General Medical Council
Regulating doctors, ensuring good medical practice
The purpose of the Foundation Programme year 1 (F1) is to enable you to
You do not need to apply for or hold registration with the GMC until three months before you are due to start work in the UK. If you are planning to take time out of your medical career you should read our publication Good medical practice, in particular paragraphs 7 to 13 in regards to keeping your knowledge and skills up to date.
We do not place a time limit between graduating from medical school and commencing the Foundation Programme. However, the UK Foundation Programme Office (UKFPO) currently has different criteria for those who have graduated more than two years before joining the programme. Therefore, you should seek further advice from the UKFPO regarding this. Please see the UKFPO website for contact details. You should also speak to your medical school (and possibly a careers adviser) regarding this decision.
To be eligible for full registration with a licence to practise, you will need to complete an acceptable programme for provisionally registered doctors and demonstrate that you have met the outcomes for full registration by successfully completing the requirements of the F1 Foundation Programme Curriculum published by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Foundation Committee.
If your medical school, their designated postgraduate dean, or designated representative in the foundation school, is satisfied that the outcomes for F1 have been met and the Foundation Programme training has been satisfactorily completed, they will issue a Certificate of Experience to enable you to apply for full registration with a licence to practise (you can download your Certificate of Experience from GMC Online when you log in and apply to move from provisional registration with a licence to practise to full registration with a licence to practise).
For details on who to contact to complete your Certificate of Experience see our web page: contact points for completion of your Certificate of Experience.
If you are thinking of taking your F1 year outside the UK, you must obtain prior approval from your medical school and postgraduate dean. Some postgraduate deans have a policy of not accepting non-UK posts. If you take your F1 year outside the UK in a post that does not have the approval of your university and they will not sign off your Certificate of Experience, you will not be eligible to apply for full registration if you return to the UK in the future.
The NHS medical careers website gives you guidance on how to begin planning for your career well before you reach the stage where you have to apply for a particular specialty.
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