Foundation postgraduate teams – developing tasters

This guidance aims to support the development of high-quality tasters in each locality of every Foundation School; and to facilitate the development of a local register of pre-arranged tasters which is accessible to all FDs within the local programme. There are already many examples of good practice in this area and this guidance aims to support all teams coordinating Foundation training in supporting career exploration for their FDs.

Tasters are normally taken in a FD’s base hospital but, if necessary, it may be possible to arrange them elsewhere. In specific cases for highly specific specialties this might involve going to a different training region. FDs should be aware that contractual issues in the place they wish to undertake the taster can sometimes prove difficult to overcome.

Seven steps to developing local taster opportunities:

  1. Identify a lead contact in a specialty for Foundation tasters (this would usually be the specialty tutor or GP trainer)
  2. Determine the number of taster weeks which might be accommodated / supported in the specialty
  3. Develop a programme which lasts for 2-5 days. This programme should explicitly state where to go for each half day, the start and finish times and who the FD should contact. (See Appendix 1 for sample timetables)
  4. Develop a short summary of what the Foundation taster will deliver in each component
  5. Outline the objectives of the taster experience
    • Include 1:1 time with a senior clinician (clinic, theatre, laboratory, GP surgery); time with the whole team (outpatients, ward round, team meetings) and time with trainees in the specialty. This should include some evening work which can demonstrate the out of hours experience
    • Include educational events
  6. Develop an evaluation form which allows ongoing development of all components of the programme
  7. Ensure the Foundation Programme Training Director locally has full details of all taster opportunities and all local FDs have access to this register of tasters.