How to prepare your anaesthetics core training application

The Core/ ACCS Anaesthetic job application consists of a few distinct steps:

  1. Your Oriel application
  2. MSRA
  3. Ranking your job preferences
  4. Booking an interview slot
  5. Your interview
  6. Offers/ upgrades

Some key breakdowns for these steps are discussed below.

Top Tips:

  1. Applications are made via Oriel – a system most of you are already familiar with. Double check that all information is correct as this cannot be amended once submitted!
  2. All important deadlines for your application are on the Anaesthetics National Recruitment Office (ANRO) website  
  3. Keep an eye out for when interview dates and times will be released as they get snapped up quickly and you will want to be off for the whole DAY of the interview. Avoid booking a slot post-nights or long days as your fatigue can impact your interview performance.
  4. Be prepared – but don’t sound rehearsed! More on how to do this at our interview course!

1. Your Oriel application
Most applicants would already be familiar with the Oriel platform from the Foundation Programme or other job applications. This is essentially a platform where you fill in basic personal information and your past employment history. It is vital that you double-check your responses before submitting it as you will not be able to change many of your answers afterwards.

For applicants holding a visa to work in the country, your eligibility to apply will be evaluated – you will need to provide them with basic information such as your BRP number and current Visa Tier held. If you do not currently hold a visa, your eligibility will be assessed – this does not mean automatic disqualification from the application process, but does mean you have one more thing to keep an eye on!

2. MSRA – Multi-specialty Recruitment Assessment
This is an exam used by many specialties to stratify their applicants. Your preparation for the MSRA is essential! Be aware that it covers broad topics in medicine and you should not focus solely on anaesthesia or acute management strategies. Your score at the MSRA will form 15% of your overall application score and determines whether or not you are shortlisted for an interview. You should approach the MSRA with the intention of securing as many points as you can whilst also bearing in mind that with a 15% weightage, it will be your interview that ultimately determines the job you get.

3. Ranking your job preferences
There are no games to be played here – rank what YOU want from highest to lowest preference and you will get the highest ranked job you qualify for once the application scores have been finalised! Firstly, the competition ratios for regions and jobs fluctuate and change year on year. Secondly, it doesn’t matter what the competition ratio is because you will get the job you most qualify for. The hardest part is often figuring out what YOU want! Overall, all deaneries will provide you with a solid foundation in anaesthesia for your core training and it is likely your own life circumstances will determine your choice of job preferences. 

4. Booking an interview slot
I have listed this as a specific step because it is vital that you book an anaesthetics interview slot with the deanery you want at a time and date that you want! Most candidates forget about this date and end up scheduled for an interview after a night shift or between long days – do not underestimate the power of being well-rested, mentally and physically. 

Each deanery, under the banner of ANRO, will organise their own interview slots over a particular set of dates. Once you have started your application process, be sure to check the ANRO website for updated information on when each deanery is interviewing and pre-plan a few dates that you would pick for your interview.

There is no specific advantage to interviewing in the deanery that you want to work in because of the nationalisation of recruitment. (The only exception to this is Scotland, where you have to interview with them to be appointed a job there). However (and this is very fine print stuff!), if you have already had some experience in anaesthesia in a particular deanery, you may find it useful to interview there because certain organisational aspects or terminology are deanery-specific and you will have less to explain in your interview. Interviewers and interviewees are asked to declare at the start of the interview if they know each other and the interview will then be monitored by a third person. 

5. Your interview
The information on how the interviews are conducted and the anaesthetics interview scoring matrix are available to everyone on the ANRO website Therefore, there should be no mystery about what you are expected to bring to your interview and there is plenty of room for preparation to ensure that you shine!

The interview is made up of 2 parts:
Part 1: Clinical Interview (15 minutes)
– This part of the interview will assess your: decision making, reflective practice, team working, and working under pressure

Part 2: General Interview (15 minutes)
– This part of the interview will assess your: commitment to specialty, involvement in research/QI/Audit, reflective practice, qualifications and experience

It is vital to give your interviewers reasons to score you on each of those subsections in the course of your interview.

6. Offers/ Upgrades
This is often the most straightforward part of the process. Be sure to respond to your offers in time or you will lose your job offer altogether! The process for offers and upgrades are clearly detailed on the ANRO website. 

Other useful sources of information:

  • Royal College of Anaesthetists – official information about interviews. RCoA do NOT administrate the interview process. They inform the system, but the execution of interviews and organisation of the recruitment process is carried out by ANRO: 
  • Association of Anaesthetists website – articles and guidelines: you do not need to know clinical minutiae but their articles can give you insight into the latest issues in anaesthesia and learn about what people think about them. Anaesthesia News is their publication that contains plenty of current issues facing anaesthetists: 

There is a lot to break down about each part of the interview process. Sign up to view tried and tested frameworks to prepare for each interview domain! Signing up also gives you full access to participating in practice sessions – these provide opportunities to pick up practical tips and pointers that you can only gain through real life practice.

The key is to practice and observe the person you are practising with to incorporate things about their presentation that you thought were good, and to be comfortable talking to strangers about how amazing you are! Here at we provide you with the resources and platform to practice your interview skills to perfection.