Recruitment in 2020 runs in line with previous years with the entry requirements unchanged from 2019 in that anyone who has successfully completed CMT training will be eligible to apply for Higher Specialty Training. Applications to this recruitment round close on the 19th February 2020. There will be a second round as normal for any remaining vacant posts occurring in July 2020.

In 2021

There will be some significant changes to Stage 2 training occurring in 2021. Higher Speciality Training has been separated into Group 1 and Group 2 specialties.

Group 1: Acute Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Endocrinology & Diabetes Mellitus, Gastroenterology, Genitourinary Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, Infectious Diseases (except when dual with Medical Microbiology or Virology), Neurology, Palliative Medicine, Renal Medicine, Respiratory Medicine and Rheumatology.

Group 2: Allergy, Audiovestibular Medicine, Aviation & Space Medicine, Clinical Genetics, Clinical Neurophysiology, Clinical Oncology, Dermatology, Haematology, Immunology, Infectious Diseases (when dual with Medical Microbiology or Virology), Intensive care medicine (Single CCT), Medical Microbiology, Medical Virology, Medical Oncology, Medical Ophthalmology, Nuclear Medicine, Occupational Medicine, Paediatric Cardiology, Pharmaceutical Medicine, Rehabilitation Medicine and Sport and Exercise Medicine.

Group 2 specialities will be recruiting as normal in 2021 and onwards with the entry requirement being either successful completion of CMT2 or IMT2 as a minimum.

It is anticipated that there will be limited recruitment to legacy ST3 posts in Group 1 specialties in 2021 in Scotland and Northern Ireland. In England it is anticipated that there will be no recruitment to ST3 posts in Group 1 specialties in 2021 and Wales currently anticipate recruiting to the majority of medical specialties including Group 1. It is expected that Cardiology, Neurology, GUM and Palliative care will be recruiting to ST3 posts in 2021 as normal across all 4 nations.

Group 1 specialities are all required to dual accredit with general internal medicine from 2022 and at present those who are already training within a Group 1 specialty may be required to transition over to the new curriculum within 2 years of it being ratified unless they are in their last year of training. There are ongoing discussions with the GMC about this and trainees are strongly advised to keep up to date with the curriculum requirements via the JRCPTB news page.

­CMT returners

Doctors who have completed CMT with a favourable outcome (See JRCPTB website for full details) will be eligible to take up an IMY3 stand-alone post in 2021 (or August 2020 in Northern Ireland subject to a recruitment process) should they so wish in the deanery in which they completed their CMT training. There will be a process to assess and allocate those who are unable to return to their previous deanery in certain specific circumstances. Trainees are strongly advised to complete the expression of interest document if they feel that they would wish to take up an IM3 post as this will enable local deaneries to plan posts and will act as a mailing list so that you receive up to date guidance.  

Entry requirements for Stage 2 training from 2021

Entry requirements for Group 2 specialties will remain largely unchanged in 2022.

Entry requirements for Group 1 specialties will require candidates to have successfully completed an IMTY3 or equivalent with full MRCP(UK) diploma.

Candidates can demonstrate this by:

• Successful completion of IMY3 with an ARCP outcome 6, or an outcome 3 or 4 indicating just the full MRCP(UK) required, and subsequent full completion of the MRCP(UK).

• Completion of an Alternative Certificate of Core Competence demonstrating IMY3-level competence. The form will be updated for the new internal medicine stage 1 curriculum. 

Those wishing to demonstrate experience via the alternative certificate of core competency should be aware of the GMC rules on utilising experience from outside an approved training programme as this would currently mean that the exit route would be via the CESR-CP rather than CCT, although this may be subject to review.


  • Stage 1 Internal medicine training is changing from a 2 to 3 year programme causing some significant changes to recruitment.
  • There will be limited recruitment to Group 1 specialties in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland in 2021. Wales is likely to be less affected.
  • Exceptions to this are Neurology, Palliative Care, GUM and Cardiology who are likely to have a similar number of vacancies to previous years.
  • All trainees need to be aware of the potential need to move onto the new higher specialty curriculums as legacy programmes are phased out from 2022.
  • CMTs who are not returning to a training programme this year need to be aware of the new eligibility criteria for Stage 2 training form 2022 and make plans as to how they will meet these. See for further details.
  • CMTs who are eligible will be able to complete a stand alone IMTY3 year in the deanery in which they completed CMT training and are strongly encouraged to complete and expression of interests’ form should they be anticipating doing so.