The process to apply for jobs in the NHS as an international medical graduate may seem like a big ask, but once you understand what needs to be provided and how you should structure your job application, it becomes considerably easier. This article will help you figure out how to do just that.

Where do I apply for jobs in the NHS?
Should I contact any recruiting agency?
What is the NHS?

National Health Services (NHS)

The UK healthcare system, National Health Service (NHS), came into existence in the aftermath of the Second World War and became operational on the 5th July 1948. Health care and health policy for England is the responsibility of the central government, whereas in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland it is the responsibility of the respective devolved governments. In each of the UK countries the NHS has its own distinct structure and organization, but overall, and not dissimilarly to other health systems, healthcare comprises of two broad sections;

  • one dealing with strategy, policy and management, and
  • the other with actual medical/clinical care which is in turn divided into-primary (community care, GPs, Dentists, Pharmacists, etc.),
    • secondary (hospital-based care accessed through GP referral) and
    • tertiary care (specialist hospitals).

Increasingly distinctions between the two broad sections are becoming less clear.

That means whether you work in Northern Ireland or Scotland, that doesn’t influence your chances of getting your later jobs or getting into training in the long run. It’s all NHS.

Apart from fully govt-backed NHS, there are also private sectors, private medical insurance providers, consultant agencies who provide healthcare faster, flexible according to patient’s choice (according to them), and obviously at a higher cost.

But, for a newly GMC registered doctor in the UK, the best place to start is working for the NHS. They are under-staffed and hiring a lot of doctors, and your future academic career and further training will all revolve around the NHS.

How to apply for a job in the NHS?

Applying for jobs in the NHS has a few simple steps:

  1. Make a good CV

    Everything being online, you may not have to send your CV to the employers, but if you take other means of a job application, like directly contacting the HR, contacting an agency, keeping a well-made CV ready helps you a lot. This CV can also help you by making your online job profiles. Please read through this post, creating your perfect CV, to spruce up your CV.

  2. Search on the NHS Jobs website

    Step-by-step guidance on how to look for jobs in the NHS jobs website along with how to put together your profile is outlined below. 

  3. Apply for as many jobs as you can

    Search using all the keywords possible and apply for jobs. Don't try and think that you will have to meet ALL the essential criteria set in the person specifications, Just apply for it. Only two things can happen, you get called for an interview or you don't. 

  4. Be patient

    Everything good comes in time. It can definitely be stressful with all the things that could be going on concurrently, but give it at least 2-3 months after closing dates to really understand your situation. I'm sure you'll be flooded with invitations in no time.

NHS Jobs website

All the jobs available in the NHS are advertised here, in the NHS Jobs website. Let me remind you, NHS is not GMC. These are completely different bodies managing and working for doctors and patients on different dimensions.

Are you GMC Registered?

To apply for a job in the NHS as a doctor you need GMC registration with a license to practice.  But all the applications have an option to choose “I’ve applied for registration” during the application i.e you can still apply for jobs even if you haven’t obtained your GMC registration, or even when you haven’t applied for that. Sounds untrue? It’s not. 

So when asked at the very beginning of a job application online, “Are you GMC registered?”, You can safely say yes, as later on, you can choose your status to “I’ve applied for registration.” But, it’s true that having full GMC registration increases your chances of getting a job interview call, so get your registration done as soon as you have passed PLAB 2.

How to setup an NHS Jobs profile?

Firstly you’ll have to make an account in the NHS Jobs website with your email. Then you go to “My profile” and start filling up your information. The information saved into your NHS jobs profile is used to populate the answers to most of the questions on a job application form when you choose to apply for a job. So making a good profile makes your life easy. Let’s start:

Personal Information

  • First thing, your personal information. You name your address, your contact information, etc.
  • Also in the personal information, your visa information is important to fill out, so that your employer knows whether they need to provide you with TIER 2 sponsorship. 
    • If you do not require a visa to be in the UK, simply state that in the details of any restrictions box. For example, you may write, ‘UK visa not needed as am a holder of a Canadian passport’.
    • If you are on a visit visa state that.
    • If no visa, then choose “Other” and say that you would require a Tier 2 sponsorship for entry clearance.


  • Fill up your educational qualifications and any training courses you’ve attended. Here’s where you’ll have that option to choose your status of GMC registration. If you choose I don’t have any registration they’ll have a valid reason to put your application on the bottom. For all intents and purposes, when your employer will process this application, which will be months from now, “GMC registration… applied for” will be true.

Employment History

  • Then comes your Employment history. I also added my internship here. You fill it up accordingly, don’t think that you’ll have to fill each and every box here. Just fill in where you know the answer.
  • Brief description of your duties and responsibilities is where you sell yourself. Go an extra mile describing all you did. You can take some tips from the “Medical Experience” heading from this post, creating the perfect CV.
  • Talk about your employment gaps in the end. You can mention the time where you were maybe preparing for an exam and were not employed for that duration or any other reasons for your employment gap.


