Explaining to candidates when they can start applying to courses

Candidates can apply for teacher training during ‘recruitment cycles’. Recruitment cycles run from October to September every year.

A recruitment cycle will end on the last Tuesday of September every year. The new cycle will start again on the first Tuesday of October.

Between September and October there is a period of 2 weeks where candidates can prepare their applications for teacher training, but they cannot submit them until the second Tuesday of October. This was 10 October 2023 for the 2023 to 2024 recruitment cycle.

The issue

During the 2 weeks where a candidate can log into Apply for teacher training (Apply), we showed standard content about telling candidates they should apply quickly because courses can fill up.

This did not make sense as candidates could not apply at all until 10 October.

The content was not clear in telling candidates when they could submit their application and what they can do while they wait.

There was also a line of content giving candidates the date of the new recruitment cycle. This was getting lost because of the inset text above it, but this was the most important thing to tell candidates.

Screenshot of a page telling candidates they can add 4 applications at a time. Then there is inset text that tells candidates they should apply quickly because course can fill up. There is a link to some guidance and then content about the dates for the new recruitment cycle start date.

The date 31 August in the image above is incorrect, this screenshot was taken from our test environment which shows incorrect dates when we impersonate a user in the future. The correct date is 10 October 2023.

What we did

We wrote new content to explain that the current cycle (the 2022 to 2023 recruitment cycle) was closed. We also told candidates when they would be able to submit their new applications again (for the 2023 to 2024 recruitment cycle).

We gave guidance on what candidates could do while they wait for the new recruitment cycle to open.

Screenshot of a page telling candidates applications for courses starting in September 2023 are closed. The page then tells candidates when they can submit applications for the next recruitment cycle and what they can do while they wait. They can continue preparing their applications or read about the application process.