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Core Surgery Application Self-Assessment Questions

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The Core Surgical Training Application Self-Assessment Questions


As the number of expected applications for CST exceeds the maximum capacity for both the evidence verification process and remote interviews, shortlisting will be done in two stages for 2021 CST recruitment.

The first stage will use the self-assessment score provided as part of the Oriel application form to decide who will progress to the evidence verification stage. Applicants who score highly enough in their self-assessment will be invited to upload evidence for their claimed score to the evidence upload portal between 23/12/2020 and 7/1/2021.
Guidance on how to score your self-assessment can be found in the advert-linked document ‘2021 CST Self-Assessment Guidance for Candidates’
Therefore, it crucial that you complete your self-assessment honestly and accurately at the time of application. It is not possible to change your self-assessment score after you have submitted your application under any circumstances.
Any instances where applicants are found to have deliberately over-scored their self-assessment may be treated as probity concerns. This may lead to being removed from the recruitment process or a referral to the GMC.

The second stage of shortlisting is the evidence verification stage. Submitted evidence will be reviewed by consultant surgeons and verified against the self-assessment scoring criteria. Where the evidence submitted does not match the self-assessment score awarded, the verified score will be adjusted accordingly.
On completion of the verification process applicants will be sent their verified score together with the verification panel’s feedback explaining any changes to score. Where the applicant disagrees with the verified score awarded, they can lodge an appeal.
If the applicant self-assessment score differs significantly from the assessor score then applicants should expect to be contacted by an assessor as part of a probity process. Please ensure that your contact details on Oriel are correct and kept up to date as these are the details that will be used to contact you.

The Core Surgical Training Application Self-Assessment Scoring

The tables below outline how many points each achievement can score.
You must provide suitable evidence of all your achievements in order to be awarded points and this evidence must be uploaded to the HEE Evidence Verification Portal.
Beneath each scoring table is a list of examples of evidence you could upload to confirm your score. Please note that the lists of evidence are not exhaustive and are only for illustrative purposes. It is not possible to be prescriptive about what evidence will be acceptable to justify your selection; the key is that it is sufficient for the Consultants reviewing your folder to be confident that you have claimed correctly. A certified, authenticated translation should be provided for any documentation which is not written in English.
There is no set number of years within which you need to have completed the achievements listed, however any achievements claimed must have been gained after commencing your medical (or first undergraduate) degree, i.e. achievements from school or before university cannot be claimed.
If you have more than one achievement within a single domain then you should only claim points for whichever single achievement would give you the highest score. For example, under the domain of ‘Postgraduate degrees and qualifications and additional degrees’ if you had both a 2.1 intercalated degree and an MPhil then your score here would be 2 points; you cannot add these together to give 4 points.
There is additional guidance below each table to help you decide on the correct self-assessment score

    1. Commitment To Surgery

    Commitment To Surgery

    CST Self-Assessment
    CST Self-Assessment

    Any evidence provided in this section must not be used to claim points in any other domain.

    All achievements used to claim points in all sections must be completed by time of application. For example, a surgical taster lasting 4 days carried out in a previous year would give 3 points, whereas a 5-day surgical taster booked for 2021 awards 0 points.

    Evidence of surgical courses
    Examples of accepted courses are:
    - Basic Surgical Skills (BSS)
    - Systematic Training in Acute Illness Recognition Training (START Surgery)
    -
    Advance Trauma Life Support (ATLS)
    - Surgical Skills for Surgeons
    - Royal College of Surgeons Summer School in Anatomy
    - Practical Skills for Medical Students
    - Regional Surgical Skills Course / Symposium, may be in ENT, General Surgery, T&O or Urology
    - So you want to be an Orthopaedic Surgeon
    - Clinical Skills for Examining Orthopaedic Patients
    -
    Temporal bone course
    - FESS (Sinus surgery) course
    - Head and Neck anatomy / surgical dissection course
    - Urology National Catheter Education Programme (NCEP)
    - ASIT Preparing for a Career in Surgery
    - ASIT Foundation Surgical Skills
    - British Medical Association surgically themed courses

    Evidence of surgical experience
    All surgical experience should be evidenced by ISCP operative logbook summary sheets that have been signed by a consultant showing their name, GMC number and the date the consultant validated the Summary Sheet. Please do not provide a copy of your entire logbook.
    You evidence should demonstrate involvement in a range of different surgical procedures of varying complexity. Your personal involvement can include assisting or trainer scrubbed at an operating table but must not include procedures that all UK trainees are expected to have signed off as part of their foundation competencies.

