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RCP apologises for ST3 recruitment error

RCP president Professor Jane Dacre and RCP registrar Dr Andrew Goddard have apologised to candidates for an error in the ST3 recruitment process.

We are aware of a significant problem in the distribution of offers for ST3 places which has occurred during the current recruitment round. This will require a re-running of the offers process and we do not underestimate the stress this will cause candidates.

We are extremely sorry for this but it is important we act on this immediately to resolve the issue and ensure fairness for all.

Professor Dacre and Dr Goddard wrote to all candidates acknowledging the error and outlining the steps the RCP is taking immediately to rectify the situation. The full letter is available to download, and replicated below.  

Background to problem

On Thursday 3 May 2018, the RCP became aware of an error in the ST3 medical specialty recruitment* process which has affected the final scores candidates received from the recruitment process. The error, which was a human error and not due to the IT systems used, meant that some candidates have been wrongly ranked. This means that candidates may have received incorrect job offers.

The error only applies to appointable candidates in ST3 recruitment. It does not affect CMT or academic clinical fellow applications. 

The RCP is extremely sorry for this situation and is taking full and immediate responsibility for addressing the issue to ensure the process is fair for all candidates. We have today written to all candidates to alert them to this problem and to reassure them that we are working to rectify the situation.

We are also working closely with other partners in the recruitment process, including Health Education England, Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Agency, NHS Education Scotland and the Wales Deanery.

What this means

Unfortunately, due to the complexity and interlinked nature of the offers process, it will be necessary to reset the status of all candidates who were deemed appointable at interview and reissue the scores and ranks to Oriel by Wednesday 9 May. Our staff will be working over the Bank Holiday to address the situation.

Following this candidates will be given time to review their programme preferences, with new job offers issued by Monday 14 May. 

Previous recruitment rounds have shown that most candidates are successful in gaining their first or second choice post. However, we are not underestimating the seriousness of the situation, and realise that this will be a worrying time for candidates. As we will not know what offers applicants will get until we run the offers process again, we will not be in a position to answer specific queries about individual applications at the present time.

However, we are compiling general FAQs which will be available on Tuesday and we can be contacted on st3recruitment@rcplondon.ac.uk if candidates have further questions at that point.

Once new offers have been made and accepted or rejected, it will then be clear how many candidates will have been affected by this problem. We will then be in a better position to address individual concerns. The offers process is expected to last no longer than two weeks. We will also be reviewing our processes to ensure that this does not happen again.

Yours sincerely

RCP president, Professor Jane Dacre

RCP registrar, Dr Andrew Goddard

* This RCP-coordinated process encompasses recruitment at ST3 level to the following specialties and regions:

England, Scotland and Wales:

Acute internal medicine, allergy, audiovestibular medicine, cardiology, clinical neurophysiology, clinical pharmacology and therapeutics, combined infection training, dermatology, endocrinology and diabetes mellitus, gastroenterology, genitourinary medicine, geriatric medicine, haematology, immunology, medical ophthalmology, neurology, rehabilitation medicine, renal medicine, respiratory medicine, rheumatology, sport and exercise medicine.

England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales:

Clinical genetics, medical oncology, palliative medicine.