Interview & application menu

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

What is a radiologist?

Overview on what a radiologist is and what they do

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ST1 Clinical Radiology application form

Application portal, important documents and useful hints and tips

Application portal

Applications for ST1 Clinical Radiology training in England, Scotland and Wales are submitted through the ORIEL recruitment system.  This is a single online application for all training posts in England, Scotland and Wales, meaning you do not have to submit multiple applications to each area of the country individually.  Applications can only be accessed during the job application period, typically around November each year.

   What is ORIEL?

ORIEL is the national recruitment website for doctors applying for specialist training posts in the UK.  It allows doctors to register, view vacancies, apply, book interviews and receive offers all in one place.  All applicants to ST1 Clinical Radiology must register and apply at ORIEL.

The overall selection process and timeline can be found at the bottom of the ST1 Clinical Radiology interview & application advice page on this website.

Important points:

  • You will need 3 consultant referees
  • You will not be asked to rank training schemes at this stage (this comes later in the application process)
  • You will need to self-score your portfolio as part of the application which will include uploading evidence. This will be validated later on in the application process.
  • You can apply to more than one specialty training programme at this point (e.g. Clinical Radiology and Anaesthetics)
Leave enough time to complete your application. It's important
Leave enough time to complete your application. It's important

  Important documents

Below are two essential documents to read before making an application:

  1. Medical Applicant Guidance

    • Medical Applicant Guidance is available to view for the medical recruitment round online. The guide is here to assist you in making the best possible applications throughout the full application process.
  2. Person specification 2024 for ST1 Clinical Radiology  

    • This is essentially the eligibility criteria for applying, and probably the most important document to read if applying for ST1 Clinical Raidology.  Make sure you meet the person specification for the relevant parts of the application form.  Some parts of the person specification are not covered in the ORIEL application and may be assessed during the interview.
    • Importantly, applicants must:
      • Be eligible for full GMC registration and hold a licence to practice at the intended start date for training.
      • Have evidence of achievement of foundation competancies in the three and a half years preceeding the advertised post start date.
      • Be eligible to work in the UK.
  3. Clinical Radiology ST1 Supplementary Applicant Handbook 2024

    • Official applicant guide to the 2024 Clinical Radiology recruitment process.
  4. Clinical Radiology ST1 Self-assessment Guidance 2024

    • Official guidance on completing your self-assessment along with submitting evidence to justify your score.

Scoring your portfolio

Self-scoring your portfolio is an early part of the application process and makes up 30% of your total application score so it is vital you try to do well here.  A portfolio is a record of all of your achievements to date.

The scoring system may change year to year, however the 2024 system is presented below: There are 7 domains, with various points to be scored from each:

  • Commitment to Specialty
  • Leadership and Management
  • Teaching & Training
  • Formal Teaching Qualifications
  • Audit & Quality Improvement
  • Academic Achievements
  • Prizes & Awards

Points can be scored from a variety of achievements within each domain, however the scoring system is strict. If you meet the requirements of more than one score, select the single highest which applies. Once submitted, the scores cannot be edited if there is a mistake, so be very careful!

You will likely be asked to subsequently upload proof of your achievements for review so it is really important you keep a good record of these during your training. Keep any certificates, awards or letters. If you do not have evidence of an achievement then you will be unable to gain points for it and all achievements must be fully completed (i.e. you cannot claim for a degree not yet awarded). You may include publications if they have been ‘accepted’ by a journal and passed peer review, but remain “in press” or “pre-print”. The evidence uploaded in this case should include the acceptance letter from the editor. Presentations are only valid once they have actually been delivered.

All achievements should be dated after the commencement of your first relevent undergraduate degree, and in any case, within the last 10 years. If an achievement legitimately fits under multiple domains (e.g. academic work which was presented orally then subsequently published), then it is ok to claim in both categories.

