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National Recruitment 2022 – EM ACCS ***Added Jan 2022


National recruitment in Emergency Medicine is delivered by Health Education England, supported by the EM Heads of Schools who sit on the RCEM Training Standards Committee. There are TSC clinical leads for the different points of entry – ACCS, DREEM, ST3 and ST4 – who are highly experienced individuals, openly recruited against published person specification criteria. The lead deanery for ACCS recruitment is London and the South East, and DREEM, ST3 and ST4 recruitment is supported by Yorkshire and Humber.

The Medical and Dental Recruitment Selection Committee (MDRS) in October 2020 stipulated that there would be no face-to-face interview process in 2021. In 2021, the rationale for recruitment changed. The MDRS team made clear in view of the Covid pandemic that all Royal Colleges would not be undertaking face to face interviews.

The usual interviews, prior to 2021, would have involved face to face interviewing in London and included EM portfolio assessment and scoring, evaluation of clinical and ethical scenarios and presentations. The MSRA (Multi Speciality Recruitment Assessment) and Interview option was considered the best option for recruitment and delivered for ACCS EM recruitment last year whereby longlisted trainees sat the MSRA paper as a shortlisting tool for interview.


The MSRA is a computer-based tool developed and analysed by the Work psychology group and delivered by Pearson VUE via centre or On Vue (PearsonVUE’s remote proctoring service). The MSRA contains two elements- the Clinical problem solving test (CPS 75 minutes) and the Professionals dilemmas (Situational judgement test -SJT – 95 minutes) both of which are aimed at Foundation level and suitable for ACCS recruitment. Other specialties to have used MSRA have been Primary Care, Clinical Radiology, Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Applicants are advised to prepare via reading widely and using Situational Judgement tests aimed at Foundation level trainees.

The Work Psychology group have analysed data from previous trainees who undertook MSRA for other specialty entry and were subsequently interviewed. The results have shown they performed well at interview so there is a clear correlation of the MSRA score to support the application and recruitment process. The Work Psychology report which was released in April 21 summarises the evaluation of the first year of use of the MSRA in Acute Care Common Stem Emergency Medicine (ACCS EM) (Round 1) 2021 recruitment. This work was commissioned by Health Education England. In total, 11,422 candidates sat the test in Round 1, of which 1324 applied for ACCS EM & 840 interviewed

Criterion-related validity is the extent to which a selection test can predict later performance in other selection processes or in-role performance. Criterion-related validity analysis was conducted which showed an adequate correlation between candidates’ performance on the MSRA tests and the interview process.

Interviews in 2022

  • The person specification and application processes are still the same as previously.
  • The score weighting remains the same as 2021 so MSRA will contribute to 40% and Interview 60% of the total score and candidates will be ranked nationally. Interviews for ACCS EM recruitment for start in Aug 22 are planned between 28 Feb and 11 March 2022 and will be conducted virtually via MS teams.

The interview time will be 30 minutes – divided up into 2 components: a” face-to-face” interview time of 20 minutes with 2 panel members via Microsoft Teams and ten minute for the panel to cross reference the submitted application to complete scoring. One of the two panellists will ask questions however both will be scoring. The interview capacity for 2022 will remain the same as 2021, with 840 trainees being interviewed. The interview capacity to provisional post ratio is approximately 2.5-2.8.

Evaluation of outputs from both MSRA and interview will be conducted towards improving future ACCS EM recruitment.

RCEM Executive and TSC will continue to review the findings of evaluations undertaken following recruitment, including longitudinal assessments of candidates progress through training after appointment.

Dr Maya Naravi – Chair of TSC |   Dr Nandita Parmar – TSC ACCS Recruitment Lead 

Jan 2022

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