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Recent advances with Surgical Portfolio and Application

Hello, I'm Swizel, an IMG from India. I began working for the NHS at the beginning of the year. We'll discuss the most recent adjustments to the surgical portfolio and application process in this blog.

Finding the list of prerequisites can be difficult when applying for any specialisation. The seemingly unending list makes it frightening. (This was before this year's new modifications were made.)

The assessment previously consisted of 12-13 subsections, and those who scored higher than the cut-off were chosen to participate in the interview.

JCST announced employing MSRA in CST 2023 selection process on October 5, 2022.

Many additional specialities, including GP training, radiology, and anaesthesia, use this exam to shortlist candidates.

There has been a significant increase in applicants from 1690 in 2019 to 2528 in 2022, according to data released by Health education of England (HEE):

Shortlisting is needed. Portfolio verification is resource intensive. A decrease in assessor availability means that there is a significant risk of not being able to deliver core selection in 2023 if portfolio verification is used again to shortlist.

MSRA is a free exam, which is scheduled to take place over a 2-week window in January 2023 at Pearson VUE assessment centers or online. For individuals answering MSRA outside the country – local equivalent centers will be used, and for individuals who live in countries where such centers are not available, there will be separate arrangements.

Additionally, there were 10-12 criteria portfolio assessment criteria used previously, which have now been condensed to 4 major criteria:

1. Commitment to specialty

2. Quality improvement

3. Presentation and Publications

4. Teaching experience and training in teaching

Omission of surgical courses, prizes, additional degrees, MRCS part A membership. The point-based assessment has not been released for the above sections as yet. As per HEE, leadership criteria and management will be assessed during the interview. Thus to the final score, the total contribution of each section will be - 10%- MSRA, 30% Portfolio, and 60% interview.

The release of the 2023 application is just round the corner; there were plenty of changes to the 2022 assessment, which will roughly give an idea of what the interview panel will be looking for.

The recent changes in the 2023 assessment are :

1. Domain 1: Commitment to Specialty ( any surgical specialty)

a. Operative experience

b. Attending Surgical conference

c. Surgical experience ( elective/ taster week)

2. Domain 2: QI/ Audit: max points if the lead in all aspects surgically themed audit/QI which has demonstrated change ( second cycle audit loop) and additional points for presentation: max points for presentation at an international or national meeting

3. Presentation and Publication: max points for presentation at national or international level accredited institution or first author of PubMed cited publication

4. Teaching Experience – max points for designing education at the regional level

Teaching Qualification: max marks for master's level qualification

Fill in the application form on ORIEL and upload documents on the website by 16:00, December 1, 2022, GMT. After the application window has closed, NIMDTA will send you a message instructing you to register for Pearson VUE using highly particular account credentials connected to your Oriel account.

Keep in mind that the registration communication is not an invitation to attend the MSRA; once registration is complete, your account will accurately reflect that you do not currently have any pre-approved assessments, which prevents you from scheduling an appointment.

All applicants who are eligible according to the applicable person specification will be asked to take the MSRA. If you accept the invitation, you must schedule a time to take the MSRA; otherwise, your GP application(s) won't move further.

More details about the MSRA and Venue are on the brochure.


Application Window – 3rd November 2022 – 1600 hours 1st December 2022

Shortlisting Window 17th January 2021 – 10th February 2021

CST Interview: 25TH/ 28th Feb / 1ST / 2nd March

For reference:

For more information – follow updates by HEE.

If you have any questions about building your portfolio, I would be happy to answer them at You can register using this link I hope this post will help you understand the recently introduced changes.

Good luck to all the applicants.

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