Here is the scoring system for 2024:

Commitment to Specialty

Multiple significant exposures to the work of a clinical radiology department10
One significant exposure to the work of a radiology department6
Attend a radiology-based course or conference of at least 1 day in length2
None of the above0

A significant exposure means a period of at least 3 whole day equivalent time attached to a clinical radiology department. For example:

  • A taster week/observership placement.
  • A student-selected component, elective, or similar part of a degree course.
  • A radiology based clinical (not lab) research project involving presence in a department/working with a radiologist.

Multiple exposures must be meaningfully different; for example, more than one of the above types. A taster week in different settings would qualify for the highest descriptor, but not two taster weeks offering the same experience. Other experience what could be included would be activities such as:

  • More than two attendances at MDT preparation and meeting outside the taster week
  • More than two attendances at radiology-based list such as one stop breast clinic or
    interventional radiology list outside the taster week setting
  • A combination of these with 3 episodes or more

Evidence for this section could include:

  • Letter confirming placement from clinical supervisor/education lead.
  • Official university documents confirming radiology-based placement/component.
  • Details of a radiology-based project with evidence of your involvement.
  • Course/conference certificate.

Leadership and Management

Hold/have held a national level leadership or managerial role involving radiology7National role e.g. within specialist society, royal college, nationally held fellowship position, relevant to radiology.
Hold/have held a national level leadership or managerial role not involving radiology, but relating to healthcare
Hold/have held a local/regional level leadership or managerial role involving radiology
5National non-radiology healthcare role e.g. within BMA, royal college, etc.
Local role e.g. committee member of undergraduate radiology society
Hold/have held a national level leadership or managerial role outside healthcare
Hold/have held a local/regional leadership or management role not involving radiology but relevant to healthcare
3National roles outside healthcare may include charity work, sports, creative arts.
Local role relevant to healthcare but not radiology e.g. Junior Doctors Forum or Mess committee, Foundation programme rep.
Hold/have held a local/regional leadership or management role outside healthcare2As above, at a local level.
None of the above0 

Any roles claimed above must have been for a minimum period of 6 months. National refers to activity within England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or the UK as a whole; Local would mean at the level of a hospital single Trust, University etc. Roles outside healthcare include voluntary activity, arts, and other sciences, but not paid employment.

Appropriate evidence would include confirmation of election/appointment, evidence of attendance at committee meetings, letters from chair or senior figure within relevant organization. Evidence should specify the applicant by name, the role, and major responsibilities thereof.

Teaching & Training

Made a major contribution to a national or international teaching programme5
Made a major contribution to a local or regional teaching programme4
Have evidence of providing organised teaching or training2
None of the above0

A major contribution means a leading or organising role, such as a formal teaching fellowship or personally organising a formal, multi-session teaching course. National or international programmes should be open to all relevant learners in that discipline and would usually form part of a formal qualification e.g. MBBS degree, speciality diploma, etc.

Local or regional programmes would be organised at the level of, for example, a single hospital Trust, and could include Foundation Programme teaching or similar activities. Formal teaching outside medicine e.g. to school students or in the community can also be included.

One-off, small group teaching would qualify in the 3rd descriptor, as would evidence of solely delivering a single session to a larger local or national programme.

For the purposes of this section a formal teaching programme should have a duration of at least 3 months in total. Appropriate evidence would include:

  • Official documentation indicating your role as an organiser or deliverer of teaching
  • Contemporaneous feedback collated or countersigned by a 3rd party

Formal Teaching Qualifications

Hold a formal masters level teaching qualification or above5
Hold a formal teaching qualification awarded at postgraduate level (e.g. CILT, PGCert, PGDip)4
Evidence of other training in teaching methods after study of at least 2 days (e.g. Train the Trainers)2
No formal qualification in teaching/education0

Evidence should be in the form of an official degree certificate or transcript clearly stating the qualification and indicating the level of study.

