Specialty Applications

Core Surgical Training CT1 Specialty Training Advert 2023-2024

The information and documents included on this page are to help you prepare for your future specialty training applications.

The information is from specialty training posts advertised in 2023, with a start date from August 2024. Please be aware specialty training advertisements, links, recruitment leads, post numbers, etc. can change and there is no guarantee that future advertisements and application processes will remain the same. 

Job Advert

The text below is for posts advertised in November-December 2023, with a start date from August 2024. It is included here for information to help you prepare for future applications.

Please be aware specialty training advertisements, links, recruitment leads, post numbers, etc. can change and there is no guarantee that future advertisements and application processes will remain the same. 

Training Programme:Core Surgical Training
Post Type:Core Training (CT)
Post Commencing From: August 2024
Duration (months):24
Recruitment Lead:London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex
Recruiting For:England, Scotland, Wales

Core Surgical Training CT1/ST1 

London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex nationally co-ordinate the recruitment into Core Surgery Training at CT1/ST1 level for round 1 in 2024 on behalf of England, Wales and Scotland. 

Core surgical training (CST) provides the setting for the first two post Foundation years in the development of surgeons from all specialties except neurosurgery. Over the course of two years, successful applicants will, through supervised practice in the clinic, theatres and wards of approved training sites across the UK, work towards success in the MRCS examination and ST3 selection in their chosen surgical specialty.  They will be asked to choose between generic rotations, suitable for those keen to explore a career in surgery, but not yet committed to a single surgical specialty and themed programmes, orientated from the outset towards a specified branch of surgery.  

HEE have agreed to pause the recruitment to ALL IST posts in England for 2024. The number of surgical training places will be maintained as posts will be added back into core surgical recruitment.

Wales and Scotland will continue to recruit to run through IST.

Summary of change for recruitment process 2024
Please ensure you check the guidance carefully to confirm the appropriate method to demonstrate your foundation competence.
If you are required to submit a Certificate of Readiness to Enter Specialty Training (CREST) form with your application and do not do so then you will not be offered another opportunity to upload it and your application will not proceed to the next stage of the process.
You can only submit the CREST 2024 for this recruitment round. You can find it here.

Eligibility Criteria for recruitment to Specialty Training 
All applicants applying to specialty training are required to have essential competences or equivalent depending on the level they are applying for. For more information on competences please refer to the resource bank on Oriel via https://www.oriel.nhs.uk/Web/ResourceBank and the Medical Specialty Training website: https://medical.hee.nhs.uk/medical-training-recruitment/medical-specialty-training

Please upload all required evidence of competences to your application form when completing it online. For those experiencing difficulties when uploading evidence, please ensure you contact the team via the PGMDE support portal: https://lasepgmdesupport.hee.nhs.uk/support/home 

Please note that there is a strict application policy that applications cannot be accepted after the deadline 

The training programme is equally open to those who may, either from the outset or subsequently, wish to train flexibly or job share. 

Reasonable adjustments and Disability Confident Scheme:
For more information regarding reasonable adjustments and disability confident scheme please refer to the Medical Specialty Training website.

Eligibility Criteria for recruitment to Specialty Training – Immigration Requirements:
All medical practitioners are on the shortage occupation list, this means with the exception of all applicants to Public Health, all specialty recruitment applicants will be exempt from the resident labour market test (RLMT). 

Key dates & information: 
A full timeline can be found in the Core Surgical Training Supplementary Handbook attached to this vacancy. Also information is available here: https://medical.hee.nhs.uk/medical-training-recruitment/medical-specialty-training/surgery/core-surgery 

Interview dates: Monday 19 February o 28 February 2024

Interview venue:  Remote Interviews  

Posts commence from: 7th August 2024

The Supplementary Applicant Handbook also contains detailed information about how to complete your application form, the shortlisting process, evidence verification process, interview process and preferences. We therefore recommend that all applicants read the Supplementary Handbook thoroughly before starting to complete an application form.  

