Intensive Care Medicine ST3 Applicant Guidance - 2016

A copy of this guidance (along with all relevant supplementary information) can also be found in the Downloads​​​ section of this Website.

Please note: All times in the applicant guide are UK time.

1. Introduction

The Intensive Care Medicine National Recruitment Office (ICMNRO), based at Health Education England, working across West Midlands, co-ordinates the nationally agreed and quality assured process for recruitment to Intensive Care Medicine (ICM) Specialty Training Programmes Year 3 (ST3) on behalf of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (FICM).

Recruitment to ICM Specialty Training Year 3 posts will take place once a year for August 2017 commencement. This guide covers the recruitment process for August 2017.

All submitted applications for ICM training will be assessed using a standard, national and consistent staged process outlined below. This is an established selection process using modern methodologies that are fair, robust and fit for purpose.

For ICM Training posts an applicant makes one application for all participating HEE Local Offices or Deaneries. An applicant’s eligibility is assessed at longlisting and providing they are found eligible and score high enough in the self-assessment criteria they will be invited to attend a centrally run Selection Centre in the West Midlands for consideration of appointment to an ICM ST3 post.

Applicants should only preference HEE Local Offices or Deaneries they are happy to work in. In making those decisions, researching the HEE Local Offices or Deaneries carefully is recommended.

You should also refer to both the Oriel Applicant User Guide (for technical help with the on-line application form) and the 2017 Medical Specialty Recruitment Applicant Handbook (for general information about the national recruitment processes administered by HEE).

1.1 Evaluation of the Recruitment Process

Anonymous data from the recruitment process including scores awarded and feedback collected on the day of the Selection Centre, will be used to evaluate and refine the national selection process.  Data may be correlated with anonymised scores from outcome measures during your future training such as success in professional examinations.

2. Application Window

Advertisements will appear on: NHS Jobs; Universal Job Match; in the BMJ and on the Oriel recruitment system on Wednesday 25th January 2017.

Applications will be accepted from 10.00am on Wednesday 1st February 2017 until 4.00pm Wednesday 22nd February 2017. Any applications must be made through the Oriel application system; applications will not be accepted in any other way. Oriel can be accessed here.

No late applications will be accepted.

Support for applicants experiencing problems with their application will be available from the ICMNRO during normal office hours (i.e. Monday to Friday 9am-5pm) for the duration of the application window.

Please be aware that the Oriel system does not support internet browsers that have reached the end of their product support lifecycle.

3. Dual Programmes with Intensive Care Medicine (ICM)

Applicants who currently hold a National Training Number (NTN) in one of ICM’s 5 partner specialties, namely Acute Medicine, Anaesthetics, Emergency Medicine, Renal Medicine or Respiratory Medicine, and are applying to ICM in the hope of securing a Dual Programme will be asked to put this information on their application form.

The ICMNRO expect any Dual Programme applicants to ensure they only rank their current HEE Local Office or Deanery in their list of preferences as dual training can only be undertaken in the same region. ICMNRO will restrict these applicants to offers in the HEE Local Office or Deanery where they currently hold a NTN.

Additionally, applicants will only be eligible to a dual Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) if they have not yet completed ST5 in their primary specialty by time of Selection Centre. ICMNRO will longlist out applicants who do not meet this criterion.

If an applicant informs the ICMNRO of their wish to dual train on their application form but later retracts their request they must inform the ICMNRO immediately so any restrictions can be removed.

Please be reminded that you can only undertake a Dual Programme if: 

  1. The offer of an ICM NTN is in the same HEE Local Office or Deanery as the one where their partner specialty training is being undertaken. 
  1. The HEE Local Office or Deanery is able to accommodate a Dual Training Programme. For any queries relating to this, the applicant should speak with the Training Programme Director (TPD) of their training area.

If an applicant receives an offer for ICM and either of these conditions is not met the applicant will need to decide whether to accept the ICM offer.  Accepting an ICM post if either of these conditions has not been met would require the applicant to resign their partner specialty training number.

