Position Statement on ST1 Orthopaedic Recruitment in Scotland
BOTA recognises that the run-through ST1 Orthopaedic training post needs to remain attainable directly from Foundation Year 2. However, BOTA believes that the process should not place barriers on trainees with more experience or who have decided on Orthopaedics later in their career. The decision to award marks to Foundation Year 2 doctors to level the playing field, should only represent marks that cannot be achieved by a doctor at that stage. i.e. higher degree/clinical fellow experience. The same should be true for doctors with subsequent years of experience.
The exact number of marks given to level the playing field should be based on evidence from previous rounds of recruitment (i.e what scores/achievements successful candidates have achieved prior to the 10, 5, 0 point addition at different levels of experience), and the marks available on the rest of any future marking schedule.
For example, the ACCS application [see attached] awards points for relevant experience. In this scenario, the more experienced candidate can regain points lost by not applying directly from FY2. This could help differentiate between candidates who have used that extra year wisely and those who have not, rewarding people who have undertaken posts such as a clinical fellow year in Orthopaedic Surgery. A future marking scheme could for example, award 2 points for being an FY2, or 2 points for having completed a clinical fellow year, or equivalent, in a relevant specialty.
Awarding marks to level the playing field should not create an unfair advantage to Foundation Year 2 candidates. The maximum mark attainable should be the same for a candidate applying at Foundation Year 2, and subsequent years thereafter. The way these points are accrued can be different, but maximum score achievable should be the same. If points are lost by extra years, these should be offset with the ability to maintain points elsewhere in the application.
BOTA would support trainee representative involvement in the recruitment process, to demonstrate that it is fair and transparent.
Mr Thomas Harding
BOTA Scotland Representative