Recruitment to surgical training in the Republic of Ireland

Recruitment to surgical training in the Republic of Ireland is a separate process managed by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). 

Recruitment to both core and specialty training is managed centrally under the remit of the Irish Postgraduate Surgical Training Committee (ISPTC) of the RCSI. 

Core Surgical Training ST1-ST2

The National Surgical Training programme is an eight-year programme intended for medical graduates who have completed their internship and wish to pursue a career in surgery. Progression to specialist training after ST2 is based on competitive ranking, performance and suitability metrics.

ST1 training consists of six months in general surgery and six months in another specialty. ST2 training is one full year of specialty training. Throughout the two years, trainees are assessed via the Competency Assessment and Performance Appraisal (CAPA) process.

A Certificate of Completion of Core Surgical Training is awarded to trainees who have successfully completed two years of core training.   

Specialty Training ST3-ST8

Specialty training commences at ST3 and is normally a six year programme, with trainees rotating through nationally appointed training hospitals in Ireland.  All specialty trainees are required to sign up to the Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme (ISCP).  Specialty training is guided by A Reference Guide for Specialty Training in Ireland (similar to the UK Gold Guide). Trainees are required to meet all relevant training competencies and pass the FRCS exam to be eligible for a Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training (CCST) at the end of training.

All of the surgical specialties recruit at the specialty level (ST3). Eligibility is based on completion of Core Surgical Training (CST Cert) and both parts of the MRCS examination prior to specialty interview. 

The surgical recruitment processes

Surgical recruitment at both core and specialty level takes the form of a structured interview process, including a formal application, preparation of a portfolio of surgical and medical experience, and progression through a number of structured interview stations. The interview processes are delivered by the RCSI/ISPTC and specialty programmes and are held at the RCSI in Dublin annually. 

Applicants are invited to apply for surgical training programmes from the last week in October to December of each year.  The training year commences on the second Monday of July each year. 

For further information, please consult the RCSI website, which provides information and eligibility criteria on appointment at ST1 and ST3 level.  This is subject to change in line with national recruitment policy and prospective applicants are advised to check the website on a regular basis. 

Contact email: Core Training or Specialty Training