4. Communications Regarding an Application

Contact regarding your application will be via direct messaging through Oriel.

ICMNRO administrators may also send an email as a secondary form of communication, however, as emails are external to the Oriel system, delivery cannot be guaranteed and therefore this method of communication should not be relied upon.

5. Preferencing

At the time of application you will be asked to preference all HEE Local Offices or Deaneries that you would be prepared to work in.  Please note that preferences cannot be amended after an application has been submitted (unless in exceptional circumstances) and preferences expressed in any other way will not be considered.

It is important to be aware that if you put any of the preference options in the not wanted column on Oriel you will never receive an offer for this HEE Local Office or Deanery, even if it means that you are bypassed with the offer going to a lower ranked applicant.  You can only receive an offer for preferences that have been positively ranked. ICMNRO therefore suggest that you only move a preference to the not wanted column if you are certain you do not want to receive an offer from that HEE Local Office or Deanery.

If you fail to express your preferences online in Oriel and are made an offer you should expect that the offer will be from the remaining, unfilled HEE Local Offices or Deaneries. You will also not be eligible for an upgrade as there will be no higher preferenced HEE Local Offices or Deaneries that you could be upgraded in to.

A list of the HEE Local Offices and Deaneries is available here.

6. Self-Assessment

The application form will contain a number of self-assessment questions. It is imperative that you answer the self-assessment questions accurately and honestly.  The self-assessment will be ratified as part of the Portfolio Station at Selection Centre and you will be required to provide evidence to support your score.  Deliberately falsifying or giving dishonest answers is in breach of Good Medical Practice and may result in referral to the General Medical Council on the grounds of probity.

ICMNRO are not at liberty to give advice to on scores/answers. Self-assessment is intended as a reflection of where an applicant feels they are with regards to certain criteria considered important for a career in Intensive Care Medicine.

If you feel you could justify giving yourself a certain score at Selection Centre, you are encouraged to put that score on your application form. If you require further advice ICMNRO suggest contacting to your Educational Supervisor and/or College Tutor.

7. Deferment of Start Date

Deferments to start date will only be considered for statutory reasons as stated in the Gold Guide such as maternity leave or ill health.

Deferment for any other reason will not be permitted.

If you wish to request a deferment to your start date, you must declare this in your application form and contact your recruiting HEE Local Offices or Deaneries as soon as possible.

8. Flexibility in Deployment of Trainees (England, Scotland and Wales only)

From 2017, England, Scotland and Wales have introduced formalised processes to assist applicants to train in desired locations of the country.

8.1 Special Circumstances

To ensure that applicants with special circumstances and a requirement to train in a particular location are treated in a fair and consistent way, those applicants wishing to be considered for special circumstances pre allocation should ensure that they state this on their application form. If this applies to you, you will need to submit supporting evidence directly to ICMNRO, by email, as soon as your application has been submitted electronically. Requests for consideration of special circumstances submitted in any other way will not be accepted.

It is important that you review the relevant section in the 2017 Medical Specialty Recruitment Applicant Handbook (pages 20-21) for details of the eligibility criteria and administrative process.

8.2 Facilitated Placements

This process aims to offer solutions to applicants who have been allocated to different regions to their partner or family.

The process is open to all applicants, except for those who are applying to academic posts, locally recruited posts or those looking to move into or out of Norther Ireland, who are not participating in the initiative. Please also note that applicants deferring their commencement in training will not be permitted to apply for a facilitated placement.

It is important that you review the relevant section in the 2017 Medical Specialty Recruitment Applicant Handbook (pages 22-24) for details of the eligibility criteria and administrative process.

8.3 GIS and Reasonable Adjustments

For any applicant that has a disability as described in the Equality Act (2010) you can request to be considered for Selection Centre under the Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS) and also request reasonable adjustments at the Selection Centre venue.

ICMNRO will honour any GIS requests in line with the guidance, which states, if an applicant meets the minimum eligibility criteria and provides evidence to substantiate the information they have put in their application form; we will offer them a slot at Selection Centre. ICMNRO will also attempt to make any requested reasonable adjustments to the Selection Centre venue.

