your evidence of achievement of foundation competences to your application form.

You will need to register as a “new user” and then complete and submit the application form.

If you registered during the initial recruitment activity but did not actually submit an application, you can access a previous application form and then complete and submit it for any re-advertised posts. You will need to log on to the GP system as an existing user with the e-mail address and password you previously used to register.

Existing applicants (Round 2)

If you did apply to GP during the initial recruitment activity, you can still apply for any remaining re-advertised vacancies. Use the link on your existing GP application tracker page to access a pre-populated application form. You can update all sections before you submit. Candidates re-applying should be aware of the following:

16. Offers of Employment & Pre-Employment Checks

The offer and allocation of a Training Programme referred to above is NOT an offer of employment. An employment contract detailing the terms and conditions of employment will be issued by the responsible employing organisation and is made subject to satisfactory pre-employment checks. Your offer of employment will include the name of your employer, the start date and length of the period of employment, the location, the hours, the minimum rate of remuneration and the notice period applicable.

Information regarding pay, hours, sick pay and annual leave entitlements, notice period, study leave etc are set out in the national terms and conditions available from NHS Employers and for those based in a GP Training Practice, set out in the Directions to Strategic Health Authorities – also from NHS Employers. A framework for a written contract of employment for GP specialty registrars is also available from the BMA. Individual LETB/deanery websites may also provide additional local information and links to individual employer web sites.

All GP trainees will be entitled to join or continue as a member of the NHS Pension Scheme.

The employing organisation carry out a number of pre-employment checks before an offer of employment can be confirmed. These will include verification of identity, registration and qualifications, right to work (immigration), employment history and employment reference checks (these are different from the clinical reference checks that the LETB/deanery needs), a Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) check and an occupational health check. Some of these (verification of identify, registration and qualifications and right to work for example) may also be undertaken by the LETB/deanery during the recruitment process.

You are expected to take up any employment you have formally accepted. You have a responsibility for patients and services and patient care may be comprised if there is insufficient medical cover. Failure to arrive for work on the start date could also affect patient services and their care and may have an adverse impact on the working conditions of medical colleagues. You are therefore expected to work your contracted notice period and will be in breach of contract if you do not work your notice. Refer to the GMC Good Medical Practice 2006 paragraph 49 and Sections 6.4 – 6.7 of the Gold Guide available on the Specialty Training web site

Your GP training programme is also offered on condition that you provide a “Confidential Transfer of Information Form” at your first meeting with your allocated education supervisor so that he/she is aware of any particular support or help you may need during your training programme. You can download a copy of this form from our Download section

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