Junior doctors apply for specialist posts through what is known as the Medical Training Application System.

Those junior doctors who did not achieve a sufficient score to be interviewed applied to the Department of Health for their results and were turned down on the basis that the system fell under the examination exemption. Under this, the Department would not be obliged to provide the results until the examination was complete after the second round of interviews. However, the Information Commissioner held that this examination exemption had been misapplied and the Department were in breach of the Data Protection Act by refusing “subject access requests”.

The controversial MTAS system has now been discarded as many excellent candidates were refused interviews and there was a suspicion that the system was technically flawed.