My first recommendation is to be clued in with all of the deadlines and the dates. You can find these on the ANRO website alongside the official application guidance. The process does change year on year so make sure you know the structure of your application cycle. This article will focus on the 2022 application cycle.
Stage 1: Submitting your first application
Applications opened on the 4th of November and will close on Wednesday the 1st of December (similar dates for most years). They are done using Oriel and can take some time to complete, so I suggest starting long before the deadline. Core anaesthetics and ACCS are recruited with the same application. You will be asked to put your personal information, diversity information (including disability), employment history, declarations/ fitness to practice and right to work in the UK. You also have to show your foundation competency (have met these competencies within the prior 3.5 years before starting). See official guidance if any of these are an issue.
Stage 2: Longlisting
Provided you meet the essential criteria set out by the CT1 person specification, you will be longlisted and invited to sit the MSRA.
Stage 3: MSRA
This is a computerised exam that was initially designed for GP recruitment it has two parts: a Professional Dilemmas (like SJT) and a clinical problem-solving paper (finals level knowledge). This year, the window runs from the 6th of January to the 15th of January (a smaller window and earlier than last year). There is no set threshold score to get an interview, but there are a set number of interview slots, and these are allocated on the score. This also makes up 15% of your overall score. More details on this can be found in this article.
Stage 4: Shortlisting/ Sub preferencing
If you achieve a high enough MSRA score, you will be shortlisted and invited to interview. These are open for booking on the 1st of February 2022. In this period of time, you will make your sub-preferences. This is where you rank every anaesthetic (Core and ACCS) job in the country or as many as you are willing to do.
Stage 5: Interviews
These run between the 9th of February to 18th of March and are online 30-minute interviews. You will be assessed by 2 or 3 interviewers and scored on various domains (found on the ANRO website). The first 15 mins will be on a clinical scenario, and the second 15 mins will be a general interview; this is different this year (previously 10min portfolio and then 20min on scenarios). For the scenario, you will be given 2 minutes to look at the information prior to starting.
Stage 6: Offers
Depending on your interview and MSRA score, you will be ranked against all other applicants. The first round of offers will be released on March the 29th, and you can choose to accept, reject, or hold until the 5th of April. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get a job on the first round; I didn’t get one at this stage and only got one once the offers refreshed on the 4th of April. It is also an incredibly competitive speciality and interview scores are very high, so don’t lose hope if you don’t receive an offer.
Stage 7: Accepting an offer
Congratulations! Sit back and relax and wait to start your career as an anaesthetist. You will also need to submit references and complete employment checks before starting but by this stage, the hard work is done.
I hope this article helps! My main tips would be to start early with preparation for the interview and MSRA and keep an eye on deadlines!