Workforce, training and education
Yorkshire and Humber

Foundation Programmes and Placements FAQs

These are the frequently asked questions on your overall foundation programme/placements and some specific areas.


How does foundation training work?

The Foundation Programme is designed to allow you to gain core clinical skills as well as other professional skills like communication, teamwork and the use of evidence and data. You will be expected to demonstrate increasingly sophisticated skills in these areas throughout the programme; well beyond what you learned in medical school.

Your first foundation placement will usually commence in early August after medical school graduation. You will rotate to your next placement typically every 4 months (depending on how your foundation school sets up your programme) and over the two years you will build up a portfolio of assessments and achievements as you gain more experience and acquire competency in new areas. Part of this will involve asking your colleagues to assess your clinical and professional skills in a range of settings while you work.

At the end of each year, you must demonstrate that you have met the outcomes set out in the Foundation Programme Curriculum. There is a range of assessment tools you can use to evidence your competence and they are detailed later in this guide.

Once you have successfully completed your first foundation year (F1), you will be eligible to apply for full registration with the GMC. On successful completion of your second foundation year (F2), you will receive a Foundation Achievement of Competence Document (FACD) which is an entry requirement for specialty (inc.GP)/core training.

Throughout the whole programme, and as your professional development continues as you progress through specialty (inc.GP)/core training and beyond you should add evidence of new competencies gained to your portfolio. Your portfolio is evidence of your competency in different areas and it will stay with you for the duration of your career.

You will be responsible for your own learning, making sure your assessments are completed, attending the structured learning sessions, organising any “tasters” (usually a week spent in a specialty you would not otherwise experience as a foundation doctor) and keeping your e-portfolio up to date.

Your first job as a foundation doctor marks the transition from medical school education to learning on the job. Besides formal teaching sessions, you should consider every clinical activity or patient encounter a chance to learn something new. Always be on the lookout to add to your ePortfolio of outcomes, and to develop new clinical skills. For some competences, you may learn as much from nurses and non-clinical members of your healthcare team as from the senior doctors. Each day will bring many opportunities to learn. Grasp every chance you are given.

In each placement, you will have a named clinical supervisor (either a consultant or GP principle) who is responsible for ensuring you have the correct skills and knowledge to fulfill the requirements of your day job. You will also have a named senior doctor as your educational supervisor who should meet with you a minimum of twice per rotation. Their job is to help you through your training programme and to support your day-to-day learning. The precise arrangements will vary by foundation school. In some cases, your educational supervisor could remain the same for the entire programme, in others, the educational supervisor may change with each placement. However, you will always be supported to ensure that you have good clinical supervision and structured educational experience.

Can I change my allocated specialties or the order of my placements?

No changes to the order of programmes or specialties are permitted once applicants have been allocated, unless there are significant reasons (usually health grounds). Each applicant is asked to rank programmes in their preferred order and is allocated a programme using their application and interview scores. Changing the orders after the programmes have been allocated would not be fair to the other applicants, and as such no requests to change will be approved.

If you are unhappy with the specialties you have been allocated, you can discuss this with your educational supervisor or foundation training programme director, and/or attend taster days.

Can I do my F2 year abroad?

HEE Yorkshire and the Humber Foundation Schools do not support applications to complete F2 abroad.

Can I repeat specialties?

Guidance states that your F2 placements should not repeat specialities already experienced in F1. However, specialties of a general nature (i.e. General Medicine/Surgery with a specific sub specialty e.g. General Surgery - Colorectal / General Surgery - Respiratory) can be repeated in F2.

Can I swap posts for my F2 year?

From August 2014, HEE Yorkshire and the Humber Foundation programmes have been 2 year linked programmes. Allocations are now for the full 2 year programme and you will not be able to swap posts between your first and second year.

Do I need to rank all programmes?

Once you have been allocated to HEE YH as your Unit of Application, you will then rank the HEE YH three foundation schools (groups) in order of preference.

Once allocated to a foundation school, you need to rank the programmes for that foundation school. (EY / WY / SY)

To give yourself the best opportunity of being allocated to a programme of your choice, it is advised that you rank all the programmes for that school.

Can I complete an audit instead of a quality improvement project for ARCP in FY2?

All FY2 doctors will complete either an audit or QI project in FY2. If trainees only complete an audit project then they will need to demonstrate the QI curriculum requirements (domain 3).

This could be achieved through completion of the online (free) bronze award with the NHS Improvement Academy (

Audit or QI projects performed in FY1 will not suffice unless there is significant evidence of re-audit or implementation activity for QI in FY2.

This will be for TPDs to decide and document at ARCP.