Guide to foundation training in women’s healthcare

All doctors need an understanding of women's health and its interaction with other health concerns experienced by women. Doctors on the Foundation Programme will encounter women's health conditions in many settings during their training, and these settings are not limited to placements in obstetrics and gynaecology.

In response to this need, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology (RCOG) has developed the Guide to Foundation training in women's health care.

What is the guide?

The Guide to Foundation training in women's health care is designed to:

  • support doctors in training on the Foundation Programme to complete their generic foundation curriculum
  • act as a resource to support their postgraduate education in women's healthcare.

How does the guide help doctors in training and their trainers?

The guide sets out:

  • the knowledge and competency learning outcomes relevant to women's healthcare that can be achieved during Foundation Programme training
  • how these relate to the Foundation Programme curriculum.

Detailed information

The guide consists of two tiers.

  • Tier 1 is for all doctors in training on the Foundation Programme, irrespective of which foundation placements they undertake.
  • Tier 2 is for doctors in training on the Foundation Programme who undertake a placement in obstetrics and gynaecology or women's health.

The guide is intended to give a framework to inform doctors in training and their trainers when they develop personal learning goals and assess learning outcomes during the Foundation Programme.

It shows key knowledge areas, matched competencies and suggested educational resources, and is mapped to the 2012 UK Foundation Programme curriculum.

Not every doctor on the Foundation Programme will achieve every area of knowledge and competency, but the guide should be used to suggest learning goals related to educational opportunities during placements.

Evidence of achievement will be documented using the usual Foundation Programme tools, including supervised learning events, reflective practice, and recorded within the foundation portfolio.

The Guide to Foundation training in women's health care was launched by the RCOG in July 2014, ready for the August 2014 intake. It has been distributed to all Foundation Programme school leads and heads of schools of obstetrics and gynaecology.

The guide was developed by a group consisting of the RCOG Foundation Lead, RCOG doctors in training, foundation doctors and undergraduate representative. It was reviewed by the RCOG Curriculum Committee, and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Foundation Curriculum Committee, and ratified by the RCOG Education Board.

This is not a formal GMC-approved curriculum, but it is a learning resource to support the Foundation Programme curriculum. The model could be adapted by other specialities to enrich the learning of their foundation doctors.

I want to learn more

For further information, contact Dr Rosemary Howell at

Who is this page for?
This information is relevant to all foundation doctors and those involved with their training.
Why might this page help you?
It is important for all doctors to have an understanding of women's health.