For this section only, formal teaching qualifications obtained prior studying medicine can be scored (e.g., if you completed a PGCE before your medical degree).

Audit & Quality Improvement

I have led 2 or more audits or quality improvement project relating to radiology which can be shown to have resulted in changed practice7
I have led an audit or quality improvement project relating to radiology which can be shown to have resulted in changed practice5
I have led an audit or quality improvement project but not meeting all criteria above3
I have contributed to, but not led, an audit or quality improvement project2
None of the above0

Leading an audit/QI project would usually include a major role in conception, data collection, analysis, and presentation. If your evidence does not demonstrate this, please select a different descriptor appropriately. Evidence could include slides from audit presentations, a formal portfolio assessment from a supervisor confirming your role.

Demonstration of changed practice could be via a closed-loop second audit cycle showing better compliance to gold standard, or by improvement in a quality metric, etc.

Relating to radiology means that diagnostic imaging formed a major part of the project

Academic Achievements

I hold a postgraduate research degree (PhD, MD, MDRes, etc)5
At least one peer-reviewed publication relating to radiology as first author4
At least one peer-reviewed publication, not relating to radiology, as first author
At least one oral or poster presentation relating to radiology at national or international level, as first author
At least one peer-reviewed publication, not as first author
At least one oral or poster presentation at national or international level, as first author
At least one oral or poster presentation, at any level1
Published case reports or ‘letter-to-the-editor’ in peer-reviewed journal1
Involvement in a research team as part of an elective, intercalated degree, extended student research and enterprise project, academic foundation programme, academic summer school or other research taster1
None of the above0

Relating to radiology means the project should involve diagnostic imaging. This does not preclude papers in other fields e.g. surgery, oncology, etc, if they have a significant imaging focus. Publications and presentations can relate to audit/QI activity. Case reports in peer-reviewed publications are acceptible.

Presentations should be proffered papers which have been through a process of peer-review (i.e. not invited oral or poster presentations). Evidence could include:

  • Degree certificate
  • Your ORCID summary
  • Citation including DOI/indexing service identifier (e.g. PMID)
  • Conference catalogues

Prizes & Awards

Prize awarded by a recognised radiology institution/specialist society or at national/international level meeting
Distinction award of final year primary medical qualification (or equivalent)
Prize awarded by a recognised regional level institution or meeting3
More than one prize awarded by a local organisation or meeting2
One prize awarded by a local organisation or meeting1
None of the above0

To be eligible, a prize must have been open to all peers at that level of training and geographic region. i.e. all medical undergraduates and/or postgraduates within a nation, region, or specific locality. A single hospital Trust, University or similar would constitute a “local” organisation.

Undergraduate or postgraduate merit/distinction awards are not included in this section.

Scholarships and elective bursaries may be included in this secion as long as these were open to a competitive application.

Useful hints and tips

  • Prepare for the Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA)

    • The Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA) test was introduced into the recruitment process in 2016.  All applicants will be required to sit this test early in the new year.  Full details of the test and the available test venues in the UK and overseas will be posted on the ORIEL recruitment system.  The MSRA will be used to shortlist-out only the lowest scoring applicants, with interview places allocated to the top scoring applicants according to the number of interview slots available. Click for more detailed information on the MSRA.
  • Fill out the application with care

    • Although you are only giving basic information and there are no specialty specific questions, please don’t treat it as a ‘box-ticking exercise’.  Every year candidates fail to be ‘longlisted’ because they have filled out the application incorrectly or missed the application deadline.  Common reasons are not having the correct visa or not meeting the eligibility criteria, usually by having more than 18 months experience in radiology (not including foundation programme training placements).
  • Don’t leave applying until the last minute

    • The application is an online web based form and can take quite a while to complete so don’t leave applying until the last minute!  There are many sections of the application to complete, but you have the ability to save and go back to it at a later time to finish it off.  Remember many candidates failed to get an interview because they missed the application deadline.