  • Then comes the references. This is where you need prior preparation before setting up this profile. For any NHS jobs application, you will need information and contacts of THREE referees. It all says there whom you can put up as a referee. Remember, they will be communicated to put their references in the online system as a part of your pre-employment checks. So, remember to talk to them and make them aware of the situation and process.
  • “Can the referee be approached prior to the interview?” – is the question you need to communicate with your referees first.

Supporting Information

  • Then comes a tough part where you will basically have to face a mini written interview. Your skills and experience and supporting information which includes:  
    • Declaration of practical experience.
    • Teaching
    • Research
    • Publication
    • Presentation
    • Prizes or academic distinction
  • Your practical experience may include lumbar puncture, NG tube insertion, and feeding, catheterization, venipuncture, IV cannulation, etc. A log book/portfolio evidence may be necessary (I was never asked to show that during any of my interview) but I would advise getting a LOR mentioning your practical skills at least to be on the safe side if you don’t have any log book or portfolio.
  • Don’t freak out thinking you don’t have any of teaching, research, publication and that’s why you won’t get a job. It’s not like that at all. You don’t have any, you answer no to them.
  • Also then you will have to write something about your-
    • Management and leadership experience
    • Team working
    • Supporting information

Here’s tip for writing any experience with an example. Follow the skeleton:

The situation– what happened,
The task that needed to be done – the challenge,
What you did– your action that proves the point,
The response– the outcome of your action.

  • You can write one or two sentences in each section and elaborate on one or two examples in total.

Take some tips about these questions from this post, creating the perfect CV.

  • Additional Personal Information: There are some questions as below which doesn’t apply to IMGs who is applying for their very first job in the NHS. These can be answered with N/A.
    • Please state who is your current responsible officer
    • Please state the date of your last re-validation
    • Please state the date of your last appraisal
  • Some of these questions are also to be answered with a No if it doesn’t apply to you.
    • Are you currently on the General Medical Council’s Specialist Register, or due to obtain a relevant CCT/CESR(CP) within 6 months of interview
    • Are you currently on the General Medical Council’s GP Register, or a GP Registrar within 3 months of anticipated CCT/CEGPR (or equivalent) at the time of interview?
    • Are you included on this employer’s Regional Performers List, or do you have an expectation for inclusion within 3 months of the date of interview?
    • Do you have current Section 12 (Mental Health Act England and Wales) Approval for working in this NHS region?
    • Are you currently registered in this employer’s region as a ‘Responsible Clinician’?
  • Have your Foundation Programme 1 competencies been formally signed off?
    • If you have completed your internship, you can say yes. Equivalent internship has been completed and accepted by GMC.
  • Have your Foundation Programme 2 competencies been formally signed off?
    • If you haven’t got the CREST form signed off by your home consultant, then say no.

Monitoring Information

  • Monitoring information and more about your personal life, e.g. DOB, ethnicity, and religion, etc are not mandatory, but you can fill it out if you wish.


It’s done, finally.

This saved profile will fill up the answers to the questions in your actual application. Be aware that some application may have more questions you will have to answer, so read through all of the questions each time you apply.

How to find the right job advertisement?

You can search for jobs with any search string, title-wise, location wise or salary wise even. But remember to order the list as ‘recent’ first so that you know which adverts at the top are not going to close soon.

And in your chosen listing, you should look for 4 things:

  1. What specifically they are looking for.
  2. Closing date for the application
  3. Job description and Person Specification
  4. Salary

If all 4 look satisfactory, you can apply for the job. If you aren’t ready to just yet, you can always “Add to favorites” and it will be there in your favorites.

What level post should I apply for?

Depending on your experience and general comfort level in the department you’re applying to, it can vary. There are 3 levels of doctors in the NHS:

  • Junior grade
  • Middle grade
  • Consultant/Senior grade

Keeping this in mind, it’s always better to start as a junior grade if you don’t have any prior NHS experience, even if you’re experienced back home or have completed a post graduate qualification. That doesn’t mean you have to start at a junior grade, but the reason for this suggestion is so that you can get an idea of the work environment and healthcare system in the UK before being burdened with more responsibilities. You can always apply for a middle grade post after working as a junior grade for a few months.

The job advert titles for JUNIOR GRADE doctors are as follows. You should try any of the followings in the job search terms.

  • Foundation year 1 (FY1)
  • Foundation year 2 (FY2)
  • CT LAS (CT 1/2)
  • ST LAS (ST 1/2)
  • Senior House Officer (SHO)
  • Junior Clinical Fellow
  • Clinical Fellow (CT/ST-1/2)
  • Trust Doctors (FY2, CT/ST-1/2)

Do not worry about person specification so rigidly whether they ask for NHS experience. You can easily get a job at CT/ST 1-2 level even with just internship experience. Please refer to the following photo which clearly shows at what non-training level you can easily be employed.

Curious to know what you should ideally be paid? Check out A Doctor’s Pay in the UK to find out!

To conclude, your journey starts now on the road to becoming a doctor in the UK. Still confused or have some concerns? Check out our video for some more tips and advice!

An step-by-step course for FREE

Please tap this photo to take this FREE course!

Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Need further explanation?

Tap the photo to book a one-to-one guidance session with Ibreez and Ibrahim!

231 thoughts on “How to Apply for Jobs in the NHS”

  1. Hello, thank you for all the effort and information you’ve put into your blog. It’s been really helpful. I have a question about the kinds of jobs to apply for as a first job. I’ve heard/read that locum as a first job is less advisable because there is less support and one should only do locum once with more experience and confidence in NHS. Is LAS considered locum? because when I look for FY2 or trust grade jobs LAS pops up a lot and L stands for locum. Do you recommend that we filter the jobs and choose to apply for fixed term ones instead of part time or flexible time? And what does Bank mean, it is one of the job type hours that I see. Also if fixed term, do you recommend the ones that at least 12 months? or even 4 months or 8 months of fixed term job is suitable for a first job? I hope you can enlighten me more on selecting jobs to apply to. Thank you

  2. Nnanyelugo Anekwe

    Is it mandatory we have three referees? I have used just one starting out recently and see no where on the site I have to use three.
    Please explain further.

    1. When you actually apply for a job, sometimes some advertisements make it mandatory to insert details of three referees. You have to cover the last three years of your clinical work in your references.

  3. Hello,
    thank you for your assistance and hard work on these articles. As a fresh medical graduate, I’ll start my 12-month internship at my home country in few days and will be planning to do my IELTS and PLAB1 before 2022, the only problem is that i’m not sure i can have my PLAB2 early as in April 2022 because this will cause a gap in my internship, at the same time i had this plan to apply to FY2 post which starts by August according to an article i read.. So the whole plan seems impossible to me this way.
    My internship will end by the end of June 2022, which means i won’t be able to travel and do PLAB2 until august at least. What jobs can i apply to in this case as a junior doctor (before or after my GMC registration) so that i won’t be waiting for another whole year to be able to apply for an FY2 post?
    Thank you for you time!

  4. Hello, can you please explain the procedure to apply for an MD via the plab route immediately after MBBS from India along with the approximate time taken. Thank you

  5. hi , i have a few queries please:

    1. In visa details, where i have mentioned visitor visa, which one is the visa number on the stamp ? is it the red number in top right corner or the vaf number ?
    2. If i have done only internship and not been employed , with a gap post internship of 1 and half years, whom can i get reference from ? and is there a period of validity for reference letter ?
    3. Since i have done only internship, i can mention only that in employment history. would that be ok ?
    4. in professional body membership, can i mention medical council of my country that i am registered with ?
    5. is there any format for the reference letter ? what all should be mentioned in the reference letter given by the employer ?

    1. 1. Visa number would be the number on the right top corner of the sticker on your passport.
      2. You don’t need any reference ‘letters’. All references are done via online forms. You can provide character referee details for that period who can vouch for you.
      3. Sure, no problem with that.
      4. If there is an option to mention non-UK registration bodies, you should.
      5. There is no need for reference letters.

      The whole process is explained in details in this free course that you can watch: Applying for NHS jobs: A step-by-step guide

  6. hi. I have few queries.
    A ) in the referee section, they mention that referees must cover a period of 3 continuous years of employment or study, which is not the case for me. How should I tackle it?
    b) Also if my referee refuses to be contacted before the interview, will it affect my CV?

    c) is it ok two add two clinical referees and one character referee?

  7. Hi, I am a Nepalese citizen trying to apply for a job in NHS, but was stuck at the very first page where its asks for my visa status. what is the intent of that question as i have a valid passport but not applied for any visa yet. do i have to apply for visa before i even apply for the NHS jobs?

      1. I get that i don’t need a Visa but there is no option in the Trac site to choose “Other” and explain in the details box that i will need visa for entry clearance as you described. that option is available only on the NHS jobs site and they are closing the site and merging it into the tracs site.

        1. In both healthjobs uk and NHS jobs (new site) there is a pre-application question when you apply for a job which asks for your visa status. Choose the appropriate option there.

        2. the tracs site does not have “Other” option as described above in your tutorial. only NHS jobs site has it hence the difficulty..

        3. Thanks for the reply. I dont know it was for the post i tried to apply or system upgrade but the option of “No current visa or right to work…..before applying for entrance clearance” was not available and it is now available on the list for the job i am tying to apply on now.. i had saved the screen shot when the option was not available.. Thanks ..

    1. Have not participated in any formal FY2 level training. (*But have equivalent work experience* If applicable)

  8. Hello,
    After completing my Plab2, as a new starter at NHS, should I be also considering the Jobs in the categories i.e. “Fixed Term” e.g. 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year?
    Not sure what do they mean by Fixed Term? Can’t I leave before that period i.e. if I want to enter into a training program etc.
    Thanks and Regards

    1. “Fixed term” means it’s NOT a permanent post i.e. your contract with that hospital is for that fixed term. And, in that contract there would be stipulations on how much of a notice you have to give before you can leave that job. So, yes, you can leave your job even after 2-3 months even though you signed a one year contract.

