ST1 Clinical Radiology - interview & application advice 2020 / 2021
This page and related links are aimed to help you understand the radiology recruitment to get that important interview, and then perform well at interview so you get that dream job!
Recruitment and selection into ST1 Clinical Radiology training in England, Scotland and Wales is nationally coordinated using the online ORIEL recruitment system. Please see application form for more information on applying and interview for hints and tips for the interview day. Further down this page is an overview and timeline of the ST1 Clinical Radiology selection process.
You must have a medical degree and have completed or be due to complete foundation year 2 (FY2) training by the time the ST1 job starts. The time to apply will be either:
- During Foundation Year 2 (FY2) training
- During core medical training (CMT) / core surgical training (CST) or during any other specialty training
- Whilst undertaking trust grade work or locum work, sometimes also known as 'F3'
Either route has its pros and cons. Coming straight from FY2 eliminates undertaking any unnecessary clinical experience and it's important to note that this wouldn't hurt your application. On the other hand, having CMT / CST enhances your clinical knowledge and gives you the time to develop your skills and CV. For detailed information on eligibility criteria, please read the Person specification 2021 for ST1 Clinical Radiology from the RCR. Here's a summary for you:
Advantages of applying in FY2
- You will start doing something you love as soon as possible.
- Most trainees applying in FY2 know they wanted to do radiology from very early on and have tailored their CVs accordingly.
- The vast majority of skills and knowledge you'll gain during radiology training cannot be gained from training in other specialties first so you won't be disadvantaged. This is reflected in the fact that the Royal College of Radiologists has no arrangements in place to recognise “accredited transferable competencies” from previous training in other specialties.
- Radiology is one of the hardest training programmes to get into and most people end up taking more than one interview attempt. If you want the luck to be in your favour then you should apply at the earliest opportunity. Even if you don't get a training post, you still get valuable interview practice and have time to try again the following year.
- And finally... why put yourself through medical nights if you don't need to!
Advantages of applying after FY2
- You have more clinical experience and skills to offer, and may have membership exams (e.g. MRCP or MRCS) to add to your portfolio.
- You will have more time to work on and boost your radiology portfolio which can help at interview and give you a greater chance of getting your first choice training location.
- You may have opportunities to work in specialties which were not available to you during F1/F2 training and this may give you more certainty in your choice of future career.
For further discussion read our blog post, When to apply to radiology.
The actual application process for ST1 Clinical Radiology training follows a strict timeline as follows:
|Application timeline 2020 / 2021|
|Applications Open for Academic Clinical Fellowships (ACFs)||October 2020 (always earlier than the standard ST1 application)|
|Applications Open||5th November 2020|
|Applications Close||4pm 1st December 2020|
|Evidence verification upload dates for the portfolio assessment||23rd December 2020 - 7th January 2021|
|Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA) window||28th January - 12th February 2021|
|Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA) results published by||February/March 2021|
|Invitations to Interview||19th February 2021|
|Interviews||9th - 12th March 2021|
|Initial Offers||12th April 2021|
(Source: Royal College of Radiologists website - dates updated as and when known and may be subject to change due to COVID)
Here is an overview of the selection process for ST1 Clinical Radiology training:
- Recruitment and selection into ST1 Clinical Radiology in England, Scotland and Wales is nationally coordinated using an online recruitment system called ORIEL. Essentially this means there is just one 'national' application rather than having to submit multiple applications to each area of the country.
- The portfolio self-assessment will take place online this year as part of the application process. Applicants are required to assign themselves a score in their ORIEL application form.
- An initial 'longlisting' of the applications is conducted using the 2021 person specification.
- Applicants will have their self-assessments verified by a panel separately from the interviews. They may be required to upload evidence to ORIEL as part of the application process.
- Applicants then receive an email asking them to book into a test venue for the Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA) which forms the short-listing process. The MSRA takes place late January / early February 2021 and applicants are given a choice of times and venues. Options tend to fill up quickly so we advise you book ASAP to get a time and venue convenient for you.
- A few weeks after the MSRA each applicant receives their score and if it reaches the a threshold they are then invited for interview. The MSRA will be used to shortlist-out only the lowest scoring applicants and will also be used to offer Clinical Radiology training posts to the highest 55 scoring applicants (using a combination of their MSRA score and validated self-assessment score).
- Before booking the interview, applicants are asked to rank their preferred training locations on the online application form (ORIEL). There is the option to exclude themselves from a certain area or state no preference.
- Applicants then receive an email asking them to book an interview date and time slot. Options tend to fill up quickly so we advise you book ASAP to get a date and time convenient for you.
- The interviews are held online on Microsoft Teams in early March 2021 using a nationally agreed scoring framework and documentation. Any details that applicants need will be provided as part of the application process.
- Interviewed applicants final score and rank is determined by a combination of their interview score, MSRA sccore and validated self-assessment score.
- The offers process for ST1 Clinical Radiology posts is managed centrally and all offers will be made via the online recruitment system ORIEL. The offers are sent via email and if you receive an offer you only have 48 hours to respond with either 'accept', 'reject' or 'hold'.
- If required, a national clearing process, run by London Recruitment, is used to allocate any surplus appointable candidates to any posts that remain unfilled. There will be a national minimum score of appointability in order to be put forward for clearing.
Note: The application forms and selection process for Northern Ireland are separate to England, Scotland and Wales. Applications are managed by Oriel, just like the UK process, and at the same time during November each year. However the SRA is not part of the process and there are whitespace answers in the Oriel application. Training is run by NIMDTA (Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency), based in Belfast. On their website you will find information about applications, competition ratios, applicant guidance documents, etc. applicable to all the medical training specialties. Competition for training places in Northern Ireland is probably more competitive than the UK average (people like to stay in NI plus the Republic of Ireland Radiology training programme is even harder to get into so candidates are applying from there).
See application form for where to make the application, important documentation (including links to the Specialty Recruitment Applicant Handbook and Person Specification) and links to the recruitment portal (ORIEL).
See where to apply for a list of all the clinical radiology training programmes in the UK and information on radiology academies.
See interview for details on the interview structure and links to example questions.
Lastly, these two videos 'Getting into radiology training' (direct link to YouTube video) by Dr Ian Craven (Clinical Lead, Leeds Radiology Academy) and 'How to get into Radiology' (direct link to YouTube video) by the Society of Radiologists in Training are excellent and well worth a watch if you want to apply to clinical radiology.