Making your application as good as it can be

Selection and assessment processes in many occupations have become more sophisticated and competency-based over the last few years. Employers seek ever more discerning methods to differentiate between talented candidates, whilst recruitment practices have taken a more scientific approach to finding who will be the best fit in a role. 

These pages provide general information and advice on: 

  • proactive job search 
  • making job applications 
  • making a positive impact in interviews 
  • anticipating and preparing for the range of assessment methods used in selection stations. 
Make sure you also check out the website of the Health Board to which are applying, as they often have dedicated recruitment pages and a wealth of information about their services and population.

Information for overseas applicants

If you do not have GMC registration:

  • Information on registration with the General Medical Council on their website 
  • Information on visa / entry requirements for the UK are available from the Home Office  
  • You may also wish to consider the Medical Training Initiatives (MTI) being organised by the Medical Royal Colleges  

If you are GMC registered and seeking jobs: 

All posts are appointed to in open competition.This means that they are advertised and must be applied for by following the given instructions.Most posts are advertised via the NHS Jobs website  and some in British Medical Journal Careers.Types of post available for GMC registered doctors include: 

  • Locum posts, either advertised via agencies or the NHS jobs website. 
  • LAS (Locum Appointment for Service) posts, which are generally for a few months and are advertised through NHS Jobs. 
  • The NHS jobs site now has links to information specifically geared to help overseas doctors find employment in the UK and short-cuts to help you find posts which are particularly suitable or which fall under the Tier 2 Migrant Scheme:  
  • If you have provisional registration and have not worked as a doctor in the UK, you can apply to enter the two year UK Foundation programme in open competition, subject to eligibility. You would need to make an application to the UK Foundation programme Office to establish eligibility, normally during the summer preceding that year’s recruitment round. Details of the process for each year can be found on their website  
  • If you have full GMC registration you could apply to standalone Foundation posts, which are locum jobs for up to a year to cover an unplanned vacancy in a Foundation training programme.These posts may not in themselves be approved for training but can be a helpful introduction to the NHS at a basic (i.e. PRHO/early SHO) level. They comprise up to 3 x 4-month rotations in different specialties and access to assessment and evidence opportunities to help complete a portfolio of evidence for submission to the GMC for registration.They become available on an ad-hoc basis and are normally advertised on NHS Jobs 
  • Whilst Foundation posts are an attractive option, they may be harder to come by in the future.

Applying for specialty training posts

Many international graduates hope at some stage to apply to specialty training in the UK, subject to eligibility. 

You would also need to show evidence of Foundation Level Competencies. Whilst it is not essential to have completed the full Foundation Training Programme, it is essential that you can demonstrate that you have gained experience and evidence which are equivalent to those outlined in the Foundation Programme Curriculum. Go to the UK Foundation Programme website  

This gives information on: 

  • The Curriculum and required competencies 
  • The Foundation Portfolio (you could tailor your existing portfolio to match this) 
  • The types of assessment evidence that should be included 
If you have taken up a Foundation post which is not approved as a training post, you can still use the opportunity to build up a portfolio and complete some of the work-based assessments which the trainees are doing.

If you don’t already have a portfolio of career achievement, you should use a lever-arch file, with clear indexing, to collect and present all your certificates, achievements and evidence of work-based assessments.There are several useful articles about creating and presenting portfolios in BMJ careers online  

A local Foundation Programme Director or an Educational Supervisor would be able to guide you in building up your evidence and completing a form or verifying evidence to confirm that you have achieved the necessary competencies.You will need to include this as part of a specialty training application.There is no single standard form for this but there will be processes and procedures in place for different specialties.You should therefore check the applicant guidelines for the recruiting specialty to see what is required e.g. for Core Medical Training posts, there are Certificate A or B forms with full details on completion within the applicant guidelines.

Further Information

General resources: 

Guidance and advice - nursing

Get support when you relocate

If you want to come to Wales to work from a different country, our health boards and trusts can offer you a range of relocation packages to help you and your family settle in a smoothly as possible.

Help to return-to-practice

We welcome nurses and midwives who want to come back into the profession. A £1,000 bursary is available for nurses and specialist community public health nurses, and £1,500 for midwives who undertake a return to practice course in Wales.