  9. Hi Dr Ibrahim
    I have been watching your blogs for a long time and it’s useful for me. I being confused whether we should have to take standard visitors Visa twice for plab 2 and also for interview because it states the duration only for 30-45 which would not be sufficient for both plab 2 and interview. Please clarify me the duration.

  10. Hello there and Happy New Year! First of all, thank you for this blog and the dedication you put into it and into helping others, it’s been my absolute guiding light throughout this process and I count on consulting it many more times in the coming months! At the moment I have two main questions and I’d love your help with it:
    1) I plan on taking PLAB 1 in November – comparing to previous years – do you think I’ll still find seats for it around August? (I graduate in August)
    2) When I start looking for a job in the NHS, can I apply for them while still living and working in my home country, or is it advisable that I go to UK first?

    Thank you!

  11. Good day doctors! I am a newly licensed physician and wishes to practice in Australia. I have done 1 year post graduate internship and passed the national examinations for doctors in my home country. Presently, I am doing locum jobs for doctors.
    I plan to take the competent authority pathway by taking PLAB and completing a 12 months supervised training in UK. What job position shall I apply for in the future?

    Thank you so much for this informative post of yours! God bless you more for helping fellow IMGs! 🙂

      1. Good day Doc! Thank you very much for your response. I’ve read that for IMGs, it is best to start applying for nontraining jobs, in my case at FY2 level. Is it alright to start as an FY2 nontraining for a few months to know the system then apply for FY2 Standalone post?

  12. My fiance and I are planning for our plab 2. I would like to know is there chances that we both get job at the same hospital.

  13. My fiance and I are planning for our plab 2. I would like to know is there chances that we both get job at the same hospital

  14. 1. Am I supposed to mention OET/IELTS anywhere in the qualifications on NHS profile? (Since I don’t have GMC reg yet and am applying for MTI sponsorship post)
    2. Almost all the posts demand GMC in their essential criteria(sometimes the application doesn’t even process if I select ‘I don’t have GMC registration’. Does that mean I am not eligible to apply at all?

  15. Nure Jannat Jenny

    GMC has approved my documents.only identity check left..while creating nhs profile what should i select? registration …..applied for?or I have current registration…for rhis post..?

  16. Nure Jannat Jenny

    Hi,can i give someone as a referee who was once my colleague but now working as a registrar/assistant professor in another hospital..?

    1. So when you worked with them, they were your colleagues. You did not work under them, so they can’t be your references.

  17. Does NHS give jobs on their own priority? or they allow clients to select the desired city to work?? because I want to settle down in London. Please help me.

    1. Jobs from different hospitals are advertised. Apply in the jobs which are in London and see if you can get in. This is the choice you have, which jobs you want to apply for.

  18. Hi,thanks for your blogs,they have been super helpful! I graduated in 2018 and haven’t worked anywhere from then,who can i put as a reference,is it mandatory that it must be a consultant who I’ve worked under or can a consultant who knows me be my reference?

    1. It can be a personal or character reference for any consultant that you have known during your medical school as well.

  19. Hi, do I have to mention the referees on my CV even though I have never worked in UK ? I have completed my intership in my home country and worked there for a short while.

  20. Question about Supporting Information.
    I’m finding it very hard to keep this section formal, meaning I use a lot of “I’, “I am”, “I did”, etc. I suppose that’s OK given we’re supposed to summarise our experience and how we satisfy the person description? I’m currently ending up at around 700-800 words every time depending on the job, I hope that doesn’t bore the shortlisting panel.
    Any opinions on this? I’ve contemplated bullet point style, but I think summary style suited me better for supporting info.

    1. My supporting information was not even 5-6 lines. I just added my computer know-how, my language proficiency then a bit of what do I do out of work and this will be first opportunity to work in the NHS and how I am looking forward to it and that’s it. Supporting information is NOT a summary of your application.
      It clearly says – “Please include your reasons for applying and take the opportunity to highlight your particular talents and strengths, (what you feel you can personally offer – what is unique to you – what sets you apart from your peers). Please DO NOT include personal details or duplicate information already provided elsewhere in your application.”
      So if you have mentioned your work experience in previous sections there is no need to mention it here again as a summary. Go by the person specifications of the job and see what you have not already mentioned elsewhere in the application and mention it here.
      You can take our free course on this topic to see more discussion and my profile there.

  21. This post is a life saver I am only confused about the references can it be from a PGR as I have only done house job or it has to be a professor?

  22. Ah, how I wish to have seen this site much earlier! Amazing work, you folks.
    Anyways, what I have right now is registration with no licence because GMC was pestering me to get a designated body or to give up the licence, thus I gave up the licence since couldnt secure any job and its been beyond 6months now.
    Now the question is, should I reapply for licence or just continue to apply for jobs?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Not necessarily. Your referee could be an HR department representative, supervising consultant or someone in a position of responsibility.

  23. I have selected for MTI post in anaesthesia in may 2020… I recently switched jobs from March … The trust is asking for reference to cover my period from March till now…becoz of the covid situation I haven’t worked much in my dept… It is very difficult to cover that period of reference.. can you please guide how to handle this is situation…I have referees covering till Feb 2020.

