Foundation Programme

Purpose of the Foundation Programme

The Foundation Programme is part of the continuum of medical education. It is the only point in medical training which is common to all United Kingdom medical students and doctors and bridges the ‘gap’ between undergraduate medical training and hospital or General Practice specialty training.

The Foundation Programme aims to ensure that all doctors deliver safe and effective patient care in accordance with the GMC guidance laid down in Promoting excellence: standards for medical education and training (2015) and Good Medical Practice (2013). During the programme, foundation doctors work in a supportive environment where they are properly managed and supervised enabling them to learn through service delivery whilst ensuring that patients are not put at risk. Foundation doctors practise within their own level of competence and are provided with adequate supervision and feedback to reach higher levels of competence and to acquire new competences. The Foundation Programme builds on and develops the responsibilities of clinical professionalism. Satisfactory progress through the Foundation Programme indicates that a doctor is moving towards independent practice.

Throughout medical school and the Foundation Programme, medical students and graduates should draw upon career information and guidance and reflect on their abilities, interests, opportunities and service needs to make more informed choices about their future career. Refer to the Career Management section in the Reference Guide and to www.nhscareers.nhs.uk.

The Foundation Programme aims to:

• Build on undergraduate education by imbuing recently graduated doctors with the attributes of  professionalism, and the primacy of patient welfare which are required to provide for safe and effective practice and the care of patients with acute and long term conditions
• Provide deliberately generic training that ensures that foundation doctors develop and demonstrate a range of essential clinical skills that are required of all doctors regardless of specialty
• Provide the opportunity to begin to develop leadership, team working and supervisory skills in order to deliver care in the setting of a contemporary multidisciplinary team and to begin to make independent clinical decisions with appropriate supervision
• Provide opportunities for foundation doctors to experience a variety of career options in order to inform career choice and ensure that whatever career path is subsequently entered, all trainees have experienced the provision of medical care in both hospital and community settings.

Outcomes of Foundation Training

Foundation Year 1 enables medical graduates to begin to take supervised responsibility for patient care and consolidate the skills that they have learned at medical school. Satisfactory completion of F1 allows the relevant university, or their designated representative in a postgraduate local education and training board (LETB) or foundation school, to recommend to the GMC that the foundation doctor be granted full registration.

Foundation Year 2 doctors remain under clinical supervision (as do all doctors in training) but take on increasing responsibility for patient care. In particular they begin to make management decisions as part of their progress towards independent practice. F2 doctors further develop their core generic skills and contribute more to the education and training of allied healthcare professionals, medical students and less experienced doctors. At the end of F2 they will have begun to demonstrate clinical effectiveness, leadership and the decision making responsibilities that are essential for hospital and General Practice specialty training. Satisfactory completion of F2 leads to the award of a Foundation Achievement of Competence Document (FACD) which indicates that the doctor is ready to enter a core, specialty or general practice training programme.