Katie Chan (BSoT Communications representative and an ST5 in KSS Deanery) writes about the process of setting up an interdeanery transfer (IDT).
“ ... For most, people Speciality Registrar training will be completed within one deanery but, for some, there will be changes in circumstances which necessitate transfer to another region of the country. This is where the interdeanery transfer process comes in.
The IDT process is currently run through the HEE London Deanery as a national IDT programme. There are two windows for transfer - one in August and one in February. There are two stages, eligibility and allocation:
The criteria for IDT are strict, and rely on you proving that “a significant change to personal circumstances has occurred that could not have been foreseen at the time of commencing your current training programme”. There are four different categories under which you can apply:
- a disability;
- primary carer responsibility;
- parental responsibilities; or
- committed relationship.
In addition, you must have at least 18 months of training remaining, and have completed at least nine months at the point of application.
Even if you are deemed eligible for transfer, your transfer cannot go ahead if there is no post for you to transfer into. This is often the stage at which transfers fail.
Urology is a small specialty and there may not be any numbers advertised in that region for the year that you are applying. Even where there is a number available, the region may be seeking a trainee with more or less experience than yourself (e.g. they may want an ST6 rather than an ST5). Additionally for urology, there is only one national selection round a year and, given the competitiveness of the specialty, most deaneries are full by the end of the process.
There is no requirement for the deaneries to prioritise the IDT process over the national selection process and, therefore, although there may be training positions available at national selection, these may not have been put forward to the IDT process. There is no easy way to overcome these issues, but urology does have the advantage of being a small specialty and most training programme directors (TPDs) are supportive of trainees with a genuine change in personal circumstances. The British Medical Association (BMA) and the IDT team regularly work together to try and improve the process for all involved.
For severely extenuating circumstances that cannot wait for the IDT window, you can speak to your TPD and to the head of your School of Surgery. Urgent transfers can happen, but they are rare, and are at the discretion of the heads of Schools of Surgery for both deaneries that are involved.
Tips for success
The following will help your IDT application to progress smoothly:
- involve your TPD and educational supervisor early in the process;
- plan, plan, plan ...
- read the forms until you can recite them, and then read them some more; and
- keep in regular contact with the IDT team, to make sure your information has been received and that your application is progressing as it should ... "