Positions are now available for doctors to work and train in England. A new 12-month program, combining general practice and psychiatry, could help you develop the skills and competences to apply to the specialty training program upon completion. So what are you hoping to expect?

  • Live in vibrant cities or beautiful rural locations
  • Train in different settings including hospitals or the community
  • Starting salary of over £30,000

What is WAST?

The Widening Access to Specialty Training (WAST) scheme is a 12-month program based in England that will typically involve:

It’s ideal for doctors wanting to become a general practitioner or psychiatrist in England, as it’s an opportunity to work for a year in England while receiving regular teaching and clinical exposure that will help to improve the skills and competences required for admission to specialty training through the national selection processes. It is anticipated that doctors completing the scheme are able to better understand how to deliver good quality care in the NHS. Financial relocation support package available for suitably qualified applicants.

Am I eligible for this?

Applicants must:

  • have achieved a primary medical qualification recognized by the General Medical Council
  • be eligible for full registration with, and hold a current licence to practice from, the GMC at intended start date of post.
  • be eligible to work in the UK.
  • Have no more than 24 months’ postgraduate clinical experience in the UK at the time of application.
  • be of good standing and fit to practice medicine safely in accordance with GMC’s  Good Medical Practice domains
  • be familiar with requirements as set out in The Trainee Doctor including the relevant core skills.
  • Hold current valid driving licence or provides an undertaking to provide alternative means of transport to fulfil the requirements of the WAST scheme
  • Not have already successfully completed an F2 year and received a Foundation Programme Certificate of Completion (FPCC)
  • The applicant must not have previously attended the WAST interview more than twice

Finally, make certain that you fulfill the person specification criteria.

How do I apply?

Applicants will be invited into assessment center to be held in Manchester. And moreover, the application process has a deadline and pre-determined dates for appointments. Unlike other NHS jobs at the trust level, this process can not be entirely done from outside the UK.

The application form and instructions can be found here, applying for WAST.

  • Applicants must submit their CV & application form to wast.recruitment@hee.nhs.uk
  • Applicants will be required to participate in a multi-panel interview process, including role players. There will be an emphasis on patient safety.
  • Following the interview, applicants will be given the option to discuss their preferences regarding location, and any other general concerns/queries with an administrator.
  • Further information on what to expect on the day will be provided upon invitation to the assessment center.
  • Applicants will be offered their highest available location preference depending on availability.

If you still need further information or clarification, please go through the applicant’s guide, which covers everything from eligibility, finances, interview, and follow up.

Is it worth it?

If you are willing to dedicate one year of structured training from the beginning of your career in the UK, despite it potentially being in a rural area or on the outskirts of big cities, then definitely look into this. Also, if you have career aspirations to be either a GP or psychiatrist, you should definitely consider this as an option.

Otherwise, if you are more inclined to other specialties then:

As always, good luck!

51 thoughts on “Widening Access to Specialty Training (WAST)”

  1. Joana Magallanes

    I need the GMC full registration by the start date of the trainning or by the deadline of eligibility evidence? what is that deadline about?

  2. Raya Al-shwabkah

    hello , i have obtained my license in my country in jan 2019 but i started working in jan 2020 so would that be ok ?

  3. Hello, can you please let me know what do they need the driving license for? Is it valid if it is from my country of origin or do I have to get one in the UK? Thanks a lot!

    1. As WAST is structured around General Practice, there may be need for you to make home visits. So, as driving license is required to join GP training as it is required to join WAST as well.

  4. i have a couple of questions regarding the person specifications and i hope you could help 🙂
    first, it says that the applicant will have attained relevant additional postgraduate academic qualifications e.g. an additional degree (desirable) however i do not understand how, as this post is equivalent to fy2 level… so as a fresh graduate what kind of additional degree would i have attained?? if i attempted a part of a royal college exam, would that help me tick that box?
    second, it is mentioned that as an essential criteria that the applicant must hold current valid driving licence or provides an undertaking to provide alternative means of transport to fulfill the requirements of the WAST scheme. how would i have a valid driving license if im outside the uk??

