Impact of COVID-19 on the UK Foundation Programme 2020

The UKFPO is monitoring the situation concerning COVID-19 closely and in conjunction with our partners elsewhere in the NHS across the UK. 

A summary of key changes/updates relating to COVID-19 (including those trainees currently on FiY1 interim posts) can be found below.

Interim (FiY1) FAQs: Curriculum, Content & Advice


Will FiY1 doctors have access to the foundation ePortfolio?

Yes, you will be contacted about this once the post has commenced.

Will FiY1s be able to access e-Learning for Healthcare’s free modules on COVID-19?

Yes. You can access this now without logging in, on the e-LfH website.

More new content has been added to Health Education England’s e-LfH COVID-19 programme, including four learning paths for nurses and allied health professionals and a document created by the HEE Knowledge Management Team listing resources from Royal Colleges and other professional bodies. The COVID-19 programme now includes:

· Essential Guidance from the NHS, UK Government, WHO and BMJ

· Public Health England – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

· Infection Prevention and Control

· Resources for Staff Working in Critical Care Setting

· Resources for Staff Working in Acute Hospital Setting

· Resources for Staff Working in Primary Care and Community Setting

· Resources for Return to Work Healthcare Staff

· Resources for Staff being Upskilled or Redeployed

· End of Life Care COVID-19

· Resources for Paramedics

· Resources for Pharmacy Staff

· Equipment Quick Guides

· Wellbeing for Staff

Will the FiY1 experience count towards Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP)?

Yes. Activities undertaken as part of the FiY1 experience count towards Foundation Year 1 (FY1) training progression (if the FiY1 doctor is undertaking FY1), although not in terms of the time component of the foundation curriculum.

This means that FiY1 doctors can collect evidence in their e-portfolio that can be used towards their FY1 ARCP in June 2021, but they will still need to complete a full 12 months pro-rata in a formal FY1 programme (August 2020 – July 2021 for most).

It is not obligatory for FiY1 doctors to formally record evidence in their e-portfolio of having met the requirements of the curriculum during this time as an FiY1 doctor. For further guidance please view our ‘FiY1 Training Operational Guide 2020’.

If I undertake a FiY1 placement and then move into a standard FY1 rotation in August 2020, will I be able to complete FY1 early?

No – as above, the time requirement of 12 months (pro-rata) in an FY1 rotation has to be fulfilled to be eligible to complete FY1.

Do FiY1s have to complete an e-portfolio?

Your named Clinical Supervisor must complete an end of placement report for you in your e-portfolio. This is the only mandatory piece of e-portfolio content during your FiY1 placement. You are, however, encouraged to complete other content as well to support you in your training and development. Guidance on the content available in the e-portfolio can be found here.

Do FiY1s have to have an ARCP?

No – anyone undertaking a FiY1 placement must have a Clinical Supervisor’s end of placement report but they will not have an ARCP.

Do FiY1s have to complete a Form R?

No. Anyone who has undertaken a FiY1 placement and continues into an FY1 rotation in August 2020 must declare their FiY1 placement on their FY1 Form R in advance of their ARCP in 2021. Note that Form R is not used at all in Scotland.


Other Information for Incoming FY1s

Incoming FY1s for August 2020

Deferrals: The UKFPO has published deferral guidance for FY1s who are supposed to start the Foundation Programme in August 2020, but wish to defer. The guidance can be accessed here.

Please note that this deferrals process, including the new criteria accepted as valid reasons for deferring, has been developed in response to the COVID-19 crisis. It therefore applies to August 2020 only, and will not set a precedent for the UKFPO allowing these same criteria to be used for deferring applications in future years.


Current FY1 and FY2 Trainees

Changes to placement rotations

Placement rotations have been postponed or cancelled for the remainder of the academic year (up until August 2020). Please contact your employing trust or Foundation School in the first instance.

