2 Year Foundation Programme

The foundation programme is a two-year generic training programme which is intended to equip doctors with the generic skills and professional capabilities to progress to specialty training. 

The foundation programme is part of the continuum of medical education. It ensures that newly qualified doctors develop their clinical and professional skills in the workplace in readiness for core, specialty or general practice training. The foundation programme aims to ensure that all doctors deliver safe and effective patient care and aspire to excellence in their professional development in accordance with GMC guidance.

The four UK health departments determine the number of places available each year based on workforce planning across the continuum of postgraduate medical education and training. The national allocation process allocates the highest scoring applicants to all available places.

Medical school > Foundation training > Specialty training > Consultant

Trainees undertake F1 before progressing to F2 level, with increasing responsibility for patient care.

The foundation programme consists of an appropriate balance of placements across different specialties and in different healthcare settings. An example of a typical foundation programme is: -


Rotation 1

Rotation 2

Rotation 3


General Medicine

General Surgery





Trauma & Orthopaedics

Foundation Year 1

Foundation year 1 (F1) enables medical graduates to begin to take supervised responsibility for patient care and consolidate the skills that they have learned at medical school. Satisfactory completion of F1 will result in the award of the Foundation Year 1 Certificate of Completion (F1CC). Upon satisfactory F1 completion, the relevant university (or their designated representative in HEE, NES, NIMDTA, Wales Deanery or a foundation school) will recommend to the GMC that the doctor can be granted full registration.

Foundation Year 2

Foundation Year 2 (F2) doctors remain under clinical supervision (as do all doctors in training) but take on increasing responsibility for patient care. In particular, they begin to make management decisions as part of their progress towards independent practice. F2 doctors further develop their core generic skills and contribute more to the education and training of the wider healthcare workforce e.g. nurses, medical students and less experienced doctors. At the end of F2 they will have begun to demonstrate clinical effectiveness, leadership and the decision-making responsibilities that are essential for hospital and general practice specialty training. Satisfactory completion of F2 will lead to the award of a Foundation Programme Certificate of Completion (FPCC) which indicates that the foundation doctor is ready to enter a core, specialty or general practice training programme