This letter from Ian Gilmore regarding MTAS has found its way here:
MTAS - Real progress achieved
RCP Council met on Wednesday 21 March and discussed the MTAS situation. Members of Council recognised and acknowledged the anger and frustration felt by Fellows and Members taking part in this flawed system, and agreed the following principles:
* the shortlisting process was so seriously flawed that it could not be relied on to select candidates for interview fairly
* as a result, every applicant must be offered an interview, whether applying for ST1, ST2 or ST3 for their 1st choice
* the College must be satisfied that there would be no significant differences between interviews that have already occurred and those yet to take place. Otherwise, to be fair round one will need to be stopped and a new round instituted
* employers must support and allow consultants to be released to undertake the necessary interviewing, even if this means cancelling clinics or other non-urgent duties at short notice
* there must be an independent review at the end of the selection process that will examine the role of PMETB, Colleges, Deans and MMC in the MTAS process and the introduction of MMC
* there are particular issues for academic careers that must be addressed
* furthermore, it is vital that the Colleges work together
I took these principles to the Review Group on Thursday 22 March and I am pleased to announce real progress has been achieved. Major changes have been made to the application system - from now on all eligible applicants for ST1, ST2 and ST3, whether they have been interviewed or not, are now guaranteed an interview for their first choice preference. Applicants who have already been interviewed:
* can change their order of choice
* can ask for an interview for their new first choice
* if already interviewed for their stated first choice, that interview may stand
Information on competition ratios for Deaneries and specialties will be available on the MTAS website to support decision making. I appreciate that this will result in more consultant time spent interviewing, but we ask you to support the process in the interest of maintaining fairness for all candidates, whether they have been previously interviewed or not. I am very grateful for the time and effort taken by all of you and hope that we now have a fairer, firmer basis for selection. In implementing these short-term changes we have not lost sight of the need for a full independent review of the process, and have had reassurance that this will be forthcoming. We have also been reassured that the ability to identify and promote academic physicians of the future will not be compromised.
Professor Ian Gilmore
Wow, that really is such fantastic news Dr Gilmore. That real progress you have so nobly achieved has really cheered me up. You have taken an unfair process and fudged into a new type of unfair process, that is such 'real' progress.
It's very strange that you don't mention how people who have had interviews for their 2nd/3rd/4th choices, now have to have these scrapped; that is such progress isn't it?
The current situation where candidates must play this game of poker in choosing their one 'golden career bullet' is beyond a joke. This is not fair, it restricts applicants to just one application. There is also no short listing at all and it therefore comes down to just one short interview, meaning that the potential for selecting the wrong candidates is huge. There is no alternative but scrapping things now.
That is such 'real progress'. Turkey twizzler anyone?