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How to Apply

Applications for both traditional core surgical training (CST) and the IST posts are to be made through Oriel

Applications open on Wednesday 8 November at 10:00 (GMT) and close on Thursday 30 November at 16:00 (GMT). Offers will be made on the basis of preferences and scores achieved at interview. For more information, please see our FAQs.

How will the pilot work?

The pilot will initially focus on general surgery and, Foundation trainees applying for core-level surgical training via the 2017/2018 national selection process can register to take part. IST will deliver run through training from ST1, with bench-marking prior to specialty training entry at ST3 in approved training centres across England, Wales and Scotland. Scotland is also offering uncoupled IST placements in different surgical specialties. Pilot trainees will work to the same curricula as non-pilot core trainees, but their working environment should afford more valuable training opportunities.

Why trainees should consider applying for the pilot

The IST pilot aims to offer the following benefits to core trainees:

  • Greater quality of training, provided by professionalised trainers with protected training time in their job plans.
  • Greater quantity of training, with improved balance between training and service, supported in part by members of the surgical care team.
  • Stability and security, through run through training in a single region and longer placements in each training location.
  • Potential for accelerated progression, through true competence-based training.

The IST Recruitment Webinar

Our recent webinar included a panel of experts including Bill Allum, Chair of JCST and Elizabeth Elsey, Vice-President of ASiT. The webinar provided trainees with a breadth of information about the IST pilot and ended with an extensive Q&A. If you missed it, you can watch the full video below.

What are the next steps?

Read the full Trainee Prospectus to learn more about the project, view a provisional list of pilot sites and learn how to apply for an IST post.

Frequently Asked Questions

Read responses to FAQ’s or contact us at ist@rcseng.ac.uk if you have other queries.

1. How can I apply for a training post in the IST pilot?

Applications for both traditional core surgical training (CST) and the IST posts will be made through Oriel. Applications will open on Wednesday 8 November 2017 at 10:00 (GMT) and close on Thursday 30 November 2017 at 16:00 (GMT). IST posts will be listed alongside uncoupled CST posts and applicants must rank posts in the order in which they would most like to accept if offered. IST posts will be clearly indicated. If you only wish to be considered for non-IST uncoupled CST posts, please only rank these. If you only wish to be considered for IST posts, only rank these. Offers will be made on the basis of preferences and scores achieved at interview.

For more information on Oriel and the application process, go to https://www.oriel.nhs.uk/Web/FAQs.

2. How may pilot training posts will be available?

We expect 8 posts in Wales, 24 posts in England and 49 posts in Scotland, to be offered; 81 in total. The IST Trainee Prospectus will include a full list of schools and sites expected to offer IST posts.

Please note, these are subject to change and the posts listed on Oriel are final.

3. Will recruitment to the IST pilot be more competitive than recruitment to uncoupled core posts?

IST will introduce a number of initiatives designed to improve surgical training, and will take place in a limited number of pilot sites. This may mean that entry is competitive, but it is difficult to predict how core and IST posts will be ranked and so determine how competitive applications will be.

4. I want to apply to train in uncoupled core and general surgery – will this still be possible?

Yes, this will still be possible, as there will be uncoupled core and general surgery posts available outside the pilot.

5. Will the IST pilot lead to a reduction in the number of uncoupled general surgery posts?

The allocation of general surgery NTNs at ST1 level in the pilot may lead to a reduction in the number of NTNs available for uncoupled training from ST3.

6. Should I apply for an IST pilot post or an uncoupled core post?

The IST aims to address many of the common problems that are associated with CST and to standardise the variation that exists across the country. However, many excellent centres already provide high quality training to core surgical trainees through the traditional route.

Both options may suit trainees depending on many factors and individual circumstances. Run through training may be attractive to some applicants, but not to others. Some may choose posts primarily based on location rather than specialty. Successful completion of both run through and uncoupled training in general surgery will lead to the award of a CCT in general surgery, but will reach the same end by different means.

7. Can I apply an IST pilot post even if I do not want to become a general surgeon?

The IST pilot will offer run through training in general surgery in a number of sites in England, Scotland and Wales from August 2018.

In addition to this, all uncoupled core surgical training posts in Scotland will be included in the pilot from August 2018. Uncoupled IST placements in Scotland will take place in pilot site health boards that have made the environmental changes included in the IST model. These placements however, are not run through in structure. Please see the IST Trainee Prospectus for full details.

Run through training in urology and vascular surgery will be offered from August 2019.

8. Can I transfer to another specialty after joining the pilot?

IST supports flexibility for trainees that wish to change specialties after beginning their training. For trainees that are recruited to the pilot but subsequently wish to train in a different specialty, prevailing arrangements for flexibility in training will ensure that competencies gained are transferable between the specialties.

