Stand-alone Application FAQs


Who should apply for Stand-alone programmes?

Stand-alone programmes are available for applicants who hold or are eligible for full registration with the General Medical Council (GMC). Stand-alone programmes provide an opportunity for overseas graduates who qualify with full registration to enter the training system in the UK. Stand-alone programmes do not provide an opportunity for current F1 trainees to move locations part-way through their two-year training programme.

I am currently working as an F1 doctor as part of a two-year foundation programme, am I eligible to apply for F2 stand-alone?

No. Doctors who are already working as part of a recognised two-year foundation programme are not eligible to apply for F2 Stand-alone posts. F2 Stand-alone programmes are available for overseas graduates who would otherwise struggle to enter training in the UK.

If your circumstances have changed and there are specific reasons as to why you need to transfer to a different programme for your F2 year, you may be eligible to apply for a transfer based on set criteria. Please refer to the Inter-Foundation School Transfer (IFST) guidance available on the UKFPO website.

I don’t meet any of the criteria to be considered for an Inter-Foundation School Transfer (IFST), but I’m really not happy and do not wish to continue my existing programme, what options are available to me?

We would strongly advise you to speak to your Clinical and / or Educational Supervisor depending on your concerns. There will be support mechanisms available for you to access within your existing foundation school and / or employing organisation as appropriate.

I really want to move to London to complete my second year of training, should I apply for F2 Stand-alone?

No. Current F1s are not eligible for F2 Stand-alone recruitment.  In any case, very few F2 posts become available in London due to oversubscription at F1 level / to the two-year programme.

Do I need to sit the Situational Judgement Test (SJT)?

All applicants who meet the longlisting criteria will be required to undertake the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) as part of the recruitment process. The highest scoring applicants will be invited to interview, which will further assess clinical competence.

 The Situational Judgement Test (SJT) is a test for employment and not a medical school exam. It forms part of the selection process for entry to foundation training to test the attributes needed to work as a doctor.

Do I need to undertake a clinical assessment?

No. This is not a requirement for recruitment to stand-alone programmes.

Do I need to submit an eligibility application?

No. This is not a requirement for recruitment to stand-alone programmes.

What is the expected start date for stand-alone posts? Would I be able to delay my start date?

All stand-alone posts commence at the start of the foundation training year at the beginning of August (typically the first Wednesday of the month). Stand-alone posts are fixed-term for one-year and the curriculum for foundation training is both time and competency based.

All trainees will need to undertake the full year of training in order to achieve the requirements of the curriculum. If you are unlikely to be able to start a position you have accepted an offer for, you are advised to contact your allocated foundation school at the earliest possible convenience.

Are trainees working in stand-alone posts required to undertake the Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA)?

All foundation trainees are required to pass the PSA. F1 and F2 stand-alone trainees who have not previously passed the exam will be given the opportunity to sit the PSA during the course of the training year in September, March and May. 

Will there be any other opportunities to apply for foundation training posts?

All recruitment to foundation training posts is managed by the UK Foundation Programme Office. 

Foundation schools will not be recruiting to training posts separately. There may be Locum Appointment for Service (LAS) posts available for you to apply to. LAS posts are temporary posts without a recognised training component and are not usually assessed for the competencies required to complete a Foundation Programme. You would have a clinical supervisor, but not an educational supervisor. These posts are usually advertised by individual employing organisations (hospital trusts) via

I have previously worked as a foundation trainee but didn’t complete the programme. Do I need to notify you of this?

Any applicant who has previously resigned or has been removed from foundation training or a one-year standalone programme will be required to declare this on their application form and submit a reapplication to foundation training form. However, you can only apply if you have or expect to hold full registration with the GMC.

Applicants should upload the completed and signed form to the ‘document upload functionality’ in Oriel by the deadline for applications. 

Application Form

How do I submit my application?

All applications should be submitted through the Oriel (national online application system). Applicants can access Oriel via 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.

All applicants must first register an account on Oriel before applying to a particular vacancy. Applicants for the Foundation Programme must register under the ‘Foundation’ staff group by selecting the ‘UK Foundation Programme’ logo icon on the homepage.

How do I provide the evidence of fitness to practice?

This is a self-declaration part of the application form. It is expected that most applicants will not have anything to declare. You will only be required to provide information if you have been subject to disciplinary proceedings whilst at medical school or during your training.

How will my clinical knowledge and skills be assessed?

This section will be assessed during the interview rather than the application form. Applicants will be asked at least one clinical scenario as part of the interview process.

Is there an option to link stand-alone applications?

No. Linking only applies to the allocation process to the two-year Foundation Programme. Applicants for F2 stand-alone posts will not be able to link their applications.

How many employment references are required?

You must provide contact details, including e-mail addresses, of three referees who have supervised your clinical training during the last two years of your employmment or undergraduate training. One referee must be your current or most recent consultant or educational supervisor.

NHS pre-employment checks require your NHS employer to take up references spanning the last three years of your work and education. You may be required to provide further referee details to your NHS employer, if appointed.


