Successful candidates will be allocated to one of their preferred 3-year training programmes, according to their ranking in the selection assessments, the availability of the preferred programmes and the needs of the NHS. This means that higher scoring candidates are more likely to be offered rotations higher up their preferences than those that score less well.

Since HESW covers a large geographical area candidates may be appointed to training programmes at a significant distance from their own homes. For a minority of candidates this may present potential difficulties. The geographical preferences policy considers a number of personal and family criteria, which may permit successful candidates to train in a particular location, regardless of their score in the selection assessments.

Our policy is that the vast majority of candidates will be allocated according to their scores. The geographical preferences policy is only there to protect a minority of candidates with special circumstances. Candidates will have to provide evidence to support their applications. Fraudulent or misleading applications will be taken seriously, and may lead to an offer of training being withdrawn. All applications will be considered on their merits by the Associate Postgraduate Dean for Recruitment and Programme Development.

Criteria for Geographical Preferences Applications

Personal Health

Health needs or disability, which restricts the candidate to a particular area, e.g. tertiary care, travelling limitations.

Dependent Children


Health needs or disability.
e.g. child attending a special school, access to tertiary care.


Children of secondary school age, with particular consideration being given to those approaching major examinations (years 10-13).

Consideration will be given to applications concerning baby or infant childcare and junior school placement, but these applications will assume a lesser priority.

Exceptional family responsibilities- Adult Connections

Dependent family members for whom you are the primary carer and are restricted to a particular area and unable to relocate.

Evidence Required

Personal Health: A letter to confirm that you are receiving treatment, with reasons why this cannot be provided elsewhere.

Dependent Children: A letter from your child’s doctor or school as appropriate, with reasons why this care or education cannot be provided elsewhere. Applications based upon having exceptional family responsibilities should be supported by a detailed letter and with evidence from an external source.

Adult Connections: Please provide evidence from an external agency to support your application.


Note: This policy does not apply to facilitating swaps. As per the applicant guide (Section 6), consideration will be given to reallocating couples after the offers process has concluded in order to maintain a fair and equitable recruitment process. Any request for such consideration must be submitted in writing to GP NRO by all parties. A request can be submitted from the time that initial offers are made up.  Evidence will be required to substantiate claims (e.g. marriage certificate). The GP NRO will review all requests and any approved swaps will be actioned on this date.