    1. An additional degree like a PG cert/diploma/MD/MSc etc. It is desirable, not essential. Having parts of membership exams done will not tick the box. Whatever you have it has to be completed.
      I am sure they will make arrangements for that driver’s license issue for international doctors.

  5. Hello.
    Thanks for the information.
    Can one quit wast prematurely, if say, one gets into a residency, assuming one has already applied for residency before starting wast?
    Whats are the implications for this on visa sponsorship, seeing that WAST and England residency are both sponsored by Health Education England?

    1. Please read the terms and conditions carefully of your WAST contract and contact the training authority of the WAST explaining your situation. I don’t think there will be any problem but I am not sure what terms and conditions you had to agree to when you started your WAST post.


    If I have a 1 yr internship and 2 years postgraduate clinical experience outside UK , would I be disqualified for WAST?
    WAST states not more than 2 years postgraduate but it is not stated whether in UK or not.

    1. It clearly states in the WAST person speciafications, one of the desirable criteria is “Have no more than 24 months’ postgraduate clinical experience including both UK and overseas’ experience at the time of application.”

  7. I’m currently debating between GP and medicine…if I were to join the Feb 2020 round, I would finish in Feb 2021 and the start date for IMT is in August 2021 which would leave me with a gap of 6 months. My question is visa related, if I were to get a job for 6months v/s if I weren’t able to for 6months, would my tier 2 visa/CoS change or would I be able to be on the same visa for an additional 6months, post F2 training completion?
    And does Tier 2 cooling off period apply here?
    Thank you.

    1. Tier 2 cooling only applies if your tier 2 expires and you had to leave the country. If you get a new trust grade job before Feb 2021 ending and apply for visa staying within the UK, and then again apply for training visa before getting into training, there is no problem.

  8. Mehak Malhotra

    In the WAST application form, if I have included my internship in the employment history (during which i worked in 10 different specialities), what should i fill in the category of ‘speciality/subspeciality’? and what is the post type?

    1. Try to state all of them delimited by a comma? or put separate entries for different specialties.
      What are the options they have? If they don’t have any then you can state whether it was full-time or part-time

  9. Mehak Malhotra

    Can I apply to WAST if I have only internship under my belt? And can I include my internship in the section on employment? And under which category does it come?

  10. Is WAST good option for me if i have just cleared plab-2,have a few months of basic experience in Psychiatry and plan to take Psych up in the future?How does the psych training work in wast?Any details would be highly appreciated.

  11. How will WAST help me in getting into CST ? As mentioned in your other post…
    It will help get me deanery-sponsored Tier 2 visa ?

    1. Ibrahim Ivan

      Yes. As WAST is a training program, getting in here will get you a deanery-sponsored Tier 2 visa.

  12. I was wondering if you have any idea with regards to the process of interview? How does it differ from the FY2 post? Thank you so much!

    1. It shouldn’t be much different. You can always ask in the relevant Facebook groups to share their experiences.

  13. In wast, i have heard that they open recruitment for other specialities like internal medicine also in different session. Is that true?

      1. I mean, is wast only open for gp and psychiatry or also for other speciality?
        And what kind of visa can one acquire from wast scheme

  14. Hi, thanks for the information I noted that this program finishes in one year so If I did not get selected into any training speciality (other than GP) near the end of my WAST year what would happen?

  15. 1. if I apply for WAST can I provide evidence of passing PLAB 2 after May 1st(but before August) so I can apply for the August date?
    2.after completing 12 months in the WAST program can I apply for IMT or is WAST only for those interested in GP and psych training?
    3. if one applies for WAST and does not get through, does that mean they cannot apply for a SHO job ?
    or if one gets through WAST but is assigned a later start date , would they not be able to apply for an SHO job(of an earlier date )?

    1. 1. You don’t need to provide evidence of passing PLAB 2, you need to hold FULL GMC registration with a license to practice by the start date of the training.
      2. You can apply for any job/training you are eligible for.
      3. If you choose to take a non training SHO job of your desired speciality over WAST, no one can stop you. But remember to follow terms and conditions if you accept an offer and a few days later you just don’t want it.

        1. Pay is better. Training is structured. Standard of living is comfortable. Quality of life is superior. Hours are fixed. Support is always there. Education is streamlined.

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