Foundation programme

You MUST apply for Foundation Programme (FP) before applying to Psychiatry Foundation Fellowship (PFF) or Foundation Priority Programme (FPP)

The Foundation Programme is a two-year, work-based training programme which is intended to bridge the gap between medical school and specialty / general practice 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.

Applications for foundation training are to a generic programme. Rotations are designed to ensure all foundation doctors undergo a balanced programme which enables them to meet the competences and outcomes set by the GMC as described in the Curriculum. 

FP Application flowchart

UK Foundation Guide 

UKFP Person Specification

UKFP 2020 Applicants'  Handbook

FP Programme Information 2020 

The application window for this programme is Monday 30th September – Friday 11th October 2019 (midday / noon BST). 



Special Circumstances

The Special Circumstances process allows some applicants to apply to be pre-allocated to a Foundation School on the grounds of Special Circumstances.

Those eligible may include doctors who:

  • are the primary carer for a close relative
  • are a parent or legal guardian for a child or children for whom you have significant caring responsibilities
  • have a medical condition for which ongoing follow up in a specified location is an absolute requirement
  • or have a unique circumstance

You can apply to your medical school (UKFPO for eligibility applicants) for pre-allocation on the grounds of special circumstances.


Applications will have a maximum score of 100 points and this will consist of two components:

  1. Educational Performance Measure (EPM) – 50 points maximum 
  2. Situational Judgement Test (SJT) – 50 points maximum 

The EPM and SJT are added together to make the total score. From this, the applicants are then matched in accordance with their score and preference.

Educational Performance Measure (EPM)

The EPM is a measure of clinical and non-clinical skills, knowledge and performance up to the point of application. The EPM comprises two elements: medical school performance in deciles for which 34-43 points are available, and educational achievements, which are worth up to 7 points. A maximum of 50 points is available.

All applicants applying to the Foundation Programme, including the Academic Foundation Programme, will be awarded an EPM score. Please click here to view the 2020 EPM Framework.

Situational Judgement Test (SJT)

The SJT is an assessment methodology designed to test aptitude for employment and the professional attributes expected of a Foundation doctor, as defined in the 2020 National Person Specification. It is used for selection to the Foundation Programme together with the Educational Performance Measure and presents applicants with hypothetical work-relevant scenarios asking for non-clinical judgments about possible responses.

While the evaluation of the SJT for selection to the Foundation Programme is ongoing, research into SJTs as a measurement methodology shows that they are a valid and reliable selection tool and can help predict later job performance.

The SJT is taken under invigilated conditions and consists of 70 questions in 2.4 hours. It contains 2 question formats: rank 5 possible responses in order and select the three most appropriate responses. 

A maximum of 50 points is available.

All applicants to the Foundation Programme commencing in August 2020, including the Academic Foundation Programme, are required to take the SJT in the UK on either:

10.00 – 12.20 GMT, Friday 6th December 2019 

10.00 – 12.20 GMT, Monday 6th January 2020

Guidance for special circumstances for UKFP 2020 will be published soon.

SJT Guidance & Reports
SJT Practice Papers

The UKPO and MSC Assessment have produced two 70 item practice SJT test papers (a second practice paper added in October 2017), to help you familiarise yourself with the test format. The answers and rationales to these questions are also provided for reference. Questions, answers and rationales in these papers are copyrighted MSC Assessment.

PDFs of the practice paper, questions and rationales are available by clicking the relevant link below:

Tier 4

Non-UK/non-EEA nationals who graduate from a UK medical school wishing to undertake a recognised, 2-year full-time Foundation Programme (including academic programmes) are eligible to apply for Tier 4 sponsorship.

This is provided by Health Education England (HEE) working across West Midlands.

Applicant queries regarding Tier 4 visas should be sent to

Supporting Trainees Entering Practice (STEP)

We are currently developing the STEP process. Information will be available soon.

  Still have Questions? Please see the  UKFP Application FAQs