What does longlisting entail?

The UKFPO will carry out a central process of longlisting in accordance with the eligibility. A second phase of longlisting will be conducted and will involve clinician-led panels to review desirable experience.

When do I need to have completed ILS by?

Applicants are required to provide evidence of a valid ILS certificate or equivalent by the start of the programme.

If you do not have ILS or equivalent at the point at which you accept an offer. You are advised to discuss this with your foundation school and / or employing organisation at the earliest opportunity. Your employer might be able to arrange for you to undertake ILS shortly after you commence in post.

What certificates are acceptable equivalents of ILS and how long are they valid for?

Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) – valid for 4 years

Advanced Life Support (ALS) – valid for 4 years

Immediate Life Support (ILS) – valid for 1 year

When will I be notified if I have been longlisted?

Please refer to the applicant guidance.


What will the interview involve?

Each panel interview will be scheduled for a duration of 20 minutes. Applicants will be asked a series of questions, including a clinical scenario.

Interview panels will consist of at least 2 panel members who are familiar with the curriculum and assessments of the UK Foundation Programme. At least one panel member will be a clinician.

How will interviews be conducted?

All eligible applicants will be required to attend an interview as part of the recruitment process. All interviews will be conducted virtually through Microsoft Teams using video technology.

Applicants will also be required to show photographic identification at the start of the video interview and move the camera around the room so that the panel can ensure that the applicant is alone. It will be the applicant’s responsibility for ensuring a robust internet connection and a suitable, quiet location to conduct the interview.

When will I be notified of my interview outcome?

Please refer to the applicant guidance. 

All applicants will receive a breakdown of their scores for each interview question and detailed feedback from the panel. There will be no opportunity to appeal the outcome of the interview.

Offers & Preferencing

When is the preferencing window?

The preferencing window is stated in the applicant handbook. 

There will be no further opportunity for applicants to rank programme preferences or to amend their preferences in Oriel once the deadline has been reached.

I missed the preferencing window, what happens now?

You will be randomly matched to programmes in rank order secondary to applicants who actively ranked programmes in the ‘preference’ column.

How does the offers process work?

All applicants will be given a unique rank based on their interview score.

Applicants will receive offers based on a meritocratic algorithm whereby the highest scoring applicant will be matched to their highest programme preference choice available. The system will attempt to match applicants to their highest choice in the first instance and work through the list of preferences in rank order.

When will the offers window run?

The offers timeline is available in the applicant guidance. 

There will also be a clearing process conducted later in the timeline.

How long do I have to respond to an offer?

You will be given 48-hours to respond to their offer. If you miss the deadline to either accept or decline their offer, the offer will expire and will automatically be declined. No further offers will be made.


How do I register on Oriel?

To set up a new account and register, go to All applicants must first register an account on Oriel before applying to a particular vacancy. Applicants for the Foundation Programme must register under the ‘Foundation’ staff group by selecting the ‘UK Foundation Programme’ logo icon on the homepage.

How do I change my staff group on Oriel?

To change the staff group on your existing account, you will need to go to the profile area (the small person icon in the top right corner of the screen and expand the ‘Account Info’ section. You will then need to click on the ‘edit’ button which will enable you to select ‘Standalone Foundation’ from the list of staff groups. When you save this change, you will see the abbreviation ‘SAFND’ on your profile in ‘Account Info’.

How do I search for Vacancies on Oriel?

1. Click on the UK Foundation Programme logo / staff group.

2. Select ‘Vacancies’ from the toolbar across the top of the screen.

3. Select ‘Standalone Foundation’ from the drop-down menu entitled ‘I am applying to:’ You may need to untick ‘Foundation’ as an option as this will generate search results for the two-year programme for provisionally registered doctors.

4. Vacancies will appear in the results box for you to select. Click the status box to the right of the vacancy listed.

5. Once you have selected the F2 Stand-alone vacancy, you will be directed to the advert information and once the vacancy is open, you will be able to apply by accessing the application form through this next screen.

How do I book an interview slot on Oriel?

To book an interview slot on Oriel, once you have logged into the system, you will need to select the ‘interviews’ tab from your dashboard.

You will be presented with the options available to you.

Once you have selected the type of interview and the date you wish to attend, you will be able to choose a time that is suitable for you.

How do I rank programme preferences on Oriel?

Once the preferencing window has opened, you will be able to rank all available programmes in order of preference by clicking on the ‘applications’ tab from your dashboard on Oriel.

Once you have clicked on the ‘applications’ tab, you will be presented with your stand-alone application form. Click into your application form.

You will need to navigate to the preferences page of your application form (page 9 of 10). You will then be able to drag and drop individual programmes into one of the three columns and in order of preference. You can also download the preferences in an Excel compatible file.

Programmes which you actively wish to be considered for should be listed in the ‘preference’ column in rank order.

You could receive offers for programmes listed in the ‘no preference’ column’.