Workforce, training and education
East of England
What is the Oriel System?

What is the Oriel System?

Oriel is of one the initiatives of the Medical and Dental Recruitment and Selection (MDRS) programme.  It includes the design and, now ongoing implementation, of a UK-wide recruitment system for postgraduate specialty medical, dental and public health training.  From December 2014 onwards, healthcare scientists will also be recruited through the system.  The Oriel team within Health Education England (HEE) continues to work with trainees, the devolved nations and wider stakeholders to produce a unified system and solution.

Oriel was launched on 1 September 2014, enabling applicants to register, view vacancies, apply, schedule and manage interviews within just one online portal. Applicants will also be able to receive offers from the system from December 2014 onwards. As the previous recruitment phases relied on over twenty systems across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Oriel has brought about a major improvement in efficiency and consistency throughout the UK, using a centralised one-stop shop system with an improved user interface and recruitment journey for applicants. It was the preferred choice of the British Medical Association (BMA) and BMA Junior Doctors Committee (BMA JDC), General Medical Council (GMC), the General Dental Council (GDC) and HEE.

Now it is live, it is expected that Oriel will further improve access to careers and recruitment information, decrease the time trainees spend on submitting applications, and decrease administration time to process applications and recruitment. Some of the new developments include improved security, compatibility for tablet and mobile devices, interactive FAQs, standardisation of emails and communications and the introduction of a single reporting mechanism. The system is expected to further embed the open, fair and effective processes for recruitment, selection and appointment by enabling all applicants and administrators to use the same solution.

Oriel Guidance and Oriel FAQs

Further information on Oriel can be found on the Oriel Resource Bank on the Oriel system and via an FAQ section.

Eligibility and Person Specifications
Eligibility and Person Specifications

How do I know if I’m eligible?

Before you submit any application to specialty training you must ensure that you meet certain eligibility criteria by the application closing date (or by the time you commence in a post for some requirements). Applicants are advised that it is their responsibility to read the guidance provided on the Specialty Training Website to obtain full information on eligibility.

All Person Specifications can be found on the Specialty Training Website - Person Specification

The Person specifications describe the knowledge, skills and attributes that are required in order for a candidate to be successful in their application to a programme or training scheme. Health Education East of England will use nationally agreed Person Specifications for each specialty.

Right to work in the UK

Right to work in the UK

UK and EEA nationals and doctors whose immigration status entitles them to work as a doctor in training in the UK are eligible to apply for specialty training. Evidence of immigration status would be a biometric residence card, date stamped passport and/or identity card. All of these documents need to be dated as at or prior to the application closing date.

Other non-UK or non-EEA nationals with limited leave to remain in the UK, whose employment will require a Tier 2 visa, are subject to the resident labour market test. This would include, for example, doctors on student visas or Tier 1 of the Points-Based System who are restricted from taking employment as a doctor in training. The labour market test means that you would only be considered if there were no suitable UK or EEA national (settled status) candidates for the post.

You will be asked to bring your date stamped passport and/or identity card together with proof of your immigration status to any interviews or assessments you attend.

Immigration Statement

The following advice on when to apply for specialty training applies for doctors applying for entry to programmes:

You are eligible to be considered for specialty training in both Round 1 and Round 2 if:

  • You are a UK or EEA national
  • You are a non-UK or non-EEA national and your immigration status allows you to work without restriction in the UK. For example if you have Tier 1 or dependant status, and no restriction against working as a doctor or dentist in training.
  • You are already on Tier 2 and will be applying to continue training with the same sponsor and/or with the same training number.
  • You are applying for a speciality in a shortage occupation.
  • You are a non-UK or non-EEA national, you graduated from a UK medical or dental school, and you currently have Tier 4 status to work in the Foundation Programme. You will need to apply for Tier 2 sponsorship, but you will be exempt from the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) if you have had continuous immigration status in the UK since you graduated.

Please note that in 2016, applicants to General Practice who are subject to RLMT, will be considered in Round 1.

You are eligible to apply for core and specialty training in Round 2 if:

  • You are already on Tier 2 and will be applying for a different specialty and changing sponsor. You will require Tier 2 sponsorship and will be subject to the RLMT.
  • You are a non-UK or non-EEA national who has limited leave to remain in the UK and do not fall into one of the above categories. You will require Tier 2 sponsorship and will be subject to the RLMT.

Applicants who are subject to the RLMT may only be considered if there is no suitable UK or EEA national candidate for the post.

Evidence of immigration status should normally consist of a biometric residence card and date stamped passport. Please visit for more information.


Competence Evidence
Evidence of Foundation Competence

All applicants to CT1/ST1 posts are required to provide evidence of achievement of Foundation Competence within the 3 years prior to the intended commencement date for the advertised post(s).

