2 Year Foundation Programmes FAQs

Visit this section regularly to see the new frequently asked questions posted. Our questions are split into groups to make them easier to view.


Who is eligible to apply for the Foundation programme?

UK medical school graduates who have been nominated by their medical school.

UK medical school graduates who graduated more than two years prior to the start of the programme who have applied through the UKFPO’s  Eligibility Office and their application has been deemed eligible.

Overseas graduates who have applied through the UKFPO’s Eligibility Office and their application has been deemed eligible.

How do I apply for foundation training / to the Foundation Programme?

Applicants will either be nominated by a UK medical school or by the UKFPO’s Eligibility Office (please refer to separate guidance for Eligibility Office applicants). Decile scores will be available.

All applications should be submitted through the Oriel (national online application system). Applicants can access Oriel via https://www.oriel.nhs.uk. Applicants are advised to start their applications early to allow sufficient time to complete the necessary sections of the application form and to gather evidence in support of their application.

How do I apply through the eligibility process?

You will need to submit an online application through the Oriel system. Please refer to the Eligibility Applicant Guidance on the Eligibility Information page.

If I apply through the eligibility application process, am I required to sit the Situational Judgement Test (SJT)?

All applicants will be required to sit the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) on Friday 6th December 2019 or Monday 6th January 2020. Eligibility applicants will be able to book their SJT slot online on Oriel. The deadline to book for the SJT is 12:00 BST on Thursday 26th September 2019.

Some of my documents are in a different name (e.g. maiden name), can I still apply?

Yes. If the names given on your passport, eligibility application form, medical school degree certificate and Dean’s Statement do not match, you must upload documentation to Oriel confirming an official name change (for example, a copy of your marriage certificate or divorce decree certificate).

You must complete all documentation and the online applications using the same name, in the same format each time it is shown. For example, if your name is written as John Smith on the eligibility application form, then it must appear that way in all future documentation and correspondence, not as Jonathan Smith, John A Smith, JA Smith, Smith John, etc. The name you record on your online eligibility application form must match the name on your passport.

I have more than one nationality, which one should I include on my application form?

If you have dual nationality / multi citizenship, please ensure that you complete the online Oriel application with information on the most relevant nationality regarding providing evidence of your right to work in the UK and upload the relevant passport / ID card. 

Please note that the nationality provided on your application form will be used to determine whether or not you would be required to undertake the PLAB examinations.

I am studying medicine at a non-UK medical school; can I apply to the Foundation Programme?

Yes. You will need to apply through the eligibility application process first over the summer months. Please refer to the Eligibility Applicant Guidance on the Eligibility Information page.

How is my application scored?

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

Educational Performance Measure (EPM) – 50 points maximum

Situational Judgement Test (SJT) – 50 points maximum

Can I link my application to another applicant?

Yes. You can link your FP application to that of another applicant to ensure you are both allocated to the same UoA, providing you both score highly enough to be allocated to the primary list. Please note that you can only link to one other applicant.

Links will not be considered if either applicant accepts an AFP offer.

You cannot link with someone who is applying for special circumstances.

Links will be broken if preferences are amended following the close of the application window.

If both applicants reach this page at the same time, one applicant should select ‘no’ to this question. The applicant who selects ‘no’, will receive a request from the other applicant inviting them to link their application, which you can then accept. The link must be accepted before either applicant submits their application for it be honoured.

The decile score displayed on my Oriel account is different to the one my medical school gave me, what should I do?

You should contact your medical school at the earliest opportunity and they will be able to request for this to be amended prior to December.

I have a UK medical degree from a school outside of the UK, will my medical school nominate me?

If you are a UK national, your medical school will be able to nominate you. If you are a non-UK or non-EEA national, you will need to apply through the eligibility application process.

How do I apply for less than full time training?

You will have an opportunity to indicate that you would like to work on the less than full-time basis on your application form. Please speak to your foundation school at the earliest opportunity once you have been allocated.

How will I be allocated to a place / how does the allocation process work?

All applicants will be ranked in score order and given a unique rank on Oriel. In the event of tied scores, the decile score will be used to break the ties. If there are still tied scores, the SJT score will be used to break the ties and then ties will be broken randomly. The unique ranks will be carried forward for the process of matching to groups and individual programmes.

If there are more eligible applicants than places, the ‘n’ top ranking applicants will automatically be placed on the primary list, where ‘n’ is the total number of FP places available across the UK. Applicants who are not allocated to the primary list will be placed on a reserve list and will be allocated in batches on predetermined dates.

Following the national allocation process, local foundation schools manage the process of group / programme matching. Applicants are advised to check the websites of each foundation school to familiarise themselves with local matching processes.

What happens if there are not enough foundation jobs for the number of applicants who apply?

Applicants will be allocated in batches when vacancies arise due to primary list applicant withdrawals.

Can I appeal against the outcome of my application?

You can appeal against national elements of the application process. This includes appeals relating to eligibility for overseas graduated and UK medical school graduates who qualified more than two years prior to the start of the programme, verified educational achievements scores, clinical assessment and special circumstances. You can view the processes here.

Is it possible for me to be allocated to my first preference if I am on the reserve list?

Yes. Places will arise due to applicant withdrawals. These places could be located anywhere across the programme.

What happens if I do not wish to accept the post?

You must contact your allocated foundation school at the earliest convenience and request for your application to be withdrawn. Please note that if you choose to withdraw your application, you will not be able to work as a doctor in the UK with provisional registration under the GMC guidelines. You will need to apply again the following year.

What is the process for providing references for the Foundation Programme?

Referees will be able to submit references online through Oriel from March – April. After this time, the foundation schools and your employing organisation will chase referees for references. It is not a problem if your referees do not complete a reference online.

What happens if I do not pass my final exams and graduate as expected?

You will not be eligible to commence foundation training and your application will need to be withdrawn. You will be able to apply the following year.

I applied last year but did not take up a post, do I need to sit the SJT again?


If my application is deemed eligible, does this mean that I will be guaranteed a job?

Yes. If your application has been deemed eligible with conditions, the condition must be met. You must also meet all requirements of the person specification, e.g. you will need to achieve a satisfactory SJT.

If you are required to pass PLAB, you must pass both PLAB 1 and PLAB 2 by the deadlines specified.

You will need to ensure you have the right to work in the UK.

Tier 4 FAQ’s
How do I apply as a refugee doctor?

Please contact the UKFPO team directly for further advice and support in your application via helpdesk@foundationprogramme.nhs.uk