    Evidence of surgical taster
    Up to 5 working days (whole time equivalent) of surgical taster sessions can be counted. Any taster sessions lasting less than one day will not be scored. You will need to provide a reflection (minimum of 200 words and maximum 250 words) explaining what your taster involved and your learning from it.

    Surgical elective
    If you have undertaken a surgical elective you will be required to provide a reflection (minimum 200 words and maximum 250 words) including the elective dates, hospital, name of supervisor, an outline of what your elective involved and the learning you have taken from it.

    2. Postgraduate degrees

    Postgraduate degrees and qualifications and additional degrees

    CST Self-Assessment
    CST Self-Assessment

    Examples of acceptable evidence include: Degree Certificate
    If you have gained a degree/qualification which does not have a classification which fits in with the usual UK grading system (i.e. 1st, 2:1, etc.) please select the option here which you deem equivalent based upon your knowledge of the grading systems within the UK and the country where you gained your qualification.
    If you gained your medical qualification in a country where all students are automatically awarded an MD without additional study you cannot claim points for that MD. You may claim points for an MD where you have undertaken a period of 2 years additional study and/or research.
    Please note that any postgraduate qualifications related to teaching that you may have gained (e.g. PG Cert, PG Dip etc.) should not be scored for in this section and should instead be included in the Training in Teaching section.
    It is not permissible to claim point for specialties’ membership examinations (e.g. MRCS, MRCP etc.) or any similar qualifications from outside the UK (e.g. MRCP Ireland, FCPS Pakistan) in this section.

    3. Prizes and Awards

    Prizes and Awards

    CST Self-Assessment
    CST Self-Assessment

    Examples of acceptable evidence include: original letter from medical school / Trust / Foundation School or original certificate
    Please note that where a stated percentage is given you must be able to demonstrate this to claim that option. If your medical school do not specify this, you will need to contact them to ask whether they can supply something in writing to verify that your performance met the specified criteria.

    4. QIP

    Quality Improvement

    CST Self-Assessment
    CST Self-Assessment

    Examples of acceptable evidence include: Copy of audit project presentation hand-outs for project showing your level of involvement or letter from consultant or supervisor stating level of involvement
    You can only choose an option based on a single quality improvement project/audit. If you have been involved in more than one you will need to pick the option corresponding to the highest-scoring statement which is applicable.
    Most options require your project to have undergone more than one completed cycle. It is permissible to claim for projects where you were only involved in one complete cycle, provided that additional cycles for that project were completed either before or after your work. If your project has only completed a single cycle the only option which is relevant here is that which gains 2 points. If your project has not yet completed a single cycle, you can only select the 'none/other' option.
    You cannot, under any circumstances, claim an oral or poster presentation of the same quality improvement project/audit scored here in the presentation (or any other) section of the application form.
    Any points claimed for audits or quality improvement projects in this section must be completely different projects to any QI or audit work used to claim points in any other section.
    For example, if you have carried out an audit on catheter use and used it to claim points in this section then you cannot use a quality improvement poster presentation regarding catheter use to claim points in any other section.

    5. Teaching Exp

    Teaching Experience

    CST Self-Assessment

    Examples of acceptable evidence include: letter confirming involvement in a teaching programme

    What is regional?
    The teaching participation extends beyond a local hospital, single trust or university setting; for example, the county, or a recognised cluster of hospitals, extending beyond a city.

    What is local?
    The programme is confined to a local hospital, a trust or a university setting.

    What counts as designing and organising?
    This means you have identified a gap in the teaching provided and have worked with local tutors to design and organise a teaching programme and arrange teachers. You have delivered at least one of the sessions yourself.

    What does formal feedback mean?
    This means you have either evidence of senior observation/feedback (e.g. teaching observation tool, developing the clinical teacher form, etc.) or that there has been independent collection and analysis of participants' feedback forms, supported by a letter or certificate from the course organiser or deputy.

    Please note that any postgraduate qualifications related to teaching that you may have gained (e.g. PG Cert, PG Dip etc.) should not be scored for in this section and should instead be included in the Training in Teaching section.

    6. Training in Teaching

    Training in Teaching

    CST Self-Assessment

    Examples of acceptable evidence include: certificate of attendance, evidence of registration for higher qualification in teaching, original certificate for teaching qualification, letter confirming attainment of teaching qualification

    What is ‘substantial training’?
    Substantial training is defined as more than the usual short (one or two day) course which is mandatory for most trainee doctors, and more than the usual online modules completed in a few hours. This means you have undergone formal training lasting between five and 20 days (whole time equivalent).

