Important Update regarding ICM National Recruitment 2021

14 January 2021

As the current surge in the covid pandemic has left hospitals and critical care services working at full stretch, it was vital for us to review the arrangements for the National ICM recruitment process currently underway for 2021. Reviewing the planned process for this year, it is now not going to be possible for us to devise and deliver an online interview process for the following reasons:

  • The interviewers we would plan to use are all practicing Consultant Intensivists, fully committed to clinical work to meet the huge demand of the current surge; these interviewers will simply not have time to undertake the training required for this new online process for interviewing.
  • They are also unlikely to be able to commit to being available for days of interviewing in March with the current uncertainty surrounding how long the current surge will last and the associated increase in their clinical workload.
  • Finally, most of the applicants themselves will currently be working in acute specialties and may struggle to commit to an interview date and have difficulty in finding time to prepare for an interview in March.

The Faculty and the ICM National Recruitment Office have therefore taken the necessary decision to implement our plan B - that is to cancel the interview process and use the self-assessment of portfolio scoring with subsequent verification by a team of Consultant Intensivist assessors. This will provide us with a way of determining which applicants are appointable and will also enable the applicants to be ranked in order to allow them to then be matched to training posts across the United Kingdom. The switch to plan B and cancellation of the interview process also gives candidates two extra weeks in which to upload their evidence to the self-assessment portal - this is vital as our applicants are also extremely busy with clinical commitments at the moment, with many of them working on surge rotas. There will also be more time allocated for the Consultant Intensivist assessors to access the training material for the verification process and a longer window for them to carry out the verification of the self-assessment portfolio scores. The new timetable proposed for 2021 ICM Recruitment is as follows:

Although a move to plan B is not ideal, the current circumstances dictate we must do this; our specialty of Intensive Care Medicine is obviously on the frontline of the pandemic and working at full stretch. The portfolio self-assessment system we are using has been tried, tested and quality assured over the last few years, the additional remote verification process by assessors that we are implementing this year will help ensure this is a robust and fair way of delivering ICM recruitment across the United Kingdom for 2021, despite the challenges we all face.

Should you have any questions regarding this or require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact icmnro@hee.nhs.uk or contact@ficm.ac.uk