Guidance for applicants and employers on the in-service internal selection process and interview

Information for in-service applicants and employers to be aware of, about the selection and interview process to the Scientist Training Programme.


The selection process

In-service applicants do not go through longlisting or shortlisting because they are already substantive NHS employees, and have therefore gone through a recruitment and selection processes for their current posts.

In 2021, during STP recruitment the School will not be interviewing in-service applicants. All applicants who meet the requirements and are sponsored by their department will be accepted onto the programme.  Therefore, the employer will need to confirm to the School that they have carried out appropriate local recruitment and selection against the person specification.

Employers must email the recruitment team at, confirming that they have conducted a local interview and that, in their professional view, the applicant meets the person specification. The email must include the name of the applicant together with details of the post, and must be sent by a senior manager in the department. The School will then issue the in-service application code.


Considerations for the employer

The following points should be used as a checklist for employers and commissioners prior to agreeing in-service training places.

The employer must confirm:

  1. Continued employment of the applicant during the training (still subject to NHS terms and conditions). If the trainee was previously employed at a level higher than the AfC Band 6 required by the nationally recognised job description, the local employer is responsible for considering any issues of pay protection for the duration of the training.
  2. Awareness of the programme requirements and management of any HR, rota or staffing issues caused by the applicant’s attendance at university and/or their participation in any required rotations.
  3. That the applicant’s assessor/supervisor/s attend an approved train the trainer programme and that they have the capacity and time to undertake the role. The department has the facilities needed to deliver all the required learning outcomes, either from their own resources, or in partnership with others.
  4. Release of the in-service trainee from clinical service for study and training as appropriate, in order to provide equity with the training experience of the direct entry trainees.
  5. That internal processes for providing access to training and development opportunities are fair and equitable in accordance with local HR policies.
  6. That the training forms part of their overall commissioning and workforce plans, and that the applicant is an existing member of the workforce and not employed solely to undertake the training.
  7. That if unsuccessful in the admissions process, the applicant will remain in their substantive post, or employed according to the terms of agreement made with their employer for this eventuality. If as a trainee, they fail to progress successfully and have to leave the training programme early, they will return to their substantive post, or employment according to the terms of the agreement made with their employer in accepting the training place.

The employer should establish an agreement with the applicant on these points before the applicant is put forward for the training programme.


Considerations for the applicant

The applicant must:

  1. Be aware of any potential additional cost to themselves associated with undertaking the programme, for example travel and subsistence if on placement away from their normal work location.
  2. Be aware of the application and admissions criteria and processes with which they will need to comply, and that their training place is dependent on these criteria being met.
  3. Be aware of the probable provider of the academic programme and have obtained confirmation from the provider that their qualifications meet the admissions criteria of the provider.  If the university does not accept that the applicant’s qualifications meet the entry requirements, the application cannot proceed.