Applying to Basic Specialist Training

Basic Specialist Training 

Basic Specialist Training (BST) is the first step towards specialisation in medicine.

It is a hospital-based training programme completed in Senior House Officer (SHO) posts. It prepares you for Higher Specialist Training, which is the final stage of training.

Completion of the intern year is an essential entry requirement.

BST is structured so that you rotate to a different post every three or six months, letting you experience different subspecialties and clinical teams. All posts approved for BST in Ireland are full-time and salaried.

In addition to supervised clinical training in the hospital, you will need to complete exams and courses designed to help you to develop professionally and acquire the skills and knowledge needed to provide excellent patient care.

We offer Basic Specialist Training programmes in four specialties:

  • General Internal Medicine
  • General Paediatrics
  • Histopathology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Entry Requirements for Basic Specialist Training

The entry requirements for BST programmes:

  • You must have completed your internship by the start date of the programme (Monday, 11 July 2022)
  • You must be currently or previously registered on one of the divisions of the Irish Medical Council, or provide proof of eligibility for registration
  • You must have proof of competency in the English language in line with HSE Specifications

To be eligible for a place on the BST General Internal Medicine programme, you must be competent in:

  • intravenous cannulation
  • phlebotomy
  • nasogastric tube placement

Places in BST are allocated in the first instance to applicants who, at the time of application, are citizens of Ireland or nationals of another Member State of the European Union, Stamp 4 Visa Holders and UK nationals. We are awaiting updated guidance from the HSE/NDTP on this process, and once we receive this it will be published here.

21 September 2021 – Update from the Forum of Postgraduate Medical Training Bodies regarding the allocation of training places

For more details on how training places are allocated, please click here.

Doctor at work

Application Dates 

Applications for BST will open on Friday 1 October 2021 and will close at 12pm (midday), Friday 12 November 2021

Please note that we are unable to amend/correct submitted applications. Submitted applications are final. 

Apply Here for Basic Specialist Training

Applications for BST for July 2022 are now closed. Application for July 2023 will open in October 2022.

Basic Specialist Training Medical Careers Day 2021

This annual event, hosted by the Forum is aimed at interns and final year medical students to provide valuable information at this critical stage in their career. The event is focused on specialty training as well as talks about medical career planning.

Please click the following links for further details:

For any queries, please contact our Helpdesk

Frequently Asked Questions about applying to BST

A Applications for July 2022 intake open on Friday, 1 October 2021 and close at 12pm (midday) on Friday, 12 November 2021.

You can apply to Basic Specialist Training programmes in four specialties:

  • General Internal Medicine
  • General Paediatrics
  • Histopathology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

You can apply to more than one specialty, although very few candidates will apply to more than two specialties.

The first step is to complete the online application for the relevant Training Programme and submit the required supporting documentation.

Following the applications deadline, the verification process will commence where your eligibility and application are checked and verified. You will be informed if your application has been verified or not.

Interviews will take place in January / February 2022 and you will be sent details of this in advance should you be invited to interview stage.

You will receive marks for your academic achievements, performance at interview, clinical acumen, general suitability for the specialty and your Appraisal Forms. You will be matched to your highest possible preference based on your total marks.

First round offers will be made within a couple of weeks of the interviews. There are usually three rounds of matching and offers.

You can only be matched to one preference in each specialty. You can be offered a place in more than one specialty, but you can only accept one offer.

A The application form is an online form. You will need to upload the required documents to the online form. You may start your form, leave it and come back to complete it at a later stage if needed. You must submit your application form by 12pm (midday) Friday, 12 November 2021. Forms left in draft form will not be considered. To view the information requested on the application forms, please select the relevant training programme below:
  1. Academic Transcripts
  2. Decile/centile place
  3. Proof of Irish Medical Council registration / eligibility for registration
  4. Proof of English language competency
  5. Two appraisal forms
  6. Passport identity page
  7. Stamp 4 Residency Permit (if applicable to you – other types of Residency Permits do not need to be submitted)
  8. A passport-style photo of yourself

Click here for further details on these documents and a checklist to assist with your application preparation.


There are three ways to confirm your eligibility for Irish Medical Council (IMC) registration:

  1. Submit your certificate of current or previous registration on one of the divisions of the IMC.
  2. If you are not currently and have never been registered on one of the divisions of the IMC, you may be considered automatically eligible for registration if you completed your medical degree in one of a list of EU countries. Please refer to this document to see if your country is on the list. If your country is listed, your academic transcript which you are required to submit will confirm your medical degree was completed in that country.
  3. If you do not fall into either category 1 or 2 above, please contact the IMC and ask them to provide a letter confirming your eligibility for registration and submit this with your application.

You may wish to support your application and gain additional marks by including evidence of some of the following:

  • Professional qualifications/ education
  • Audit experience
  • Presentations
  • Publications
  • Abstract publications

Click here for further details on Research and Other Qualifications for BST GIM, BST Histopathology and BST Obstetrics & Gynaecology


Click here for further details on Research and Other Qualifications for BST General Paediatrics


Please select the relevant training programme below to view how scores are allocated for your application and interview:

Click here for further details on Centile Scores for BST GIM, BST Histopathology and BST Obstetrics & Gynaecology


Click here for further details on Centile Scores for BST General Paediatrics


Interviews for BST will take place in January / February 2022. All interviews will take place virtually via Zoom. Interviews generally take place between 7:00am – 5:00pm GMT on the interview date.


Click here to access the RCPI Help Centre for more Frequently Asked Questions on applying to BST.        

Applying to BST? Please read these important documents

Appraisal Form

You will be required to bring two appraisal forms from two referees to your interview. Your referees are asked to rate your professional attitude and personal attributes on the appraisal form.

English Language Requirements - Guidance - Updated November 2020

All applicants are required to demonstrate their competency in the English Language in line with HSE specifications. Read more about English Language requirements here.

Contact Us

We have a dedicated administrative team to support Trainees in Basic Specialist Training. They are happy to deal with any questions you have about BST.  Contact the team on