Joint specialty training

It's possible for two CCTs to be obtained as well as one CCT in an individual infection specialty. Joint programmes are available across the combinations listed in the diagram below and will require one additional year of training, but may not be available in all areas.

At the time of application candidates can be in competition for all available posts across all four infection specialties. They will be able to preference their preferred CCT single specialty or joint specialties during the recruitment process.

Infectious diseases diagram

Combined infection training (CIT)

The first two years, ST3 and ST4, have a common combined infection training programme in all four specialties. After the two Combined Infection Training years the four specialties have their own separate two year higher specialty training programmes leading to a CCT in that particular specialty.

All four specialty training programmes include both clinical management of patients with infections and laboratory diagnostic experience. Most trainees undertake research leading to an MD or PhD degree at some point in training.

Infection training - trainee characteristics

Infection specialties will particularly suit trainees who enjoy:

  • a great variety of clinical presentations

  • the challenge of making the correct diagnosis

  • laboratory sciences.

Working/training in an ST3 infection specialty training post

Training in the infection specialties is particularly interesting and unlike many medical specialties infection specialties are not confined to a single organ or system. Infections can present in many different ways, in patients of all ages and backgrounds. Combined infection training offers a broad training in the diversity of infection diagnosis and management in a range of clinical settings, both outside and inside the infectious diseases unit, and includes time learning laboratory skills and antimicrobial and infection control management.

Diagnostical skill

Making the correct diagnosis often involves considerable detective skill in history-taking, physical examination and interpretation of laboratory data.

Treating serious infections in acutely ill patients is very satisfying, because the vast majority of patients make an excellent recovery, and this is increasingly true for many patients with chronic infections.

Before entering ST3, core experience in a broad range of specialties is desirable; prior experience of any of the infection specialties is useful but not essential.

Career prospects

Many infection specialty consultants work in teaching hospitals with access to specialised investigations and many pursue research interests.

The increasing number of infection related consultant posts is evidence of the wider recognition of the distinctive clinical value of the various infection disciplines.

Given the growing numbers of patients with HIV and tuberculosis, the widespread use of immuno-suppressive treatments, increasing transplantation numbers, breakthroughs in hepatitis management, and the importance of healthcare-associated infections and management of antimicrobial prescribing, there has never been a better time to become an infection specialist. Changes in laboratory practice have meant that medical virologists and microbiologists not only have access to increasingly sophisticated diagnostics but also have clinical roles alongside infectious diseases and tropical medicine colleagues.

Medical Care

Find out more about combined infection training and the services delivered by the specialty on Medical Care – the RCP’s online guide to service design.

Further information

Queries regarding the progress of a submitted application should be directed to the lead recruiter for this specialty. The lead recruiter for combined infection training in 2019 is London and South East (LaSE) Recruitment:

London and KSS Recruitment
ST3/general queries General enquiries - 
Fitness to practise/Disability/GIS queries - confidential

General/application queries

For general queries relating to areas such as eligibility criteria, making an application or the Oriel system, please contact the Physician Specialty Recruitment Office via email at


This specialty uses the standard ST3 eligibility criteria, and does not accept candidates from any alternative training routes.

Please visit the am I eligible? section of this website for further information.

National single centre model

This specialty uses the single centre recruitment model.

You will not be required to give any preferences of particular regions when completing your application; you are applying purely for the specialty at that stage.

Later on, you will be required to give preferences of the available posts – at that point, you can opt to be considered for as many (or as few) post vacancies available nationally as you wish.

Lead region and single centre interviews

The specialty will nominate a particular region to act as lead for the round; this region is shown under the 'Who do I contact?' tab above. This lead region will review all applications, liaise with all candidates, host interviews, verify assessments, and make offers on behalf of all regions nationally.

Your application will be handled solely by the lead region throughout the entire round, up to the point where you receive and accept an offer; after which it will be transferred to the region where the post is based for pre-employment checks.

All interviews will be held at this lead region although the clinicians making up the interview panel will be drawn from a national background – ie not just from the host region.

Flexible portfolio training

New for 2019, this specialty will be participating in the ‘flexible portfolio training’ scheme, in the North West region. This protects one day a week (or 20% time equivalent across the year) for the trainee to work within clinical informatics that will aid their professional development. This is an opportunity to acquire and develop key skills and engage in meaningful project work, in a different environment, alongside time in training that will be the springboard to a consultant career.

Further details about the scheme, and the regions where this is available can be found by visiting the website or by emailing

It is possible that there could be changes between now and the interview period. Please bear this in mind when reviewing the information below, although in most cases it is not expected this will change, or any changes will be minimal.  You are advised to check back in closer to the time of interview. The date at the foot of this page shows when the page was last reviewed.

Interview content

You will spend approximately 10 minutes at each of the three interview stations, with three-to-five minutes' transfer time between each. Thus the overall time for the interview will be approximately 40-45 minutes.

Click on the relevant stations below for more information on the content of the interview.

Please note that this is subject to change, and will be confirmed by the date of interview.

Interview scoring

Appointable - automatic

If you are awarded a score of at least 3/5, for all marks given to you at your interview, then you will automatically be classed as appointable.

Not appointable - automatic

If any of the 12 scores awarded to you at interview are 1/5, this will reflect poor performance and an area of major concern.

