Foundation Training Programme

A big welcome to our current trainees! 

Our aim is to achieve excellence in educational provision, with a vibrant programme that allows our trainees to flourish.

We have taken note of best practice elsewhere, educational research, as well as trainee feedback to devise a programme which is interesting, interactive and covers the depth and breadth of the foundation curriculum. You asked for more simulation and interaction, and we have delivered by increasing simulation at trusts and in our clinical hubs, and by adding our VR resource. You asked for more choice over your programme and now more than half of the taught educational programme is trainee determined according to preference, skillset and future career aspirations – the hub sessions, and additional options.

We hope our foundation trainees will view the educational programme opportunities as part of a wider continuing professional development that will be life long in a medical career. As such, we expect that the topics of the training sessions attended are broad and balanced across the curriculum including both clinical and professionalism elements

Please review our taught programmes guidance, which shows how the different elements are fitted into the training time mandated for ARCP. It is important that there is a balance between the different opportunities!

Enjoy your training opportunities!


Preparation for Professional Practice (PPFP) week and IMG extended shadowing

We welcome all our trainees at FY1 with a weeks preparation for professional practice. This orients you to your trust, and is a mixture of simulation, lectures, mandatory training and most importantly, shadowing those who are working in the posts you are about to take over! Your local trusts will inform you of their itinerary! It's important you do not book leave in the last week of July or the first week of August, until your PPFP dates have been confirmed. 

This has been extended for those who are new to the UK to an additional 2 week shadowing, as well as a unique and specifically tailored course prior to the professional practice week. We understand that the NHS can run very differently from the health cultures you may be used to, and this gives you an adaptive head start. Our FTPD with a special interest in overseas trained doctors is available for mentorship throughout the year.


Key dates: 

FY1 - The first Tuesday of August is the official start date of FY1.

FY2 - The first Wednesday of August is the official start date of FY2.


We welcome feedback on the Hub Events and Taught Programme, please scan the barcode below to complete the short survey:



Changes to the Training Programme:

Less than Full Time (LTFT)

We are very open to trainees working less than full time. It can be quite complicated and we suggest that you discuss this in advance with the FTPD of your trust or the FSD as well as the LTFT team.

Full LTFT Guidance and the application process can be found here:

If you wish to work LTFT from the start:

Please discuss with the FSD from when you have been allocated our school. we ideally look to job share foundation trainees, as this is seen as very positive by the trusts, and with two doctors sharing one post, it is certainly less pressure. If there are not two doctors to share, then we do approve LTFT, but the trust has only one less than full time trainee in a full time post, which can cause some service delivery difficulties.

We would recommend that you consider one of our purposeful less than full time posts [see the priority programmes on the foundation recruitment page]

If you are working at 60% you will need 5 FY1 posts, we will therefore ask you once you have started your FY1 rotation to 'reserve' your rotation for the next year.  this can be the same rotation, so that you get the FY2 posts you had originally planned, or you may choose an alternative rotation. you will do the last post of that year at FY2, move into the FY2 rotation attached and then for your final 4 month block we will offer you a vacant post, ideally at that trust, though it maybe at another within the hub.

If you are working at 80%, you need 4 rotations at FY1, and we would plan that you start your FY2 year, but the first rotation is at an FY1 level, we may need to change the order of the posts. You will then need 2 further FY2 posts, and we would offer you a vacant post, ideally at that trust though it may be another within the area hub.

If you wish to work LTFT once you have started:

Unless this has been recommended by the PSW or occupational health, you will need to wait for the next rotation before moving between full time, and less than full time. We work in the 'currency' of 4 month placements.

If you require an extension to FY1, we would usually look to start your first FY2 post at FY1 level, as long as this is possible - it may be that we need to swap the order of your rotations.

The number of placements you require in FY1 and FY2 will be calculated.

Your additional FY2 posts will be offered from vacant posts, ideally within your local trust though it may be at another within the area. It is likely that you will slot share these posts.


It is not an automatic right to change your LTFT percentage at any point, particularly if you are in a job share. We would try and accommodate this, but you do need to speak to the FSD.

TOOT/Managing absence

Trainees are permitted only 20 days absence not including annual and study leave, within each of the foundation years.

Typically time out of training is for ill health, carers or parental leave, maternity leave and more recently strike action or covid isolation.

If you have slightly more than 20 days absence your e-portfolio and absence will be reviewed, and if you have kept this up to date and have met all the competencies you will probably be allowed to progress as there is some discretionary flexibility.

If the absence has been outside this flexibility, or your portfolio shows that you need more time to either achieve or embed competencies, you will require a review to determine an extension, and how long this may be. The FSD and deputies  may well suggest a central ARCP to allow them to make a considered judgment.

If a plannred absence, it may be possibley to give you the appropriate 'training pause' and determine the extra time [please refer to foundation guide].

If there are significant periods of absence and more than one rotation has been affected, they may determine that restarting foundation training is the best option. This policy and guidance is currently under review whilst we see whether a national policy will be created.

On your return, the Supported Return to Training (SuppoRRT) service will help you get back up to speed, as well as helping to facilitate any necessary additional shadowing or training.

Time Out of Foundation Programme (TOFP)

We discourage trainees from taking time out of the foundation programme, as it is disruptive to the acquisition of the key foundation skills. However, we will review requests in line with the Foundation Guide. Applications should be submitted by January 31st by completion of the application form to be considered. We only consider an out of sync time out under exceptional circumstances. We only grant TOFP for longer than one year under exceptional circumstances, and usually suggest that you should resign from the programme and then apply for a standalone LAT FY2. 