The acceptable methods for demonstrating Foundation Competences are:

1. Currently on a Foundation Programme

If you are undertaking a recognised foundation programme in the UK [1] which is due to finish in August 2016, we will ask you to confirm the name of your Foundation School. You do not need to do anything else or submit any evidence. Any offer of a programme will be conditional upon you successfully completing the Foundation Programme and being awarded an FACD 5.2 before August 2016. Those applying who will require a delayed start date due to illness or maternity, will be permitted to apply and defer in order to allow them to complete their Foundation Programme.

2. Already completed a Foundation Programme

If you have already completed a UK Foundation Programme, we will ask you to confirm that you have been awarded an FACD 5.2, signed no earlier than 1st January 2013. You MUST attach a scanned copy of your FACD 5.2 to your application.

3. If you have not undertaken and completed a UK Foundation programme on or after 1st January 2013, you will be required to submit an Alternative Certificate of Foundation Competence signed by a consultant who has supervised you for at least 3 months (continuous period) since 1st August 2013.  You may submit more than one Alternative Certificate from different posts in order to show evidence of achievement of all competences but all certificates must relate to posts undertaken for at least 3 months (whole time equivalent and a continuous period) since August 2013. You MUST attach scanned copies of the certificates to your application form. You will be expected to provide the original document(s) at a later date.

If you are unable to provide any of the 3 options detailed above as you have not worked since 01 August 2013 then you are advised to secure a second year UK Foundation Programme before applying to specialty training. 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", e.g. a locum or Trust post.

[1]: UK Affiliated Foundation Programmes include those in Malta.  The Maltese Foundation School awards FACD 5.2 to the same standards as other UK Foundation Schools and as such is considered equivalent.


I’m applying for CT/ST2 level jobs, what evidence do I need to provide?

In order for an applicant to submit an eligible application for a specialty, you must demonstrate you have achieved the required competency to the level you are applying.

Only the following documents will be accepted:

  • ARCP documents
  • Alternative Certificate of Core Competence


I’m applying for CT/ST3+ level jobs, what evidence do I need to provide?

In order for your application to be eligible, you must demonstrate you have achieved the required competency to the level you are applying.

Only the following documents will be accepted:

  • ARCP documents
  • Alternative Certificate of Core Competence


Download Alternative Certificate 2016

You must upload the relevant documents when you submit your application for specialty training. You will be required to bring to interview all the original documents which have been uploaded to your application.

When submitting an Alternative Certificate, all competences must be signed as achieved at the time of application. 

Only Alternative Certificates from the current recruitment year will be accepted.  Therefore, for 2016 recruitment, the 2016 Alternative Certificate should be submitted at the time of application.

The only exception to this is if you are a refugee. Refugees (as defined on the UKVI website:) are advised to contact the recruiting organisation for further guidance - but should submit an Alternative Certificate if it all possible.

You are also required to have had 12 months experience after full GMC registration, or equivalent.   We therefore expect all doctors applying to a specialty training programme to have had at least 24 months experience in appropriate posts, either in the UK or overseas, since gaining their primary medical qualification and before commencing a specialty training programme.  For those applying with an Alternative Certificate of Foundation Competency, this experience must have been obtained by time of application.

Do I need to declare a Fitness to Practice issue?

Do I need to declare a Fitness to Practice issue, if so, who do I need to contact?

If you are subject to any of the following, you must declare this in the relevant section on your application form before you submit it:

  • A criminal conviction or caution
  • A GMC investigation, proceedings or restrictions
  • Employment disciplinary investigation or judgements

It is essential that you submit this information at the time of application. Failure to provide this information at the time of application could result in your application being withdrawn and you being reported to any relevant bodies/organisations.

Please ensure you declare any Fitness to Practice issues on your application and submit all details to the named contacts listed as the appropriate person whether that is the lead recruiter or Health Education East of England.

Health Education East of England contacts as below;

For Specialty Training email all details to the Recruitment Helpdesk

Is there any guidance on the shortlisting process?

The criteria used to shortlist applications may be available on the organisation/LETB/college website leading on that specialty if this is applicable. These criteria are designed to assist you when writing your application and should be used in conjunction with the national person specifications available on Specialty Training Website. Applicants will receive notification of whether they have been successful or unsuccessful at shortlisting. If unsuccessful you will be provided with your score, total score rank and total number of applicants.

For further advice including how to complete application forms, HEE advises that you should speak with your clinical tutor or educational supervisor. 

Do I need to collect references?

References will be requested electronically via Oriel after you have been offered a post. Please contact your referees at the earliest opportunity to check that they will be happy to support your application, and they will be available to do so within the application timeframe.