Annual Review of Competency Progression (ARCP)

In response to the unprecedented situation with COVID-19 the UKFPO has revised the Annual Review of Competency Progression (ARCP) Guidance for 2020. The updated guidance can be found here. We have published a ‘UKFP ARCP Outcomes Operational Guide’ to accompany this guidance.

Are there any other requirements for ARCP aside from the UKFPO amended guidance?

The UKFPO amended guidance summarises all the requirements for a successful ARCP in the current training year. Local education providers/foundation schools may publish further local guidance on the requirement for “An acceptable attendance record at generic foundation teaching sessions”, for example, what types or how many e-learning modules (e-Learning for Health, SCRIPT, etc) are expected. Foundation doctors should follow local guidance, which will always adhere to the national guidance. It is also expected that Foundation Doctors continue to engage with the educational process, including submitting reflections and maintaining a personal development plan (PDP).

When can F1/F2 doctors have their ARCP this year?

To spread out the large amount of work and staff time (both administrative and clinical) required to run ARCPs, it has been agreed that for this year only, ARCPs can be run at any time between April and July 2020, as appropriate to each foundation doctor’s needs. As in normal circumstances, most ARCPs should be completed by the end of June 2020.

Can foundation doctors receive the new COVID-19-specific ARCP outcome 10?

COPMeD have published guidance on the use of ARCP outcome 10. We have published a ‘UKFP ARCP Outcomes Operational Guide’ to accompany this guidance. Please refer to this guide for any outcome 10-related queries.

If I receive an outcome 1 (FY1) or outcome 6 (FY2) earlier than usual, will I be able to complete FY1 or the Foundation Programme early?

The expectation, as in ordinary circumstances, is that Foundation doctors who receive a successful outcome early complete a whole 12 months (pro rata) of training at the level they have been signed off from and are paid accordingly.

>       F1 doctors in this position will rotate to their first F2 placement (if applicable) in August 2020, as originally planned.

— Certificates of Experience (CoEs) will only be completed, for the majority of F1s, in June/July 2020, as in ordinary circumstances. This will allow F1 doctors to apply to the GMC for full registration, which is required to start work as an F2 doctor.

>      F2 doctors in this position will complete the Foundation Programme (and be eligible to take up specialty training if applicable) in August 2020, as originally planned.

e-Learning for Healthcare: Free Modules on COVID-19

You will be able to access this following your allocation to an interim post.

More new content has been added to Health Education England’s e-LfH COVID-19 programme, including four learning paths for nurses and allied health professionals and a document created by our Knowledge Management Team listing resources from Royal Colleges and other professional bodies. The COVID-19 programme now includes: 

·         Essential Guidance from the NHS, UK Government, WHO and BMJ   

·         Public Health England – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)   

·         Infection Prevention and Control   

·         Resources for Staff Working in Critical Care Setting   

·         Resources for Staff Working in Acute Hospital Setting   

·         Resources for Staff Working in Primary Care and Community Setting   

·         Resources for Return to Work Healthcare Staff   

·         Resources for Staff being Upskilled or Redeployed   

·         End of Life Care COVID-19   

·         Resources for Paramedics   

·         Resources for Pharmacy Staff   

·         Equipment Quick Guides   

·         Wellbeing for Staff 

Advice for Pregnant Trainees during the COVID-19 crisis

Pregnant trainees are advised to consult the Royal College of Gynaecologist’s website for advice concerning COVID-19 and pregnancy here and Maternity Action’s FAQs concerning rights and benefits during pregnancy and maternity leave here.

Academy of Medical Royal Colleges – COVID-19 Resources

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has created a comprehensive COVID-19 resources page which can be found here.

The Academy has also created a new webpage focusing on mental health and wellbeing support for doctors and other healthcare workers during the COVID-19 outbreak response, which can be found here.

The BMJ – Free COVID-19 Courses

BMJ have created a series of free COVID-19 courses for all foundation trainees which can be found here.