Assessment methods

This page gives an overview of how your IMT application will be assessed. There is more detailed information about each stage on the relevant sections of the website.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic it was necessary to change the process to online interviews in 2021. The uncertainty caused by the pandemic also meant that a contingency method was put in place should interviews not be possible to complete. In 2021 recruitment this was necessary to enact and interviews were cancelled. Whilst it is hoped that the improved public health situation mean interviews will be able to go ahead in 2022, the contingency arrangements are covered at the foot of this section should they be needed.

Your application will be assessed at three main stages:

  • Longlisting – ensuring you can meet the main eligibility criteria to be considered for an IMT post; this is mainly foundation competence and minimum experience.
  • Shortlisting -  if capacity is insufficient to interview all eligible candidates, deciding who can be invited to interview.
  • Interview – assessment by consultant interviewers based on your answers to a variety of question areas.

Application self-assessment

When you apply you will assess yourself against an application scoring matrix based on your achievements across a number of domains. This will generate a score and, if applications exceed interview capacity, candidates will be invited in order of score; with tie-breakers being employed for applicants with the same total score using each of the domains in turn.

Shortlisting is the only stage at which the self-assessment score will be used and it is likely that you will not need to provide any supporting evidence for your claims. However, you must have access to documentation proving every claim you make as you could be asked to supply evidence as part of a randomised audit and, should the contingency plan be needed, all candidates will be required to upload their evidence documents. The evidence documents section of the website has further information about this area.

Over-claiming

Evidence verifiers are aware that, on occasion, it will not always be clear exactly which option to choose and so will not treat most cases of perceived over-claiming as a serious offence. However, any instances of candidates blatantly or persistently trying to gain an unfair advantage by over-claiming scores for and/or exaggerating their achievements will lead to a probity investigation and applicants in this position should expect to be contacted to review their scoring.


Interview

There is an extensive section of the website with information about the interview , including the format and content . At interview it will be determined if you can be considered for appointment, and the interview alone will form all of the marks used for your total score , which is used to rank candidates for the offers process.

In addition to the scores given for interview, the interviewers will also award scores based on your application form before your interview starts. This will not form any part of the total score used for ranking and will only be used where candidates have identical scores across the six scored interview questions and cannot be split in any other way. Consideration will be given to the following areas: commitment to internal medicine, interests outside medicine, continuing professional development and written communication/evidence of thoroughness. If applicants are still tied after this score is included, their rank will be split by a randomised process. Please note that in the vast majority of cases, the ranking for identically scoring candidates will not impact on the offers process as the chances of them being considered for the exact same programme at the same time of the ~1500 options is very small.


Contingency plan

In the event that the public health situation means interviews cannot be completed, a contingency plan will be implemented to allow applications to be assessed and the process completed. This will involve assessing applicants via their self-assessment evidence and application form.

Self-assessment

If it is confirmed that interviews cannot be completed, all candidates will be contacted and asked to load their supporting evidence for the self-assessment achievements claimed on the application form. You will be given as much time as possible to do this and at least one week.

Your self-assessment scoring will be verified by a consultant based on the evidence that you submit; this could lead to your score being increased or reduced. You cannot amend your application after submission should you have made a mistake on your application form, or gained an achievement after the submission of your application; although evidence verification may see your score changed if your evidence justifies this.

On completion of the verification process, all applicants will be sent their verified score, together with the reviewer’s feedback explaining any changes to score. There will be a short window where applicants will have the opportunity to appeal the decision if they disagree with the score awarded; the decision in the appeals stage will be final.

The application score will be used in two ways:

  • A minimum score must be achieved to be considered for appointment; this will be based on the lowest score required to be shortlisted. For example, if you scored 8 originally and the shortlisting cut off was 7 points, then your score was reduced to 6 during verification, you could not be considered for appointment.
  • The score will contribute to the total score which will be used for ranking and making offers. 

Application form review

In addition to self-assessment, your application form will also be assessed for other elements based on essential criteria from the person specification :

  • Commitment to specialty – this will be assessed and scored by reviewing your answers about this on the application form and by reviewing your career and achievements to date.
  • Written communication skills
  • Organisation and planning – evidence of preparedness and thoroughness
  • Commitment to personal and professional development

Ranking and offers

Following completion of this review, it will be determined whether applications can proceed to be considered at the offers stage, and a rank assigned to all those progressing. The exact scoring matrix to determine ranking will be published if the contingency plan is to be enacted.