    1. If you have not worked, there is no reference needed for that time. Can anybody from the hospital state that you were off duty for COVID?

  24. Hi. After MBBS and 1-year internship in India, I completed 3 years MD Pathology and 1 year post-MD as a pathologist in India. After PLAB and GMC registration, I want to switch my stream to a clinical speciality, preferably ophthalmology in UK. What are the prospects for me to get initial non-training job in NHS in a clinical specialty? Will my 4-year experience in a non-clinical (pathology) specialty affect my application for clinical roles as junior doctor?

    1. It’s difficult to say as non-training jobs doesn’t follow a nationwide standard. The employment is dependent on the specific NHS trust that you applied for. As you were actively working medical related job, I personally don’t think it will hinder your chances.

  25. if i want to start in nhs as fy2 or fy3 or ct1 or st1 as my first job, then can you compare the responsibility level of a Resident Medical Officer??

      1. i saw these posts of Resident medical officer on nhs jobs and i was not able to get if i will be suitable for these or not considering i am looking for a junior grade job like sho or fy2, from the job descrip tion i have come to conclusion that may be these ‘resident’ they need on-site at all times

        1. I don’t know of any NHS hospital who employs “RMO”. Maybe those are private hospitals. Can you provide us a link to one of the adverts?

        2. there were 1 such job adverts with their closing day a few days ago, i dont know much details and they are not available on nhs site anymoore

        3. Ah. If you find any advert like that, please let us know. We can have a look.

        4. i will for sure do that! thank you so much for taking out your precious time and replying

  26. hello
    I have been applying for jobs at nhs website and i realized that for the last 10-15 applications, i have had an editing mistake in the current employment ‘brief description’ section of my profile. basically i had copy pasted the things multiple times in the box without realizing. and i kept on using my profile for all applications ending up with all of them having the same mistake!! :/
    now i have sent a message to each employer by going to ‘My Applications’ , i have explained my error , apologized for confusion and asked if they need any more clarification. is this ok ? should i email the recruitment officers of these employers as well??

      1. ok thanks a lot 🙂 yes i am really glad that i did catch my mistake and tried to rectify.
        really appreciate your reply, God bless you for helping ameen

  27. Mohd. Mosharraf Hossain Khandaker

    Hi, can you clarify this point a bit more? I have completed my internship in Bangladesh and applying for my first job in the UK. Should I say ‘yes’ to this question? What does it actually mean by “formally singed off?”
    “Have your Foundation Programme 1 competencies been formally signed off?”
    Thanks in advance.

      1. thank you so much, i wanted to ask another thing , i want to go into GP training in the future so it ok if i take my first job in nhs in General surgery or obs and gynae or ent or teaching ??
        will i be able to get my foundation competencies signed if i take a teaching post??

        1. It all depends on the consultant you will be working under. Talk to your Post graduate medical education (PGME) centre and see how they can support you towards your CREST signing. Usually it’s easy for you if you have on-calls or have some exposure to acute medical in-patient stuffs.

        2. thank you so much, another question please”
          i want to go into GP training in the future so it ok if i take my first job in nhs in General surgery or obs and gynae or ent or T&O or ED or teaching ??

  28. piyushdefine_sucess

    Hey guys,
    Wonderful blog you have here.
    So, I have Full GMC Registration and applying for FY2 level jobs since a couple of months.
    I want ask, What would be better to do, in order to improve my CV for job acquisition,
    1) Do a clinical attachment ( Will require Visa for that)?
    2) Acquire MRCP part 1 exam?
    Please help me with this,
    Thank You

  29. Mohd. Mosharraf Hossain Khandaker

    Hi, thanks for the useful information. Is it OK to search job through NHS job site and recruiting agency at the same time? Or should use only one pathway for job search?

    1. Agencies ultimately go to the trusts. So if you have already applied via NHS jobs and say one trust has your application/CV, agencies can’t do anything then. So I think contacting with agencies may come as a last resort.

  30. Ahmad Walid Mohammad

    Hi, How should I fill up my employment history tab in case I have always been working as an assistant for a consultant in private practice?

      1. Ahmad Walid Mohammad

        I am an orthopaedic surgeon, I mainly attend with him outpatient clinics and assist him in the surgeries we do.

        1. Ahmad Walid Mohammad

          Regarding searching for jobs, I have watched your video, but it included only searching by levels(CT/LAS..) but that includes many specialities. How may I search from a speciality perspective?

        2. Are you employed by an organisation or an individual? If an individual, do you have any contractor? do you get paid in cash? Talk to the consultant and ask how he will feel comfortable to be put as as he will be the reference.

        3. Ahmad Walid Mohammad

          I am employed directly by him and get paid in cash, he won’t have a problem being a referee, but my question is: 1) What should I write as my job title?
          2) How should I get other referees?

        4. As I said, consult with him what should be your job title be officially. Because you don’t want to write anything that he is not comfortable to sign off. You should get other referees as character certification, who can be any other consultant that you know (not always you have to work under them).

