Applying for Internal Medical Training (IMT) is the common pathway for progressing into most medical specialties. This is mainly a 3 year programme (though 2 years in some cases) and has changed from the previous Core Medical Training (CMT) programme which was 2 years.

Applying for IMT

First, check the IMT recruitment page to make sure you meet entry requirements

Generally, if you have trained in the UK and completed the foundation programme then you will meet most of the requirements

The application programme takes place through Oriel which is the main NHS portal for recruitment. You just need to register with an email address.

The application

There are two main parts to the application which will determine whether you get a post. Initially you will have to provide personal and employment history as well as references.

Application Scoring

  • Postgraduate degrees (you cannot claim for membership exams eg MRCP)
  • Additional achievements (prizes and university honours or distinctions)
  • Presentations (at local, regional, national and international level. For both posters and oral presentations)
  • Publications (PubMed cited scores the most points but you can also score for healthcare related websites)
  • Teaching experience
  • Training in Teaching
  • QI projects
  • Leadership and management

You need to be able to give evidence for anything you score for so make sure to get certificates for any achievements

The Interview

As long as you meet the entry requirements you should be longlisted for interview.

The interview takes place with two assessors and last year applicants had the option of doing this virtually or in person.

You will be assessed on 6 categories with a maximum of 12 points per categories.

  1. Clinical scenario (investigations/diagnosis/management)
  2. Clinical scenario (patient handover)
  3. Ethical question
  4. Suitability and commitment
  5. Application and training
  6. Communication mark

Each category is scored out of 5, giving a maximum score of 60 points. This is a raw score with different weighting given to each category. Once this is applied, applicants get a score out of 80 points.

1poornot considered appointable
2area for concernperformed below the level expected during F2;
possibly unappointable, subject to discussion and performance in other areas
3satisfactoryperformed at the level expected during F2;
the candidate is suitable for appointment
4goodperformed at the level expected on completion of F2;
the candidate is suitable for appointment
5excellentperformed at the level expected at IMT or above;
the candidate is suitable for appointment

To be classed as ‘appointable’, you must meet all three criteria below:

  • none of your twelve interview scores can be 1/5
  • no more than two of your eight interview scores can be 2/5
  • your RIS must be 36 or above.

What is a good score?

In the 2021/22 cycle, 3939 applicants were considered. The mean score before weighting was (24.5/60)

What has changed?

As of 2023 the application scoring is changing for IMT. This is to bring scoring more in line with higher specialty training applications. The most drastic change was that undergraduate degrees no longer count towards point scoring. It was felt to be more fair as not all applicants have access to further degrees or intercalated degrees. This section has been removed “due to the inequity of access to these opportunities due to financial implications or disadvantaging those whose medical degree does not offer the opportunity for intercalated study.” At some universities only the top 10-25% are offered the chance to intercalate, so this does seem a fair change. Other students also may not have opted to intercalate due to financial constraints.

It is easier to achieve maximum points, for example:

  • Maximum point scores have been reduced from 56 to 40
  • 2 stage audit cycle will score maximum points (previously 3)

MRCP Part 1, Part 2 and PACES do not score points but are entered into the application

More information

See the NHS IMT Recruitment Page for more information

Undergraduate degrees will no longer count towards specialty training applications – BMJ 2022;378:o1762 https://www.bmj.com/content/378/bmj.o1762/rapid-responses

Author: Augustus Diaz

Last Updated: 11/08/22