What to do after MRCP? ST3 and Specialty training Pathway

what to do after MRCP

Ever wondered what to do after MRCP? or what opportunities it grants you? what’s the use of this exam? this article will provide you all the options you can take after your MRCP exams and explains them all in detail. Note that there are a few links at the end that will help you with everything you need to know about the words or abbreviations used in this article

Overview of MRCP

MRCP is a membership with the Royal College of Physicians in the UK and Ireland. It only allows you to gain specialty training in the UK and after that pursuing a career. You can take your MRCP exams only after your bachelor’s degree. Know more about MRCP by clicking the link at the end of this article.

After MRCP you have to follow the following path.

SHO (Senior House Officer)

You can work as a senior house officer in the UK after completing your MRCP diploma. You work under supervision and learn the basic methods and approaches that will help you in your career. It is the same as a house job after MBBS (or any bachelors degree) in another country. It is a two-year program.

  • 1st year, you are known as the Foundation officer 1 (Pre-registration house officer)
  • 2nd year, you are known as the Foundation officer 2 (Senior house officer)
  • House officers usually get paid around 26,614 Euros per year and this increases by around 2-3 thousand Euros in the 2nd Foundation year.

CMT (Core medical training)

You can apply for a Core medicine training program. there are around 1500 jobs offered yearly for core medical training and around 3000 people apply for it yearly. This too helps you in your medical practical skills. It is used for higher training in medical specialties. These doctors are commonly called specialty registrars. It is a two-year program

  • CMT doctor in the first year is called CT-1
  • CMT doctor in the second year is called CT-2

You are placed in different specialty rotations. Each specialty taking usually 4-6 months of your time. At three points in your time, your progress is assessed through an assessment named Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP).

You can enter a specialty after your Core medical training only after you pass your MRCP exams.

ST3 (Specialty Training)

after your CMT or SHO, You can apply for a specialty training program (Only after also passing MRCP exams) in the UK. This program basically is your final step towards achieving the Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) which entitles you as a specialist and allows you to practice as a consultant surgeon. ST3 is usually a 4-6 years training in the particular specialty that you choose for yourself.

what to do after MRCP

You can apply for this through vacant positions in the newspapers or online for your specialty. You can apply for the vacancy after or during your 2nd CMT year.

  • Pay scales for ST3 in different specialties differ in various hospitals but average around 35-39 thousand Euros per year.
  • NTN-Posts these are ST3 posts that take 4-6 years of specialty training like the ones described above and each trainee is assigned a National Training Number hence called NTN posts
  • LAT-Posts these are of short duration usually 6-12 months and are only available in Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland. These are just a bonus point for your CV into getting an NTN-Post.

ST3 Application Procedure


All specialty training positions require you to have CMT and MRCP diploma. there are some differences in some specialty position eligibility requirements which you can check here

Planning the Application

  • How to apply – applications should be made through the Oriel System.
  • To whom do I apply – specialties will use a national recruitment model (where candidates remain in contention for all posts nationally throughout the process)
  • Information and documentation required – the application form requires you to enter a substantial amount of information about your career, experience and achievements to date. Additionally, you will be required to prepare a large amount of documentation for the interview to demonstrate your eligibility and evidence your achievements. It is advisable to familiarise yourself with this so you can ensure you have everything you need.


The application is submitted online and requires you to provide all your current qualifications and documents. After submitting your application, it is analyzed, whether you are fit to be eligible or not and upon success, you will be sent an email about the acceptance of your application.

Application Scoring

Your application is scored and your application is checked upon the interview by the interviewers that whether you have claimed false or true achievements. You can be punished in several ways for false submission so do not falsely. Only submit completed achievements, you can not add or edit more achievements after you have submitted the application. You can only add them during the interview if you achieved more in between the application submission and interview date time.


Each interview is different according to the specialty chosen. The interview is a three station format. Every station will have 2 consultants at it who will test your skills and knowledge regarding the specialty. Only one station will check your application and documents where you can add your recent achievement which you did not submit in the original application. Your scores are marked upon your answers at different stations upon SIX different aspects regarding your specialty.

  • For each aspect, you will receive 2 marks, one from each interviewer. Total marks 12 for all six aspect
  • Each mark is scored between 1-5 and so the total marks for all six aspects are 60.
  • Your marks will have the highest weight on whether you get the post in the end or not.

There are 2 rounds of ST3 posts available each year, Round 1 is the one described above and contains posts for all specialties. Round 2 opens after some time and is for specialties and posts that were left unoccupied in round 1. The procedure for both is the same.

More information regarding Round 2 can be found here

Completion of ST3

After completion in the particular specialty you become a specified consultant. If you have completed your core medical training (CMT) and specialty training (ST3) in a GMC certified program then you get the Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT). on the other hand, if you have completed your (ST3) in the UK and usually your (CMT) training outside the UK, then you receive the Certificate of Entry to the Specialist Registry – combined programme (CESR-CP)

You are now a specified consultant and can apply for consultant positions or start your own hospital or clinic as a consultant in the UK. So to summarize the ladder step by step

what to do after MRCP

Besides all these, there is one final thing I would like to share.

SCE (Specialty certificate examination)

This is an examination that aspirants can take after their specialty training. This has a very high weight on your core CV for job applications and may just be the defining factor between you and your favourite ST3 specialty. All the info about SCE from what it is to how to apply is given below with others.

I hope this article helped you with what to do after MRCP? You can click the options below to know more about them in detail

leave your questions in the comments below. Thankyou



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here