9. Where will the IST pilot take place?

The IST pilot will run in a number of sites in England, Scotland and Wales. The IST Trainee Prospectus will include a full list of schools and sites expected to offer IST posts. Please note, these are subject to change and the posts listed on Oriel are final.

10. When will the IST pilot take place?

Most general surgery IST posts will commence in August 2018, but some (eg in London) will commence in October 2018. Urology and vascular Surgery IST posts will commence in August/October 2019.

11. How will training in the IST pilot differ from uncoupled non-pilot training?

Run through training in the IST pilot will follow the same curricula as uncoupled core/higher specialty surgical training outside the pilot. The end point of training (CCT) will therefore be the same, but the experience of training will be enhanced in the pilot, and the duration of training may be shortened if competencies are achieved at a higher rate. However, many IST training enhancements are expected to also benefit non-pilot trainees in IST pilot sites.

Please note that in Scotland, all core surgical training posts will be part of the pilot in 2018. 18 posts will be offered as IST run through posts in general surgery, all other remaining core surgical training posts in Scotland, 31 in total, will be uncoupled IST placements. Please see the IST Trainee Prospectus for full details.

12. Will the IST pilot offer run through training?

Run through training in general surgery will be offered as part of the IST pilot from August 2018, and in urology and vascular surgery from August 2019, pending GMC approval.

13. Will I be able to complete rotations in surgical specialties other than general surgery as part of my core-level training in IST?

Yes. IST pilot sites will be expected to provide exposure to acute urology, acute general surgery of childhood and acute vascular surgery (locally or in neighbouring trusts).
For details about the training programmes to be offered in Scotland, please see the IST Trainee Prospectus.

14. How will I demonstrate the achievement of the required competencies for progression from ST2 to ST3?

In the pilot, run through progression to ST3 will be dependent on the award of an ARCP 1 in ST2. Part of the evidence that will be considered in support of this ARCP will be your score achieved in the national selection process for ST3 posts in general surgery, which pilot trainees will attend along with non-pilot trainees as they apply for uncoupled posts. If you do not achieve an appointable score, up to 12 months of additional training may be offered by your LETB/deanery.

15. What happens if I do not achieve the expected competencies for progression to ST3?

In line with the Gold Guide, up to 12 months of additional training may be offered by your LETB/deanery if the required competencies (including an appointable score in the general surgery national selection process) are not achieved. If the competencies are not achieved after this period of additional training, an ARCP 4 may be awarded and your NTN withdrawn.

16. Will less than full time (LTFT) training be available as part of the IST pilot?

LTFT arrangements will be the same as for all training posts governed by the Gold Guide .

17. Will out of programme training, research, experience or career breaks (OOPT / OOPR / OOPE / OOPC) be available as part of the IST pilot?

Out of programme arrangements will be the same as for all training posts governed by the Gold Guide.

18. How will the delivery of IST training be quality assured in pilot sites?

Quality assurance/monitoring of posts will be managed locally by each pilot site’s LETB/deanery.

19. Will out of programme training, research, experience or career breaks (OOPT / OOPR / OOPE / OOPC) be available as part of the IST pilot?

Out of programme arrangements will be the same as for all training posts governed by the Gold Guide.

20. How will the delivery of IST training be quality assured in pilot sites?

Quality assurance/monitoring of posts will be managed locally by each pilot site’s LETB/deanery.

21. How will the IST pilot affect non-pilot trainees in pilot sites?

Many IST training enhancements should also benefit non-pilot trainees in IST pilot sites. Close monitoring will ensure that any issues may that arise are swiftly addressed, and we will work with pilot sites to ensure that non-pilot trainees are not disadvantaged by the presence of pilot trainees.

22. How is the IST pilot funded?

Preparatory project work to establish and develop the IST pilot has been funded by HEE. Local implementation in IST pilot sites will not receive additional funding from HEE.

23. How will hospitals have enough staffing for this pilot to go ahead in time for 2018?

Members of the surgical care team can support surgical training and service delivery, and may contribute to reduced rota commitments for surgical trainees. However, this is not the only way in which the increased training opportunities of IST can be achieved, and some pilot sites may not rely on members of the surgical care team to do so.

It takes time to recruit and train staff, and we recognise that some pilot sites will not have surgical care teams in place by August 2018.

24. Is it possible to move between deaneries?

National arrangements for inter deanery transfers will continue to apply to trainees in the pilot and outside it. As a vacant post is required to accommodate each successful transfer applicant, it cannot be guaranteed that an IST post in another location will be available for any trainee transferring out of an existing IST pilot post.

25. What does the future look like for the project – will there be a national rollout?

The pilot will be closely monitored on an ongoing basis, and evaluated yearly. No decision will be taken on any potential expansion of the pilot or ongoing implementation until the outcome of the evaluation is known.

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