If four or more of your 12 interview scores are of 2/5, this will reflect several areas of concern across your whole interview.

Should your interview assessment fall under either category above, the level of concern over your potential progression to ST3 will see your application classed automatically as not appointable.

Appointability subject to panel decision

In the event that your 12 interview scores contain one, two or three marks of 2/5 (and the rest 3/5 or above), your appointability status will be subject to discussion in the post-interview 'wash-up' meeting.

The clinicians who have interviewed you will discuss your general performance during the interview and any concerns or otherwise they have about your application as a whole.

Should they deem it appropriate, your application will be classed as appointable, and you can then be considered for post offers; whereas if they feel their concerns are too substantial for this outcome, they must class your application as not appointable, and it will progress no further in the current recruitment round.

Review vs automatic status

Please note there is no distinction made between candidates judged as appointable automatically, and those classed as appointable on review. Once deemed appointable it is only your overall score which will be used to determine ranking.

Total score calculation

After interview, a weighting is applied to the scores in each area, as well as the application form score, to give a 'total score'. This score determines your ranking which is used to inform how offers are made. The weighting of different sections, as well as the method by which your total score is established, can be seen by clicking on 'Total score calculation' below.

Please note that this is subject to change, and will be confirmed by the date of interview.

date of last review: 6 December 2018

As part of the process of applying to ST3, you may wish to gain an idea of how recruitment progressed in previous years for the various specialties participating in the nationally-coordinated recruitment.

To this end, we have published data dating back to 2013 (where this is available), based around four main areas:

  • Competition ratios - application numbers submitted to each specialty, along with the number of NTN and LAT posts available in each. It is worth noting that posts are subject to change throughout the round (increasing on average between 20-40%), and post numbers for this data are taken at the end of the round.

  • Shortlist scores - the scores awarded to all submitted applications, including average scores and distribution nationally.

  • Total scores - the total score awarded to all candidates who completed the full recruitment process for a specialty (application and interview), including some analysis of scores.

  • Post fill rates - the number of posts filled by region. 

We have published information for all specialties participating in our process that year; consequently not all specialties will have data in all cases.

Provisional post numbers

Specialty vacancy numbers are available in the table below, broken down by region and divided between substantive national training number (NTN) and locum appointment for training (LAT) posts.

It is the intention that initial post numbers for all regions will be published prior to the application opening date, although this cannot be guaranteed. Numbers will be updated as and when notifications are received from each region and will be checked later in the round when programme preferences are open for selection.

Numbers subject to change

Please be aware that it is not uncommon for vacancy numbers to change throughout the round.

More commonly, post vacancy numbers can increase as the round goes on (and confirmation of posts becomes available); but it is also possible that numbers can reduce as well. On average post numbers rise between 20-40% from the start to the finish of the round but this can vary greatly for individual specialty/region combinations.

It is possible that regions which do not have a post at the start of the round may declare one after applications have closed. Whilst we try and minimise instances of this, it is not always possible to predict vacancies so even if there appears not to be a vacancy in your preferred specialty/region combination, you may wish to consider applying in case one becomes available during the round; you can check with the region concerned if you wish to check on the likelihood of a post arising.

Generally, once a region enter a post into a round they would always have at least one post available and would only withdraw it in exceptional circumstances.

Training in an infection specialty is particularly interesting and varied because it combines both the clinical and laboratory skills of making diagnoses with the satisfaction of effective treatment for a wide range of common serious infections in both acutely and chronically ill patients.

There are four separate infection specialties: infectious diseases (ID), medical microbiology (MM), medical virology (MV) and tropical medicine (TM). To find out more about each of the specialties click on the pop-out boxes below.

Round 1 Interview dates & post numbers

CIT parent specialties: Where information is known about the specialty(ies) in which an NTN post will eventually specialise - general internal medicine ( GIM ), infectious diseases ( ID ), medical microbiology ( MM ), medical virology ( MV ), tropical medicine ( TM ), this will be indicated.

Region NTN posts LAT posts* Interview date(s)
East Midlands 1 (MM) n/a

London (lead)
25 - 26 March 2019

East of England 0-1 (MM) n/a

London and KSS







North East

0-10 (MM=0-4; MV=0-1; ID/GIM=0-5)

North West

0-2 (CIT/ID/GIM=1; CIT/MM/ID= 1)


North Western
2-6 (CIT/MM/ID=4; CIT/ID/GIM=1; CIT/ID/MV=1)

South West






Thames Valley


Wessex TBC n/a
West Midlands

3-5 (ID/GIM=1; ID/MM=2)

Yorkshire & Humber

8 (MM=1; MM/ID=6; ID/GIM=1)

Scotland** 17 0



*English LATs

Please note, English regions do not recruit to LAT posts.

**Scotland post numbers

If you are interested in working in Scotland, a breakdown of post numbers by the four Scottish deaneries is available on the Scottish Medical Training website. This has details of all specialty training post numbers in Scotland, including specialties which are not part of the nationally-coordinated process.

Please note that whilst we endeavour to keep the Physician ST3 recruitment website up to date, the SMT website will always be the more accurate one where they differ.

† Regions taking part in flexible portfolio training

Trainees will be able to preference posts with or without the 'flexible portfolio training' option where available. For further information on acute internal medicine, and the distribution of regions to each pathway, please visit