There is a section on the application form for applicants to input information relating to this. If an applicant believes they qualify, further information will need to be provided to ICMNRO before Wednesday 22nd February 2017 to allow a review of the information to take place. This information needs to be sent in to icm@wm.hee.nhs.uk. Failure to provide supporting evidence before this deadline will mean ICMNRO are unable to review your requests.

9. Application process for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) without Right of Residence

Please refer to national guidance from Health Education England and UK Visas and Immigration to confirm whether or not you are eligible to apply.

10. Fitness to Practise

Applicants who answer yes to any of the Fitness to Practise questions on the application form are required to provide further information by no later than Wednesday 22nd February 2017 to ICMNRO. Information should be sent to the following email address: icm@wm.hee.nhs.uk. Please ensure that you include your name, application ID, specialty and level you are applying to.

If an offer of training is made then the employing HEE Local Office or Deanery will manage Fitness to Practise declarations in line with their local processes.

11. Reapplication to Specialty Training

Specialty training posts and programmes are not normally available to any doctor who has previously relinquished or been released or removed from that training post/programme. However:

11.1 Support for Reapplication to Specialty

If you have previously resigned or been removed from an ICM Specialty Training Programme you will need to provide full details of the resignation/release/removal. This must be provided on the Support for Reapplication to a Specialty Training Programme form and approved by both the Head of School/Training Programme Director and Postgraduate Dean in the HEE Local Office or Deanery where training was previously undertaken. This evidence will need to be uploaded to your Oriel account via the Document Upload dashboard as Supporting evidence and attached to your application at the point of application.

Any applications from excluded trainees without submitted evidence will not progress any further in the recruitment process.

11.2 Support for Reapplication to Specialty Training in a Different Region

Trainees currently working in an ICM Specialty Training Programme, applying to continue their training in another HEE Local Office or Deanery, without a break in service, will need to provide information relating to this. You must gain support from your current HEE Local Office or Deanery by completing the Support for Reapplication of Specialty Training in a Different Region form. The form exists to ensure that any applicant moving region is currently performing to the required standard (i.e. satisfactory progress at ARCP) and will need to be uploaded to your Oriel account via the Document Upload dashboard as Supporting evidence and attached to your application at the point of application.

Any applications without submitted evidence will not progress any further in the recruitment process.

12. Longlisting

Following the deadline for receipt of applications the ICMNRO will conduct longlisting for all submitted applications against the 2017 Person Specification.

Applicants who fail to meet the eligibility criteria as stated in the Person Specification will not progress any further in the recruitment process. Responsibility lies with you as the applicant to demonstrate fully in your application form that you are eligible for the post you are applying for.

Those applicants who meet the eligibility criteria will be progressed to the shortlisting stage of recruitment.

13. Document Upload

As you progress through your application or during the longlisting window you may be required to upload documentation to allow ICMNRO to assess your eligibility.

If you are required to do this then in order to help ICMNRO you are required to follow some ‘house rules’:

  • Please ensure that the document is uploaded as a whole and not in separate pages

  • Please ensure that the document is appropriately named for clarity to allow ICMNRO to understand what it is they will be opening

  • Please ensure that the document is uploaded in to the correct document section

Please ensure that all required documentation is uploaded by the required deadlines.

ICMNRO reserve the right to request re-submission of documentation if the above ‘house rules’ are not followed.

14. Shortlisting

In 2017 there will be no traditional shortlisting during the ICM national recruitment process.

ICMNRO will endeavour to invite all eligible applicants to Selection Centre however it is important to note there are a limited number of Selection Centre slots available; 288 across three days.

If there are more applicants than Selection Centre slots available, all applicants will be ranked in a national list according to their self-assessment score. Applicants will then be invited in rank order until all the Selection Centre slots are filled.

15. Selection Centre

Selection Centre invitations for the 288 available slots will be sent on Monday 6th March 2017. Applicants invited to Selection Centre will be asked to book themselves into a slot on Oriel. Selection Centre slots will be filled on a first come; first served basis.

