Training and development (occupational medicine)

This page provides useful information on the training and development for this specialty and also has tips for people at all stages of their training including medical school.

Download full image of the Occupational health pathway

Specialist training in occupational medicine starts at ST3 and lasts four years. Before embarking on this higher specialist training you need to complete one of the following core training (CT1/2) or specialist (ST1-2/3) routes:

CT1 and CT2 - Core Medical Training, CMT - two years
CT1 and CT2 - Core Surgical Training - two years
CT1 and CT2 in anaesthetics, or radiology, or paediatrics - two years
CT1-3 - Acute Care Common Stem, ACCS (acute medicine) – three years
CT1/ST1 and CT2/ST2 in psychiatry – two years
ST1-3 in general practice – three years
phase 1 of the Faculty of Public Health training – two years
The length of training can vary, for example it is possible to train flexibly if you fulfil the criteria for Less than Full Time Training, (LTFT).

It is possible to undertake ST3 specialty training either within the NHS or whilst working for a private organisation. Training outside the NHS must be approved by the local HEE office/deanery.

The training is a 4 year training program (ST3-6). Depending on the training post this can either be in one placement (ie non-rotational) or multiple placements (rotational - usually involving NHS and industrial placements). The assessments for the training program include two exams and a dissertation as well as a portfolio. The exams are Part 1 (written exam) completed within the first year of training and Part 2 (written and practical) completed in the second half of training. The dissertation can be completed at any stage of training. A number of trainees complete an Advanced Diploma or Masters in Occupational Medicine during their training although this is not compulsory.

Detailed entry requirements and all essential and desirable criteria are listed in the NHS Person Specification for Occupational Medicine ST3 2017 is available here.

All 2017 person specifications can be found on the NHS specialty training website. Please note that these documents are updated every year in the autumn before the recruitment round opens.

This information is correct at the time of writing. Full and accurate details of training pathways are available from medical royal colleges or the GMC.

Experience of extra-curricular activities, achievements and interests relevant to occupational medicine are also desirable.

Selection panels also look for evidence of academic and research achievements, which as well as additional academic qualifications include prizes, awards, distinctions, publications and presentations. An understanding of research, audit and teaching is also important as is evidence of the ability to work in a multidisciplinary team. Good leadership and organisational skills are also important.

A demonstrable interest in and understanding of the specialty is also required. A wide range of clinical experience is needed, although previous experience in occupational medicine is not essential. However, if you have spent time working in occupational health services this is an advantage.

Applicants for specialist training must demonstrate awareness of workplace issues and current policy developments.

Find out more about:

the GMC information on the curriculum for occupational medicine training
the specialty on NHS Specialty Training website

Getting in tips

It is important to develop your practical skills and interest in occupational medicine as early as you can. This will also give you valuable experience to add to your CV.

Here are some suggestions for people at different stages of their career:

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