Statement published on 21st April 2020
Thank you to all of you who applied for the Scientist Training Programme 2020. We appreciate your patience in waiting to hear from us about how we will be dealing with your application.
We will now explain the process which has been agreed by the HEE Executive as the approach to recruitment in the light of the Covid-19 emergency and the cancellation of national interviews.
In-service (existing NHS) applicants
All in-service applicants will be offered the post for which they have been nominated by their employer, provided they meet entry requirements (in terms of qualifications). If you are in this group, nothing further is required of you. We will complete the check of qualifications and, provided they meet requirements, we will confirm with your employer that you will be admitted to the programme in September. It will then be for your current employer to complete all the HR processes to confirm you in your new role as a supernumerary clinical science trainee.
Direct entry (external) applicants
All direct entry applicants who have already been notified that they are shortlisted for interview (not shortlisted reserve) are in the pool for selection for the programme.
If you have been given a status of shortlisted reserve for any given specialism, we regret to tell you that you are no longer in competition for a post in that specialism. If you applied for two specialisms and were notified that you were ‘shortlisted for interview’ in one of them and ‘shortlisted reserve’ in the other, you will now be considered only for the specialism in which you were shortlisted for interview.
We are now compiling a ranked order of applicants on the basis of the information used for shortlisting.
Once compiled this rank will be used to match applications against location preferences. You have already given us your preference of locations, and these cannot now be changed. This will result in each successful applicant being allocated to a training provider (that is, a host department which will be your employer for the three years of the programme). One applicant will be allocated to each available post, which means that approximately two-thirds of those originally invited to interview will not be selected for the programme at this stage but will be added to a standby list and may be contacted later in the process.
You will not have a choice of employing department: you will receive one allocation only. You will then be interviewed by the employer. We anticipate all interviews will be carried out remotely. If you are declined by the employer, you will then be out of the process – you will not join the standby list.
Release of shortlisting scores, rank and other information
We will let you know your shortlisting score and rank, and respond to requests for other information once we have completed the allocation process.
How the method was agreed
We agreed the selection method after discussion with HEE groups responsible for recruitment to medical, dental and other specialty selection. It was approved by the School’s Recruitment Steering Group, which includes employers, trainees, trade unions, universities, education commissioners and lay/patient representatives. It was subject to review from an expert external consultancy, the Work Psychology Group, which provided a comprehensive report supporting the proposal in view of the extreme circumstances. It was then signed off by the HEE Executive on 9 April 2020.
We are currently in dialogue with the employers to reconfirm the posts available: you will appreciate that in the changed circumstances it is possible that some posts will be withdrawn.
We are now notifying you, as applicants, how we will proceed. If you are not happy for your application to be dealt with as described, please let us know by contacting NSHCS.MSCrecruitment@hee.nhs.uk as soon as possible. You could consider re-applying next year.
If you stay in the process, you are accepting that the guidance and information provided at the outset of this recruitment round no longer applies. New interview guidance will be provided to the applicants allocated to a training provider in advance of interview.
Because this is no longer a single national interview event, your interview will be arranged between you and the employer at a date and time to suit all parties. The intention is to complete the recruitment process, if possible, by mid-June. At present we cannot give you a precise date for the employer interviews, we will let you know as soon as we have a clear indication. Please be prepared to be flexible: this situation is unprecedented and may be affected by the availability of scientists in busy NHS departments who are fully engaged with the Covid-19 response.