The Selection Centre will be held centrally in the West Midlands regardless of the HEE Local Office or Deanery you are applying to. It will be held at the West Bromwich Albion Football Club, The Hawthorns, Birmingham Rd, West Bromwich, West Midlands, B71 4LF.

The Selection Centre will take place on Tuesday 21st, Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd March 2016.

On the day of the Selection Centre, please ensure that you allow yourself plenty of time to get to the venue and ensure that you take a hard copy of your Portfolio of evidence with you as access to e-portfolio will not be available at the Selection Centre.  Guidance on preparing your Portfolio for Selection Centre is available on the ICMNRO website.  It is important that your Portfolio contains evidence to support every score you have awarded yourself in self-assessment.

If you are invited to Selection Centre and are unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances or an emergency, you must contact the ICMNRO directly to ascertain whether alternative arrangements can be made. It is important to note that alternative arrangements cannot be guaranteed.

Mobile phones and other electronic devices have no place at Selection Centre and should be left at home wherever possible.  Mobile phones or electronic devices brought to Selection Centre must be switched off and fully deactivated for the duration of the Selection Centre. Non-compliance to the above may lead to disqualification from the process.

Important: On arrival at Selection Centre, if you find you have a conflict of interest with a panel member, for example you are already familiar with them and you are not comfortable in being assessed by them; it is your responsibility to inform a member of the recruitment team at your earliest opportunity so that alternative arrangements can be made, such as being assessed by a neutral panel member.

15.1 Selection Centre Format

The Selection Centre itself consists of a total of five stations. There will be three standardised 10 minute stations, one 20 minute Portfolio station and one task station performed under exam conditions. At the four panel stations you will be assessed by two assessors who will score you independently. You will also be given a period of preparation time for some of the stations.

15.1.1 Clinical Scenario Station (10 minutes station + 20 minutes preparation)

Applicants will be presented with the clinical scenario on the day. You will be given 20 minutes preparation time to read the scenario and write an outline plan. Once you enter the station, 10 minutes is given to allow discussion of the case.

The following areas are assessed in this station: Communication skills; Conceptual thinking; Decision making and Time Management.

15.1.2. Presentation Station (10 minute station + 10 minutes preparation)

You will have 5 minutes to deliver a presentation followed by 5 minutes of questions.  The presentation question and materials will be provided on the day and no additional resources will be permitted. You will be given 10 minutes to prepare your presentation prior to entering the station.

This station gives applicants an opportunity to demonstrate how they can perform, with an associated time pressure, to prepare and deliver a presentation.  Topics are carefully chosen so that this exercise tests the delivery of a presentation in challenging circumstances rather than being a pure test of knowledge.

15.1.3 Task Prioritisation Station (10 minute station + 10 minutes preparation)

Applicants will be presented with the task prioritisation scenario on the day. You are given 10 minutes preparation time in order to review the tasks and make an outline plan. Once you enter the station, 10 minutes is given to allow discussion of the plan.

This station will assess the following: Communication skills; Conceptual thinking; Problem solving; Time Management; Professional Integrity; Empathy and Sensitivity; Team working; and Decision making.

15.1.4 Portfolio Station (20 minute station)

The Portfolio station is designed to assess past achievements, commitment to specialty and career progression to date.  10 minutes of the station time will be used to ratify your self-assessment score.  You are therefore expected to have hard copy evidence to show for each of the self-scoring domains.  Failure to supply suitable evidence to fully support the score awarded will result in the score being reduced.

The second half of the Portfolio station is used to explore areas of your Portfolio in more detail.  In particular, assessment will be made on evidence of reflective practice, commitment/insight into Intensive Care Medicine and commitment to the training programme/HEE Local Office or Deanery you are applying for.  Achievements and interests outside of medicine will also be taken into account.

15.1.5 Reflective Practice Station (30 minute station)

This is an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) type written station.

This station will assess the following: Professional Integrity; Communication skills; Decision making and Time Management.


Please note: This station will be independently double marked so that all stations are equally weighted.

