What is STEP?

Why is the process in place ?

The Supporting Trainees Entering Practice (STEP) process has been developed to help graduates make a smooth transition from medical school to the Foundation Programme. Starting your first job in the NHS can be an overwhelming experience and your foundation school wants to make the experience as comfortable as possible for you. To enable them to do this, they need to know some important information about you to make sure you have the right support in place when you start work.

A STEP form has been developed to support this process and should be completed by all applicants who are due to start their foundation training programme. The form will be available for completion in March. Refer to the timeline for dates and deadlines.

Your medical school has the legal responsibility for your education and training until you are granted full registration by the General Medical Council (GMC). In practice, medical schools delegate this responsibility to foundation schools, but the STEP process enables them to ensure that foundation schools have the right information about you to enable them to provide you with appropriate support from day one.

Medical schools also have to work in line with the standards and outcomes set out by the GMC in Excellence. Paragraph 121 Requirement R2.17 of the document states that ‘Organisations must have a process for sharing information between all relevant organisations whenever they identify safety, wellbeing or fitness to practice concerns about a learner, particularly when a learner is progressing to the next stage of training’

Therefore, the STEP process is an essential way for medical schools to ensure that they meet the standards set by the GMC. This is also why your medical school has the final say as to the content of your form, although if they wish to add additional information, they should talk to you first.

Non-urgent advice: Trainee Welfare

The wellbeing of trainees is important to foundation schools and the NHS. The STEP process allows trainees to tell the foundation school about the educational and pastoral support they will need to successfully complete the Foundation Programme. Foundation schools want to support you, but they can’t do this unless they know what type of help you think you might need. Therefore, it is important to be open and honest when completing your STEP form.

Non-urgent advice: Patient Safety

The first consideration for all those that work in healthcare is the safety and well-being of the patients they care for. The STEP process supports patient safety by ensuring that relevant information about individuals is passed from one stage of education and training to the next. This is important as it means that individuals can be appropriately supported to care for patients to the best of their ability. The process helps support the standards set by the GMC.