Chief registrar: 2019–20 recruitment guidance

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This page provides recruitment information for NHS organisations interested in recruiting chief registrars. 

Details about recruitment for the 2020-21 cohort will be updated soon. 

What is a chief registrar?

Chief registrars are senior trainees (ST4 and above) with protected time for leadership and management. Supported by a bespoke development programme from the RCP, chief registrars work on service improvement, engagement and morale, education and training, workforce and sustainability, and deliver better outcomes for patients, teams and services. 

Key criteria for recruitment

  • Open to all physician and non-physician specialties.
  • Trainees must be minimum ST4 level.
  • Trainees must have a national training number.
  • Posts must be for a minimum of 12 months.
  • Trainees must have 40-50% time protected for chief registrar activities.
  • Role may be done in programme or out of programme (training or experience). 

Recruitment process

Recruitment of chief registrars is coordinated and undertaken locally by employing organisations, but should follow the steps below and meet the RCP's proposed timeline.

Expressing an interest

Before commencing recruitment, NHS organisations should express their interest in chief registrar recruitment to the RCP in order to reserve a provisional place(s) on the RCP development programme. If we do not receive an expression of interest, we will not be able to reserve a place on the development programme for a chief registrar from your organisation. 

In 2019–20 the RCP is expanding the chief registrar scheme to all physician and non-physician specialties in response to local demand. We encourage you to take an organisation-wide overview of which departments your chief registrar(s) will be located in. 

To express an interest in chief registrar recruitment, please download the expression of interest form and return it to

Confirm funding arrangements

Costs associated with recruiting a chief registrar will vary according to whether the role is undertaken in or out of programme. For the 2019–20 cohort, there will also be a charge for each place on the RCP development programme which should be taken into account. The cost per place is £3,750 (VAT Exempt).

Expressions of interest can be submitted before funding arrangements are confirmed, but recruiting organisations must confirm they are definitely proceeding with recruitment (or not) by January 2020. This is so any unrequired places can be allocated to other interested organistions. 

Start recruitment

Once recruiting organisations have expressed an interest to the RCP and confirmed funding arrangements, the recruiting organisation can start local recruitment. The RCP provides sample chief registrar recruitment documents (see downloads below) such as a sample job description, which can be tailored to meet local requirements. Should an organisation wish to make significant changes to the sample job description, they should discuss this with the RCP. 

Local recruitment processes should be open and competitive. 

Confirm appointment details with the RCP

Once a chief registrar has been appointed, the RCP should be informed of the details of the appointment. To confirm chief registrar appointment, please download and complete the appointment details form and return it to