After completing the medical degree, medical students are given provisional registration with a licence to practise by the General Medical Council. Students who wish to practise medicine in the UK then go on to apply to the Foundation Programme. This is a two-year training programme for newly qualified doctors. After successful completion of its first year, the General Medical Council grants full registration with a licence to practise. This is necessary to practise as a doctor in the UK.
Medical students will usually apply to the Foundation Programme while still in the final year of their medical degree. Other applicants, including those from outside of the UK, must contact the UK Foundation Programme Office directly to determine eligibility and how to apply. Please note that deadlines for determining eligibility and submitting an application are in place and should be confirmed on the UK Foundation Programme website.
Foundation training is paid employment and takes place in foundation schools, which are based in hospital Trusts. During the application stage, candidates will rank foundation schools according to where they would prefer to work for the two years following graduation. Each application is then given a score which is determined from the results the candidate achieves in the Educational Performance Measure and Situational Judgement Test. This score will decide which foundation school applicants are allocated to.
Educational Performance Measure (EPM)
The Educational Performance Measure reflects how medical students have performed academically up to the point of application to the Foundation Programme. Additional degrees, publications and presentations are eligible for extra points as part of the application process. The Educational Performance Measure is worth 50% of the final application score.
Situational Judgement Test (SJT)
The Situational Judgement Test is a selection assessment designed to assess the aptitudes expected of a foundation doctor, as defined in the national Foundation Programme person specification. This is updated each year and can be found on the UK Foundation Programme Office website. The Situational Judgement Test is worth 50% of the final application score.
From 2020, the SJT has moved online and is delivered at Pearson Vue Test Centres. For more detail and how to book, see here.
F1/F2 stand-alone programmes
The UK Foundation Programme Office are looking to recruit doctors who hold or are eligible for full registration with the General Medical Council (GMC) to work in recognised F1 and F2 standalone training programmes as part of the UK Foundation Programme.
Trainees will have the opportunity to gain experience in a series of placements in a variety of specialties/healthcare settings and will be offered the same educational resource and teaching opportunities as FY1 and FY2 trainees on 2-year programmes.
To find out more about F1/F2 stand-alone programmes click here.
Access the AFP
Access the AFP, led by academics at the University of Bristol, is an upcoming comprehensive guide to the application process to the The Specialised Foundation Programme (previously known as Academic Foundation Programme). In addition to this, Access the AFP is running a webinar series covering the application process.