    7. Presentations

    Presentations

    CST Self-Assessment

    Examples of acceptable evidence include: copy of presentation and copy of event programme

    What is a presentation?
    'Presentations' referred to here are oral presentations, with or without slides, in front of an audience of healthcare professionals. These can be of anything related to medicine, typically a case or case series, research or other topic. It would normally be expected to include a question and answer session.

    Posters
    If a poster is shown without an accompanying oral presentation you can still claim points in line with the relevant statement. 'Shown' should be considered to mean a significant role in the production and content of the poster and attendance at any question and answer poster session during the conference/meeting at which it is displayed.

    What if I did not personally present or show a poster?
    If you were a significant contributor to a presentation but did not personally present it, you can only claim points if this was in a national or international medical meeting by choosing the relevant option. In the case of a poster, if you did not 'show' the poster but played a significant role in the production and content, as with presentations, you can only claim points where this was for a national or international medical meeting.

    What is an international level presentation?
    For a presentation to qualify as ‘international’ it needs to have been delivered in a country other than your country of residence/education at time of delivery or a recognised international meeting that rotates to different countries, e.g. Ottowa, AMEE etc.

    What is a national level presentation?
    Presentations delivered on a national level refer to when an applicant has delivered a presentation in the country where their undergraduate education took place, or at their time of residence, e.g. if an applicant delivered a presentation in Sweden whilst undertaking their undergraduate education in Sweden, this cannot be classified as ‘International’ just because it is outside of the UK: it would be national. This is the case unless it was a recognised international meeting as defined above.
    United Kingdom: The UK comprises the four nations, therefore presentations within these countries by someone who is residing in the UK is considered national, regardless of the country of residence, e.g. if the presentation is delivered in Wales by an applicant based in Northern Ireland, this is classified as ‘national’.

    What is a regional presentation?
    This refers to presentations confined to, for example, the county, HEE local office/Deanery, health authority, or a recognised cluster of hospitals, extending beyond a city.

    What is a local presentation?
    Local level presentations are those delivered as part of an institutional process, e.g. at a local trust/ hospital where you have been working, or at an educational institution setting.

    What is a medical meeting?
    Typically, this will be an audience of doctors and/or other healthcare professionals attending away from their normal place of work for which attendees will be undertaking continuing professional development. The exception to this is the option for a local meeting where the audience is predominantly internal to that workplace.
    In situations where you are solely presenting or showing your poster because you have paid a fee you may only select the “none/other” option.

    You cannot, in any circumstances, claim an oral or poster presentation in this section if you have used the same quality improvement project/audit to claim points in the QI/audit section. Any points claimed for oral or poster presentations in this section must be completely different projects to any QI or audit work used to claim points in any other section.
    For example, if you have carried out an audit on catheter use and used it to claim points in the presentations section then you cannot use a quality improvement poster presentation regarding catheter use to claim points in the QI/audit (or any other) section.

    8. Publications

    Publications

    CST Self-Assessment
    CST Self-Assessment

    Examples of acceptable evidence include: front cover of published article clearly showing authorship and PubMed ID, front cover of book showing authorship and name of publishing house.

    PubMed citations
    Any item included under an option stating 'PubMed-cited' must be cited in PubMed so as to demonstrate that it is both peer-reviewed and relevant to medicine. Where possible, you should include this PubMed reference when giving details of publications. Systematic reviews e.g. Cochrane can be regarded as equivalent to an original research publication.
    The only exception to this is in the case of published medical books, which do not require PubMed citation.

    What can I score for submitted articles?
    Whilst achievements not yet gained cannot usually be claimed, an exception to this are any articles/publications which have been completely accepted, no further alterations are required, and are just waiting to be published. Submitted articles which have not been accepted cannot gain any marks in this section because it is not known if it will be published.

    What is a co-author?
    This means that you are on the list of authors but you are not first or joint-first author.

    9. Leadership

    Leadership and Management

    CST Self-Assessment
    CST Self-Assessment

    Examples of acceptable evidence include: minutes from meetings, a letter confirming your appointment to a role, a paper/report you have produced, formal feedback from colleagues. However, this is not an exhaustive list. Your evidence should be able to demonstrate that you held/have held the role for the six-month minimum.

    Role related to the provision of healthcare
    The scoring options which state 'roles related to the provision of healthcare' should not include roles such as being the captain of a medical school/hospital sports team/social society as this relates to that activity and not to the field of healthcare. However, you can use these for the non-medical voluntary capacity options if they meet the other criteria.

    Positive impact
    To score points in this role you must be able to evidence how you have made a difference in your leadership/management role.

    Timing/duration of role
    The point scoring options can only be used for roles which you have held since starting your first undergraduate degree (either your primary medical degree or a prior degree) and for a minimum of six months.

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