You will need to provide details, including up to date email addresses, of three referees who have supervised your clinical training within the past three years. If you are applying to more than one specialty, you may opt to nominate different referees for each specialty. If you have recently had a career break and cannot nominate referees from the past three years, then your referees must include your two most recent supervisors.

It is important that you confirm with your referees the email address that they would like you to provide on your application form.  Referees will be contacted by email with details of their referee accounts, so it is important that the contact details provided are correct.

If you are offered, and accept a training programme, your employer will not be able to issue a contract without references.

Less than Full Time Training
What if I want to work less than full time?

Please see Less Than Full Time Training information on our website to ensure you are eligible to apply.

If you are trying to enter specialty training but are unable to train full time, you may apply for less than full-time training (LTFT), providing you can show that training on a full-time basis would not be practical for you for well-founded reasons. Well-founded reasons may include, for example, disability, ill health, carer’s responsibilities, religious commitments and unique opportunities for personal or professional development.

Less than full-time training must meet the same requirements in specialty and general practice training as full-time training, except that there will be fewer hours of work per week.

Please note that you will need to secure a full time post in open competition before you can make an application to work LTFT. You should apply for eligibility in a LETB/Deanery ahead of this and indicate your desire to work less than full time on your application form.

Withdrawing or Deferring


  1. Can I withdraw once I have accepted an allocation?

    Applicants will be expected to take up any employment they formally accepted and to work their contracted notice period in line with the General Medical Council's Good Practice Guide, paragraph 38.

    “Patient safety may be affected if there is not enough medical cover. So you must take up any post you have formally accepted, and work your contractual notice period before leaving a job, unless the employer has reasonable time to make other arrangements”.


  2. Can I defer my post when offered?

    Applicants can only defer the start date of their training programme on grounds such as ill health and maternity leave. Please refer to the Gold Guide, where paragraph 6.20 states that:

    "The start of training may only be deferred on statutory grounds (e.g. maternity leave, ill health). See Appendix 1 para 19 for arrangements for the Defence Medical Services." 


Can I claim interview expenses?

Candidates are able to claim reimbursement for reasonable interview expenses; provided a claim has been submitted within 1 month of interview date, which will be paid back by various Hospital Trusts across the region.

Candidates must fully complete ALL sections of the Candidate Expense Form, paying particular attention to the guidance on page 3. Claims not adhering to the guidance will not be paid.

Please note, interview expenses are split and reimbursed by various Trusts across the region. No candidate expenses are sent to Trusts until the end of a recruitment round, and then it is up to the medical staffing departments of Trusts to process the expenses. This entire process can take anywhere from 3 to 5 months. Please be patient when waiting for your expenses to be reimbursed.

Can I claim relocation and/or travel expenses?

You may be eligible to apply for relocation and/or travel expenses, please see the Relocation website to check eligibility and details of how to apply.

If you have any queries after reading the above policy please email the relocation administrator at:

Form R and National Training Numbers

Upon accepting a training post you will be required to complete a Form R in order to be issued with your National Training Number.

Form R information is collected and processed by The Programme and Information team, who are based at Victoria House. They will contact you directly during June/July regarding this. If you have any queries regarding the Form R or receiving your National Training Number, please email the data team in the first instance

Annual Review of Competence Progression Queries

Annual Review of Competence Progression Queries

The recruitment team do not deal with ARCP’s. You will need to contact a member of the HEEoE Revalidation & Assessment Team who are based at Victoria House.

Please contact The HEEoE Revalidation & Assessment Team

Please call the Victoria House switchboard, on 01223 597500, and they will be able to transfer you.

Enquiries/Contact Us

If you have any queries during the recruitment process please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

Prior to making an Enquiry

Due to the very large volume of enquiries during the recruitment round we would ask that prior to contacting the recruitment team to please read the Recruitment pages, Our Vacancies pages and FAQs carefully to ensure your question has not already been answered.


  • All enquiries should be via e-mail to the Recruitment Helpdesk
  • Please mark the subject header of your e-mail with the name and level of your applied for specialty. Please be advised we will endeavour to reply within 3 working days.
  • Urgent phone enquiries can be made Monday - Friday, 08:00 - 16:00 on 01223 596895.
  • Please note that phone lines may be very busy during peak recruitment times.
  • E-mail correspondence is therefore strongly recommended.


Health Education East of England (the former Multi-Professional Deanery) has developed a robust, validated recruitment and selection process, using trained interview and assessment panels.  If you require additional feedback further to the information sent to you as part of the recruitment process please read and return the Subject Access Request Form 2015 . If you have a complaint about the recruitment process, please read the Complaints Procedure document to the right and return the attached form.

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File Subject Access Request Form 215.85 KB
PDF icon Complaints Policy 242.57 KB