        5. Ahmad Walid Mohammad

          Good to here that. May I know the nature of questions the referees are asked, in order to tell them if they ask?
          One last thing, As an orthopaedic surgeon, if I find a research post, does that mean it won’t include practical wor such as assisting in theatres for example?

        6. Ahmad Walid Mohammad

          Regarding my title, It’s basically assistant orthopaedic surgeon, but since that does not exist in the UK, You mean I should translate it to “ST2,3 equivalent” for example?

        7. They will be sent an online form to fill which may or may not contain question like their duration of observing you, any issues related to your character or professional behaviour. Basic stuff.
          Even research posts may included clinical work. It will be all explained in the job description.

  31. Vikrant Thakur

    Hi , thanks so much for detailed review.My query is that I have passed MRCS and three years of post-graduation (M.S) plus additional two years of registrar ship in surgery.Should I apply for ST1/2 jobs or ST3 level jobs?
    Thanks already

    1. It’s always better to start with an ST1/2 level job to start with and then assume a registrar post (ST3 or up) after you are accustomed to the Healthcare system. But having said that, it’s up-to your confidence level and expertise.

      1. Vikrant Thakur

        Thanks for the prompt reply.Does securing a St1/2 level job easier for an IMG in my position vis a vis ST3

        1. It’s not about being easy or difficult – even if it is easy for you to get an ST3 level job – will it be safe for you to take that responsibility without having any prior knowledge of the NHS healthcare system?

  32. Hi, Thank you so much for this amazing article. I had no idea how to apply for NHS jobs but this helped me a lot. I have a question and would be really grateful if you could help. I am fully registered with GMC with a license to practice in APS ( via Plab pathway) while filling form for job applications it asks about my registration status. What should I choose?
    1. Full registration with GMC with a license to practice
    2. Full registration with GMC and a license to practice with APS restriction
    ( I’m sorry if it’s a silly question Or answer seems quite obvious. Actually I’m applying for my 1st job so want to make sure I don’t make a mistake)

  33. gllauramottabellan

    What if my internship is the only working experience I have? Is it possible to find a job in the NHS not having worked before in my home country?

  34. Thanks for your quick responses, sir.
    When applying for a certain job I am taken to the oriel website, for FY2 program application and profile creation. Should I apply through it? Is this a relevant job after PLAB and GMC registration?
    Another thing is when applying for certain jobs, there are certain questions that are asked in the supporting information section such as: research work relevant to this post; current responsible officer; date of the last revalidation; date of your last appraisal; signing of FY2 competencies. What do i do with these questions? Am I even eligible for jobs that ask for these information?

  35. Hi..Many thanks for the info.Could you please elaborate a bit about the post of speciality doctor? Can we apply for it as our 1st job in NHS if we meet the criteria? Is it a registrar level post? And secondly if instead of fixed term, it is mentioned permanent appointment, then can we apply for that?

    1. You won’t get a permanent contract as your visa doesn’t allow for that. Yes, specialty doctor is at registrar level, and they have sometimes more responsibilities like running a clinic or teaching medical students – depending on your contract.

  36. First of all i’d like to thank you folks for putting in so much effort into this blog. This blog has been immensely helpful
    Coming to the point, I was creating my NHS jobs profile on their website when I came across this:
    “References must cover a 3 year period of continuous employment, training or education. Your referees will need to confirm this. They may need to comment on your skills, personal qualities and suitability for the post.”
    What does it mean? does it mean that i should have been in continuous practice for the past three years?
    Your input is very much appreciated.

    1. No. It means your last three years of your medical work should cover with your referees. Say from 2019 til date you were not employed but you are employed before that. So the referees should cover a period from 2016 till 2019.

      1. Thanks for the response. It also says that employment referees should provide an official email, but one of the hospitals where I worked was not that big, and so the consultants don’t have an official email id. Will that be an issue?

  37. Hi there,
    Thank you for all the wonderful guidance. I had a doubt regarding what exactly do we need to fill in under ‘training courses attended’. I was guessing it maybe certifications or workshops . But I am not sure of what to put in.
    Looking forward to your response.

    1. Training courses like BLS, and any equivalent certifications of ALS that you have done back in your country can be put there

  38. Sheikh Muhammad

    Hello! Are the interviews for non training jobs online via skype or we have to be there in person to meet the interview panel?

    1. It depends on the trust. Some trusts will arrange for a skype interview if you ask them, some won’t. So when you are invited for an interview, ask them.

  39. I have got gmc registration with license to practice. But while filling form when i menyion that, it asks for registration number! I just have my gmc reference number… how to deal with that?

  40. Good post. Makes it all nice and clear.
    Does anyone have any experience with Messly? I took the advice of the post and went to them after months of not hearing back.
    But then Messly also said sorry we can’t help you, not enough clinical experience. Tough to know where to go from there.

