Interview and application

ST1 Clinical Radiology

interview & application help

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ST1 Clinical Radiology Interview advice

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Where to apply?

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Application form

ST1 Clinical Radiology application form

hints and tips

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Competition ratios

Clinical radiology is a very rewarding career but getting a training post is competitive.

Key statistics from 2023:

  • There were 3068 applications for 350 ST1 training posts in England, Scotland & Wales.
  • There were on average 8.77 applications to every 1 post.

Click here for more information including statistics from previous years

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ST1 Clinical Radiology Interview & application advice

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.

When to apply

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. Here’s a summary for you:

   Advantages of applying in FY2

  1. You will start doing something you love as soon as possible.
  2. Most trainees applying in FY2 know they wanted to do radiology from very early on and have tailored their CVs accordingly.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. And finally… why put yourself through medical nights if you don’t need to!

   Advantages of applying after FY2

  1. You have more clinical experience and skills to offer, and may have membership exams (e.g. MRCP or MRCS) to add to your portfolio.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Timeline overview

The actual application process for ST1 Clinical Radiology training follows a strict timeline.

   Application timeline 2023 / 2024
Applications Open for Academic Clinical Fellowships (ACFs)6th October 2023 (always earlier than the standard ST1 application)
Advert publishedby 5pm (GMT) on 25th October 2023
Applications Open10am (GMT) on 26th October 2023
Applications Close4pm (GMT) on 23rd November 2023
Invitations to MSRA19th December 2023
Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA) window4th – 16th January 2024
Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA) results publishedw/c 5th February 2024
Evidence verification upload13th – 26th February 2024
Invitations to Interview20th February 2024
Interviews12th – 15th March 2024
Programme preferencing window26th February – 19th March 2024
Initial Offersreleased by 5pm (GMT) on 26th March 2024

(Source: Royal College of Radiologists website – dates updated as and when known and may be subject to change due to COVID

Selection process (England, Scotland and Wales)

Here is an overview of the selection process for ST1 Clinical Radiology training:

October/November

  • Recruitment and selection into ST1 Clinical Radiology in England, Scotland and Wales is nationally coordinated using an online platform, ORIEL.  Essentially this means there is just one ‘national’ application rather than having to submit multiple applications to each area of the country.
  • You need to complete the online application on ORIEL, which requires some basic information as well as showing that they meet the Person Specification i.e. Medical degree, GMC license, eligibility to work in the UK etc.
  • As part of this application, candidates also need to upload evidence of their personal achievements onto the ORIEL system. Candidates self-assess their achievements and assign themselves a score in their ORIEL application form (this has replaced the ‘physical portfolio’, used in previous years).

December

January/February

  • The MSRA takes place late January / early February 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 MSRA score. This is used to shortlist the top 850 candidates. These candidates will then be longlisted against the person specification (reverse order to previous years!).
  • Sucessful applications following longlisting will then progress to the verification process where their portfolio self-assessment evidence will be validated. Consequently it is very important that you ensure you meet the eligability requirements and any competency document you need to upload is present and correct when you submit your application. The evidence upload window is 13th-26th February 2024.
  • 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.
  • During February/March, applicants will also be asked to rank their preferred training locations on the online application form (ORIEL).

March

  • The interviews are held online on a virtual interview system called Qpercom Recruit using a nationally agreed scoring framework and documentation. There will be 2 interview stations of up to 10 minutes each. 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 (50%), MSRA sccore (20%) and verified evidence score (30%).
  • The offers process for ST1 Clinical Radiology posts is managed centrally and all offers sent via the online recruitment system ORIEL.  The offers are sent via email and if you receive an offer you usually 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 clearin

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.

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