Regulating doctors, ensuring good medical practice

The Foundation Programme

The Foundation Programme is a two-year training programme for doctors after leaving medical school. It is designed to give trainees a range of general experience and enable them to take on supervised responsibility for patient care as a professional in the workplace, before choosing an area of medicine in which to specialise.

In the first year of the Foundation Programme (F1) a provisionally registered doctor must demonstrate the outcomes in The Trainee Doctor before they are eligible to apply for full registration with the GMC. In the second year of the Foundation Programme (F2) trainees have full registration with the GMC, and remain under clinical supervision while taking increasing responsibility for patient care.

Since the merger of PMETB with the GMC on 1 April 2010, the GMC has been wholly responsible for setting the standards and outcomes for the Foundation Programme, and assuring the quality of the training managed and delivered by postgraduate deaneries and local education providers.

The Trainee Doctor sets out the standards that Foundation Programme providers must meet, and the outcomes that F1 doctors must demonstrate before they are eligible to apply for full registration with a licence to practise.

The curriculum

The curriculum for the Foundation Programme has been developed by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and is followed by all trainees in the United Kingdom.

View the curriculum on the UK Foundation Programme Office website.

The GMC has approved the Foundation Curriculum as meeting its standards for training and content for the Foundation Programme. Provisionally registered doctors will be able to demonstrate they have met the outcomes for full registration by successfully completing the requirements of the curriculum.

Admissions

Recruitment to the Foundation Programme is administered nationally by the UK Foundation Programme Office. Further information can be found on the UK Foundation Programme Office website.

Absences from training in the Foundation Programme

View the GMC position statement on absences from training in the Foundation Programme (pdf).

Approval of foundation programme training and new programmes for provisionally registered doctors outside the UK

We have published a statement setting out criteria for approval of Foundation Programme training outside the UK (training as a provisionally registered doctor in foundation year 1 (F1), or a fully registered doctor in foundation year 2 (F2)). We have also published criteria for the approval of new programmes for provisionally registered doctors outside the UK.

UK medical schools, in partnership with the local postgraduate dean/foundation school or local education and training board (LETB), may continue, with our prior approval, to be responsible for an individual’s training as a provisionally registered doctor outside the UK leading to the award of a Certificate of Experience. We expect that approval of training as a provisionally registered doctor outside the UK will be the exception rather than the norm for this period of training.

View the statement on approval of foundation programme training and new programmes for provisionally registered doctors outside the UK (pdf).