Applying to an in-service post


Make sure you read the applicant guidance, relevant FAQ’s and all-important documents relating to the STP application process before starting your application.

Your application will require:

  • personal details
  • academic details
  • work experience details
  • employment details
  • equality and diversity details
  • supporting information to demonstrate suitability for the programme

As an in-service applicant you do not choose a location, as you will stay with your employer who has nominated you for the post. You will need to confirm the preference (scientific specialty) and employer as part of your application.

Things to be aware of as an in-service applicant

As an in-service applicant you must be aware of:

  • any potential additional cost associated with undertaking the programme. For example travel and subsistence if on placement away from your normal working location.
  • the application and admissions criteria and any processes which you will need to comply with, and that a training place is dependent on these criteria being met.
  • the probable provider of the academic programme and have obtained confirmation from the provider that your qualifications meet the admissions criteria of the provider. If the university does not accept that the qualifications meet the entry requirements, the application cannot proceed.

Conditions for in-service applicants

In-service applicants will:

  • Apply and be allocated through the national recruitment process. They will not go through a shortlisting process as they are not in competition for their nominated post.
  • Be part of the planned workforce numbers required for training, and have occupied an existing NHS salaried post, within the same department as the training post, prior to training
  • Already be employed by the organisation intending to provide the training and have demonstrated their suitability in the workplace. Their department must be satisfied that they match the person specification for the role and meet the entry requirements.
  • Remain employed until they commence the programme, when they should change to a contract that covers the duration of the training programme. Should the trainee leave the programme for any reason, then any subsequent employment and contract arrangements are the responsibility of the employing organisation.
  • Be trained in a department accredited by the NSHCS as an STP training provider.
  • Follow the whole programme and must complete the postgraduate academic programme.
  • Be released from service duties, as appropriate, to undertake education and training and have permission from their employer to undertake the required academic and work-based training requirements.
  • Be assessed using an e-portfolio and/or any other monitoring and quality assurance processes used by the NSHCS.
  • Sit the synoptic final assessment as set by the NSHCS.
  • Not have already completed the STP in another specialty.

Internal selection process/interview

As an in-service applicant you will not go through longlisting or shortlisting, because you are already a substantive NHS employee and have gone through a recruitment and selection process for your current post. For 2024 recruitment the NSHCS will not interview in-service applicants. All applicants who meet the requirements and are sponsored by their department will be accepted on the programme.

Employers will therefore need to provide a written statement confirming that they have conducted a local interview and that, in their professional view, the applicant meets the person specification. This written statement must be emailed to the recruitment team at

The email must sent be sent by a senior manager in the department and include the name of the applicant and details of the post. The NSHCS will then issue the in-service application code. The employer must also ensure that the nominated applicant supplies copies of documents to demonstrate their eligibility. This includes qualifications and where required UK ENIC and English Language proficiency.


What happens next?

Applicants will be accepted on the programme provided:

  • they have satisfactorily completed all sections of the application
  • it is accepted minimum academic requirements are met
  • the employer confirms to us a) competition of the selection process and b) they consider the applicant to meet the person specification