  41. Hi, in the nhs jobs profile, where do I enter details of the conferences, workshops, seminars that I have attended?

  42. Hello, for references do I need to just give the names of my consultants or their contact information too?

  43. i want to mention my surgery unit head name as reference where i have done six month training, in this case what will be the type of reference? education /academic or professional?

  44. Rhynal Rodrigues

    Hi thanks very much for the information. Just a quick question. I’ve completed internship which qualifies me for Fy2 position but I also see that you say you can apply for CT1 jobs. For CT1 jobs, they require not only FY competencies, but also that you have at least one year experience after full GMC registration. How can we then apply for CT1 jobs? thanks much

    1. Those specifications tend to be desirable, as you can explain in the interview that you intend on getting your FY2 competencies signed off during the CT1 job. I myself applied for and worked in a CT1 post with just my internship without a problem.

  45. Hello, Thank you for this informative blog. I have aquerry regarding first jon in the UK. I have completed my internship in 2017. Is it wise to choose jobs like LAS FY1 for 1 year?

    1. Hello, it’s our pleasure to help. If you’ve already completed internship, why would you want to start at FY1 again? Why not look for FY2 or CT1 posts?

  46. Hello. This blog is so helpful. I just wanted some help regarding the supporting information part, the one where you can write 1500 words to justify why you’re suitable for the post. What exactly am I supposed to right there? Personal attributes or previous experience, but the experience part has already been covered before.

  47. Rubina Baloch

    What are the requirements to apply for observership Or clinical attachment in nhs or UK hospitals?

    1. It will depend on which hospital’s which department are you doing the observation. I don’t think there are set general criteria for attachments

  48. Thanks for the good job.I have a dependant visa to the UK, can I apply for these non training jobs with this and start work?
    Or I’m only allowed to work as a locum doctor with this type of visa?
    Thank you.

  49. Mustafa Nissar Bankur

    Hi. Thank you very much for the information you have provided us. I have my plab 2 booked in 2nd july 2019. I would like to apply for a job as soon as i’ll be done with my exam. I would like to know if it’s still easy to get a non training job in uk as before or it’s becoming harder?

    1. Yes it is still easy to obtain a non training job. The UK is still in need of doctors but you must also submit an application that highlights all your accomplishments and provide a solid CV.

  50. Hi…Thank you so much for the post.It is extremely informative. I have a question regarding getting reference from seniors we worked under since I completed my internship in Jun 2016 from Bangladesh ;
    1. Can I get reference from the consultants I worked under during my internship period?
    2. Post internship I was shortly employed by a medical center involved in checking general medical fitness of civilians aspiring to work in the Middle-East. Can I/ Should I get a reference from this place too??
    Thank you.

      1. is it important for the refrences to be of consultants or can i registrar write one too? or a post graduate trainee of the department under whose supervision we have worked?

        1. Yes, your registrar can give you a reference too. But all your references can’t be registrars.

  51. Thanks for the helpful website. I have MRCS and 5 years of experience and locally recognized board. At which level of both training and non-training job I can apply?

    1. It is always better to start with SHO level jobs first and then take registrar level jobs once you understand how things work in the NHS.

  52. hassanalhag1412

    Do you have to get your foundation competencies signed by your home country consultant before you apply for your first uk non-training job ?

      1. He means for the first Non training job .. who will sign it in the uk if it is your first job ? .. or you can just get a job without it ?

        1. You don’t need it to get a non training job, and it can be signed under any consultant you’ve worked under for 3 months.

        2. You can get a job without foundation competences signed. Your supervising consultant at your first NHS job will be able to sign that of if the prerequisites mentioned in the certificate is filled.

    1. You can get a reference from a colleague, but you are asked to explain your relationship to the individual giving the reference, so they will know. It’s a good idea to give at least one reference from someone senior to you.

    1. You will have to provide references to get a job. It can be your consultant at work or even your medical college professors.


    Does everyone who gets GMC registered get a job eventually? I mean …do u go through the whole PLAB process and get the GMC registration just to end up not getting a job anywhere?
    PS: This blog is immensely helpful….Keep up the great work

  54. Iam a medical student in my last year.. Iam thinking about applying for ielts and plab 1 and then after graduation i’ll apply for plab2
    I just wanted to know what should I do to apply for foundation year 1 right after passing plab 2?

    1. How about the closing dates for the applications? I don’t think all of them can be closed yet. It may take 2-3 months after closing dates to get a call. You can always contact the person to contact in the advertisement to ask the status of your application.

  55. Thank you for your post! It’s very useful.
    I was wondering, do you recommend using an agency to apply? Also, if so, which ones.
    Thank you!

    1. As mentioned in the post above, it’s totally up to your choice and circumstances. But, my advice would be if you want to apply yourself then be at it, don’t try to take help from agencies then. As when you apply to a lot of trusts by yourself via NHS jobs, when you contact agencies they also go to those trusts and find out that they already have your CV, so they can’t negotiate.
      So keeping yourself in one boat would be the better option.
      You can fill this form to be contacted by our recommended recruiting agency:

  56. Hello! Thankyou Dr Ibrahim for your brilliant and self-less efforts, it surely has made my life easier on a number of occasions and i am sure a lot of other would say the same.
    Regarding the application form, I am currently applying for FY2 vacancies and I am confused about the employment history section as I completed my housejob/Internship in March 2018 and haven’t worked anywhere which can be counted as professional experience so should I mention my 1 year housejob/internship in the employment history segment? So far I have applied for 8-9 vacancies and I have left it blank with a brief statement at the end saying I started preparing for my Plab and Mrcp after my housejob and didn’t work.