Shortlisting process
As part of the selection process for 2024 recruitment all longlisted applicants will be required to take a Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA). This will form the basis of your shortlisting score. Further information on the shortlisting stages and the MSRA can be found in the Applicant Supplementary Handbook and MSRA Guidance Document.  

Interview process

Document checking: A list of documents required for interview is available under the downloads on document section of the website. 

Length of interview: 20 minutes 

Interview structure: Two station interview. The station will cover different criteria from the person specification. There will be a 10-minute management section and a separate 10-minute clinical station.

Preferencing Posts: Preferencing will be made available via Oriel in 2024 and further information can be found in the Supplementary Handbook. Applicants will be able to preference uncoupled Core Surgical Training posts, Improving Surgical Training pilot posts, Otolaryngology Pilot posts, or a combination of the aforementioned. 

Contacts / Enquiries
Please visit the London and Kent, Surrey & Sussex Support Portal where you will find a series of FAQs, and you will be able to submit an enquiry to the LaKSS Recruitment Team. 

If you have made a positive declaration in the FTP section, you must contact the LaKSS recruitment office via the support portal by the close of the application window. Failure to provide the outlined information by the close of application may result in your application being withdrawn.

Programmes will be confirmed directly with the candidate by the appropriate local recruitment office should applicants be successful at interview http://www.lpmde.ac.uk/laserecruitment/medical-specialty/specialties/core-surgery

Indicative post numbers:  

Indicative vacancy numbers are available in the table below, broken down by region and divided between substantive national training number (NTN) and locum appointment for training (LAT) posts. In many cases these will be presented as a range (e.g. 0-4) as it is not always possible for regions to know at this stage how many vacancies there will be.

It is the intention that indicative post numbers for all regions will be published prior to the application opening date, although this cannot be guaranteed. Please note that this table is not likely to be updated subsequent to indicative numbers and actual numbers will be confirmed when programme preferences are opened later in the round.


Indicative Numbers 

Health Education England – East Midlands 

38 – 43

Health Education England – East of England 

0 – 50

Health Education England – Kent, Surrey and Sussex 

35 – 39

Health Education England – London 


Health Education England – North East 


Health Education England – North West – North Western 


Health Education England – North West – Mersey 


Health Education England – South West – Peninsula 

19 – 22

Health Education England – South West – Severn 

0 – 25

Health Education England – Thames Valley 


Health Education England – Wessex 

23 – 26

Health Education England – West Midlands 

50 – 60

Health Education England – Yorkshire and Humber 



50 – 55


39 – 45

Numbers subject to change

Please be aware that it is not uncommon for vacancy numbers to change as the round progresses.

More commonly, post vacancy numbers can increase as the round goes on (and confirmation of posts becomes available); but it is also possible that numbers can reduce as well. In the past, post numbers have risen an average of 20-40% from the start to the finish of the round but this can vary greatly for individual specialty/region combinations.

It is possible that regions which do not have a post at the start of the round may declare one after applications have closed. Whilst we try and minimise instances of this, it is not always possible to predict vacancies so even if there appears not to be a vacancy in your preferred specialty/region combination, you may wish to consider applying in case one becomes available during the round; you can check with the region concerned if you wish to check on the likelihood of a post arising.

Generally, once a region enters a post into a round they would always have at least one post available and would only withdraw it in exceptional circumstances.


The following links were included within the advertisement. Some links may only be live or working during the application and recruitment window.


The following documents were included within the advertisement. Click the link(s) below to download the document(s) to your device.

Application Form

For specialty-specific questions please visit the Core Surgical Training Specialty Specific Questions page.

For the generic application form questions applicable to all specialties please visit the application form page.

Competition Ratios

Mobile Users: This table is best viewed on a computer or tablet device, or in landscape orientation on your phone. In portrait orientation press the + icon at the left of the row to see more information.

For further information and all competition data please see the Competition Ratios page.

Fill Rates

Mobile Users: This table is best viewed on a computer or tablet device, or in landscape orientation on your phone. In portrait orientation press the + icon at the left of the row to see more information.

For regional fill rate data please see the Core Surgical Training Fill Rates page.