When you return from TOFP, you are unlikely to return to the same trust and not the same rotation, as you will be slotted into a vacancy within the foundation school. We expect you to contact the Programme Management Team centrally in the February of that year to confirm you are returning to the foundation programme.

The application should be sent both to the relevant deputy FSD and the Programme Management Team. Please see the extended FAQ below:

“occasionally we get asked if trainees can 'defer' between medical school and F1, and F1 and F2. The quick answer is no, there is no 'deferment' in foundation. However, you may be successful in applying for OOPC if this is done early enough - as the timings for TOFP.

Trainees can have statutory leave [such as maternity leave, sick leave] and we will look individually at how that is best managed,

sometimes with a trainee 'due' in her first rotation, we may often agree that starting a year later is reasonable. However, we would expect all the trainees to complete the TOFP application form and send this with their reasons to the FSD with a very reasonable time for the trust to source alternative doctors [for pregnancy this can be done when you notify pregnancy, so by 20 weeks or 3 months before start date]

If a trainee has had significant health issues/hospitalisation we would anticipate that this would be a sickness absence instead, therefore only rarely with OH, GP and specialist support in exceptional circumstances would we consider a prolonged sickness absence with a defined start  [not deferment though in practical terms this can seem in effect the same and with new guidance possibly through the OOPC mechanism], and we would not anticipate the trainee working in a medical capacity elsewhere in this time.”


Guidelines around OOP for foundation trainees are currently in discussion. Please contact the Foundation School Director if you need to discuss OOP options. 

Please refer to the TOFP information above, you must have raised this with your FSD by no later than January 2021. 

For further information and application guidance for out of programme training for research or education purposes, please refer to the OOP webpage here:

Training Abroad

Foundation Year 1 (FY1)

Cambridge graduates whose studentship agreement requires them to return to their home country following graduation may apply to undertake FY1 outside the UK. 

No other circumstances will be approved for FY1 training outside the UK

For further information please contact Sue Eason, PA to the Clinical Dean at the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine.

Foundation Year 2 (FY2)

The East of England Foundation Schools do not offer the opportunity to undertake FY2 training outside the UK.

The Medical Careers site suggests training abroad after Foundation Training. Click here for further advice.

from the foundation operational guide 2019

Training as a provisionally registered doctor outside of the UK (F1) Medical students wishing to undertake their first postgraduate training year (training as a provisionally registered doctor) outside of the UK should seek the advice of their medical school as soon as possible.
In exceptional circumstances, the medical school in partnership with HEE, NES, NIMDTA,HEIW or foundation schools may, with the GMC’s prior approval, prospectively approve training as a provisionally registered doctor outside of the UK and upon satisfactory completion support an application for full registration with the GMC. The medical school and HEE/ NES/ NIMDTA/HEIW/ foundation school should publish their policy relating to training as a provisionally registered doctor outside of the UK.
F2 training outside of the UK (OOPT) Foundation doctors wishing to undertake F2 outside of the UK should contact the foundation school in which they are completing their F1 year. This means that foundation doctors should complete their first year of foundation training in the foundation school considering their application. Foundation doctors should also consult the GMC about the implications for revalidation.
HEE/ NES/ NIMDTA/HEIW/foundation schools should publish their policy on acquisition of foundation competences outside of the UK and make this available to those applying to the foundation programme. Not all organisations support F2 abroad.
Leaving the Programme

Each year some trainees relinquish their training post prior to completing F2 for a variety of reasons. We recommend that all such trainees read the latest information about applying for higher training, as they will need to complete their Foundation programme in a recognised post [not a LAS or trust doctor post]. This was specifically to stop trainees leaving after F1 to do not approved clinical fellow posts with the expectation of progression in a preferred geography. Foundation is a two year programme.

If trainees need to leave due to health or carer etc reasons then there are some other routes to consider, though there is not a 'right' to either, and are on an individual basis:

  • an IFST - inter-foundation school transfer, there are some strict criteria around this, but could be considered,
  • an OOPE or OOPC when they may need to go to support family and wish to have a possibility of return the following august - all needs discussing with FSD.

The 2019 guidance around evidence of foundation competence document can be downloaded below, and this is the relevant section.

Please also refer to the Oriel website for information on Certificate of Readiness for Specialty Training for latest wordings

we advise the trainees as below:

Before leaving your training programme:

  • you must have an ARCP with your FTPD and provide a Form R, you will be given an outcome code of N21- resignation with no training issues or N22- Resignation with training issues.
  • you must notify the Trust HR Department, the Deputy FSD for your region, and the HEE Programme Management Team.

'I started but did not complete a full Foundation Programme. Can I still apply?'

Not unless you can provide evidence of addressing your outstanding educational needs. Time simply served in other posts does not count. All CT1/ST1 person specifications have as one of their eligibility criteria: Not ever relinquished or been released or removed from a UK Foundation Programme or a stand-alone Foundation Year 2 post or its equivalent without subsequent evidence of completion/remediation. This would normally require you to return to the Foundation Programme to complete the outstanding requirements.

If you did leave the foundation programme at FY1, you would then need to complete an FY2 training programme in its entirety [through FY2 LAT]

Trainees who have left our programme due to significant health concerns or exceptional reasons that were flagged to us prior to leaving foundation should contact us around how they may return into training if appropriate in the future. we would look to provide an F2 gap for an August start wherever possible rather than requiring a standalone application. We can only provide a placement in this foundation school not broker posts elsewhere, and placements are limited to the availability and likely to be in geographical periphery. 

Most trainees, however, should anticipate they will need to apply to the foundation standalone F2 programme

Those that leave training after FY2 and return to medical training at a later date should look at our SuppoRRT pages or email the FSD/foundation team.