    1. Hi Dr Razzaq,
      We are glad that our blog has helped you.
      About your question, yes definitely you should put your house job experience in your employment history and elaborate your experience as much as you can. If you sell that right, you can even get CT1/ST1 post which is responsibility wise almost equal to FY2 but more pay.

  57. Dear Docs,i propose we should lobby nhs, to sponsor this site. for this edneavor is , on a population level, supporting the nhs by bringing more docs.
    besrt regards, Tony

    1. We are glad you feel that way Dr Tony. But, unfortunately we fund the website ourselves to keep the information free and less cluttered with advertisements.

  58. valuable information!!!. thank you for your help but I have a question please, which area is the best (Bedford, Blackpool or Northen Ireland) regarding living, schools, and training?

    1. Glad to help. Regarding what areas are best, you would most probably be better off getting insight from people working in those areas. I’m sure the various forums on Facebook would help you find them. Good luck.

  59. Hello, ur posts r really helpful, thankyou
    What if I don’t have any references then what should i do in that case while making nhs profile??

    1. Hello, glad they are helpful. When setting up the profile, you may be able to get out of providing references, but without them, after you accept a job, it will be difficult for you to continue.

        1. They contact only through email and the references that has to be put is also an website form in most of the cases

  60. Thahaniyath siddiqua

    While I was applying for Junior doctor post (NHS jobs) I came across this question in application form
    Q.what is your understanding of data quality? can you please tell what it is
    Thank you.

  61. hi! i have read your blog which i found to be very helpful. i am confused regarding “supporting Information” section…u advised:
    “The situation- what happened,
    The task that needed to be done – the challenge,
    What you did- your action that proves the point,
    The response- the outcome of your action.”

    now i really don’t understand what does it mean and how should i compile things in this format? i ll appreciate your guidance. thanks!

    1. Hello, glad to hear that the blogs been of use to you. That section refers to when you are asked to explain certain situations relating to how you displayed leadership or team work. This format just structures an approach. Hope that clarified things for you.

  62. Can we do a job in Private sector after getting GMC registration??. ..any visa issues in this if we have the job offer??..does the company sponsor our visa??

    1. Yes you can. Private healthcare companies can sponsor you. But as a first job isn’t not recommended as possibly you will habe very little learning experience.

  63. Is it possible to defer appointment to a FY2 LAT post by 1 month or so?
    Say after completing an MSc (which ends in Sept) and joining an FY2 LAT (August start date) in Sept after the MSc?

  64. Sir, when we apply for a job offer on the NHS website. On which visa are we called in for a interview? And if we apply in multiple jobs and there interviews are on different dates, how can we manage to stay in London for that long without a job?
    Also please tell me what happens if none of the offer gives us a job? Do we come back to home country and apply again?

    1. You can attend interviews on the Standard Visitor visa. You will have to manage your finances accordingly in order to stay for a prolonged duration, or you can try to apply to as many jobs as possible that allow for Skype interviews.

  65. Hi Ibrahim.
    I wanted to ask you something. In the section related to supporting information, I have done most of the procedures, independently or under syupervision, but i have no documented evidence/log book to show as it was done in my own country. How to go about it then. Should I try to get some written evidence from the consultant I worked under, to write me something as evidence. Or should i just write no for them. I’m not sure, so please guide.
    Dr Sonya

    1. It is necessary to have a proof as they ‘might’ want to see it. But I think even if you don’t have a logbook, a recommendation letter would suffice too, stating what you’ve done.
      If you’ve truly done the procedures then why would you drop them from your experience?
      Good luck.

    1. Yes, GMC Registration applies for the United Kingdom. Constituents being England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. And NHS, the public health service has also divisions- NHS England, Scotland, Wales and Health and social care of Northern Ireland.
      Yes, NHS Scotland has a separate website and you can apply there as well with GMC Registration. Those applications mainly involve editing a preformed CV of the advertisers.

  66. Hii great information. I do have a query. If I have cleared FRCR clinical oncology and having post graduation specialist degree abroad, then also is it needed to clear PLAB to get GMC registration??
    Thanks in advance

    1. It all depends on what you career objective is- if you want to pursue a research-based academic career- Clinical fellow. If you want to work towards being a consultant in a specialty or sub specialty- LAS.
      In my opinion, LAS jobs is better for the fresh grads, if the contract is at least a year or so. By that the whole system of hospital and health care becomes clear.

        1. Each trust is different about this matter. You at least need to inform them two weeks prior to leave but before even accepting the job ensure with the HR what is their policy regarding this matter. That’s the safest option.

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