15.1.6 Global Rating Score

For all national standard stations, assessors will also mark applicants on their overall performance at the station. This is called the ‘Global Rating’ score.  This allows assessors to distinguish applicants who are clearly exceptional from those who underperform and exhibit unprofessional or unappointable characteristics (e.g. due to problems with attitude or severely deficient clinical acumen and knowledge).

15.1.7 Selection Centre Assessment Matrix

The Selection Centre assessment matrix, which details what competences are assessed at each station, is available to download from the ICMNRO website.

15.2 Appointability and VETO

For an applicant to be deemed appointable (i.e. considered for an offer) they must score a minimum total of 194 points across the five stations. Any applicant that does not meet the minimum score will not be eligible to be offered a post.

In addition, while an applicant may achieve the cut-off score they can still be vetoed (i.e. made unappointable) for particularly poor performance at a station. Any applicant who receives two ‘0’s (zero) in the Global Rating domain at any station will be automatically deemed unappointable without further discussion. All assessors on the day will be made aware of this.

15.3 Observers, Lay Representatives and External Assessors

There may be times during the Selection Centre where you are observed in one or more stations. This could be by a Senior Trainee or Lay Representative. The purpose of these roles is to ensure that quality, consistency and standardisation is present throughout all stations. Furthermore, it allows for areas of best practice to be established and shared.

ICMNRO can confirm that these observers will have no role in the assessment of an applicant and will play no part in deciding the appointability of an applicant.

16. Offers

All offers will be made via Oriel by ICMNRO. Offers received in any other way will be deemed invalid.  If you are made an offer, you will need to respond to this on Oriel.

The first wave of offers will be sent out by ICMNRO on Monday 10th April 2017. Please do not contact ICMNRO about offers prior to this date, as it could delay the release.

You will be given 48 hours (exclusive of weekends) to respond to an offer and have the option to accept, decline or hold.

If you fail to respond to an offer within the 48 hour window you will be deemed to have declined the offer.

Once you have accepted a post, you will not receive any further offers from any other specialties within the same recruitment round.

Offers that are declined will be recycled and offered in rank order to other applicants.

Only one offer can be held at any one time, across all specialty applications in the same round. If you are already holding an offer, and try to hold another offer, the original held post will be automatically declined by the system. If you choose to hold an offer, you can hold this up until 1.00pm on Wednesday 3rd May 2017.

Before this deadline, you will be required to go back into Oriel and make a final decision on the offer.  Any offers still held when the deadline is reached will be deemed to have been declined and the system will automatically change your status to show that you have declined the post.

After the hold deadline has passed, any offers made will only have the option of accept or decline.

Please note:

  • Applicants whose immigration status would require an employer to obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship can only be made an offer if there are no remaining suitable UK/EEA applicants.

  • Applicants who let their offer expire (and are withdrawn from the recruitment process) can be reinstated if they contact the ICMNRO; however, their original offer cannot be guaranteed.

16.1 Upgrading of Offers

If you rank highly enough to be made an offer, this will be made to the highest ranked preference that is available when your Selection Centre rank is reached.  If you are satisfied with this offer, you can choose to simply accept it.

However, if you would like the option of getting one of your higher ranked preferences, should they become available, you can opt in to upgrading.  The upgrading option is available to all offers that have been held or accepted, but not where an offer has been declined.  An applicant who has accepted or held an offer can opt in or out of upgrading at any time during the window which runs until 4.00pm Friday 5th May 2017.

If you opt in to upgrading and a higher preference offer becomes available, the upgrade will be automatic.  You will be placed in the higher preference post without ICMNRO making any further contact with you and you will not be given 48 hours to decide whether you wish to accept or decline the new post.  If an upgrade is made, the previously held or accepted post will be released and will be reoffered to another applicant.

Once you have been upgraded you will be contacted via an automated email message to inform you of this.  Details of the upgrade made will be available in Oriel.

Once the upgrading deadline has passed, no further upgrades will be offered, even if one of your higher preferences becomes available at a later date.

Please note: There is NO facility to downgrade an offer for an applicant who has been automatically upgraded in to a higher ranker preference.

17. References

You are required to give details of your last three clinical or educational supervisors from your current post, your previous post and the post before that. You will be able to amend referee details on Oriel up until the point the reference has been submitted.

Referees are required to submit references electronically, using an on-line referee portal in Oriel, once offers have been released. You will be advised, via your Oriel portal, when your referee has submitted their reference.

All offers made will be on the condition of the HEE Local Office or Deanery receiving three satisfactory references. Obtaining references is an applicant’s responsibility. The HEE Local Office or Deanery will NOT chase your referees.

In rare cases there may be a need for your reference to be provided on paper. We will instruct you if this is necessary. You can download a Structured National Reference Form from the Oriel Resource Bank.

18. Clearing

There is no clearing in ICM. Therefore, if you do not receive an offer in this round of recruitment it will be for one of two reasons:

  1. All of your ICM Programme preferences have been exhausted before your rank is reached (this could happen even if you are considered appointable in the process).

  2. You were unsuccessful during the recruitment process (you will be notified if this is the case).

19. Feedback

Applicants will be given feedback throughout the recruitment process and will not need to make a formal request to receive it.

Applicants that are rejected at the longlisting stage will be advised of the reason why their application was rejected; Selection Centre feedback will be released up to seven days after the initial offer date.

Applicants who wish to request feedback above and beyond the standard feedback that is provided (i.e. their actual scoresheets) can do so by making a request to the ICMNRO.

You will be required to confirm your identity however will not be charged for this.

ICMNRO expect the scoresheets to be released to applicants within 20 working days however applicants must be aware that, in busy periods, this could take longer to receive.

There is no further feedback that can be provided after scoresheets have been requested.

20. Selection Centre Documentation

Eligibility documentation will be collected by the ICMNRO at Selection Centre. There is, however, likely to be information/paperwork that will need to be sent in after the Selection Centre.

The ICMNRO will contact any applicants who have missing Selection Centre documentation after offers have been accepted. Applicants will then have a responsibility to ensure the ICMNRO are in receipt of all the required paperwork by no later than 5.00pm on Wednesday 10th May 2017 in order to share with the appointing HEE Local Office or Deanery

There is a risk that if the required paperwork is not provided by this date that an applicant’s offer could be withdrawn.

21. Remaining vacancies

Any posts that are left unfilled at the end of this process will be carried forward to the next national recruitment round (i.e. for August 2018 starts).

22. Offers of Employment & Pre-Employment Checks

The offer and allocation of a Training Programme referred to above is NOT an offer of employment. An employment contract detailing the terms and conditions of employment will be issued by the responsible employing organisation and is made subject to satisfactory pre-employment checks. Your offer of employment will include the name of your employer, the start date and length of the period of employment, the location, the hours, the minimum rate of remuneration and the notice period applicable.

Information regarding pay, hours, sick pay and annual leave entitlements, notice period, study leave, pension scheme etc. are set out in the national terms and conditions available from NHS Employers. A framework for a written contract of employment for Anaesthetic specialty registrars is also available from the BMA. Individual HEE Local Office or Deanery websites may also provide additional local information and links to individual employer websites.

The employing organisation carry out a number of pre-employment checks before an offer of employment can be confirmed. These will include verification of identity, registration and qualifications, right to work (immigration), employment history and employment reference checks (these are different from the clinical reference checks that the HEE Local Office or Deanery needs), a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and an occupational health check. Some of these (verification of identify, registration and qualifications and right to work for example) may also be undertaken by the HEE Local Office or Deanery during the recruitment process.

23. Applicant Expenses

Applicants will be able to claim Selection Centre expenses from the ICMNRO. An applicant is entitled to claim a maximum of £100 and must submit the claim within 28 days of the Selection Centre date.

The expenses claim form is located on the West Midlands Deanery website (http://www.westmidlandsdeanery.nhs.uk/) and there is a guidance document provided with the claim form in order to ensure it is completed correctly. The ICMNRO reserve the right to reject claims if the guidance is not followed.

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