Engagement launched over changes to foundation trainee programme allocation

The four UK statutory medical education bodies have launched an engagement exercise facilitated by the UK Foundation Programme (UKFPO) into the allocation process for foundation trainee doctors for 2024.

Currently, applicants are ranked based on a combination of their Educational Performance Measure score and a Situational Judgement Test score, with the highest-ranking applicants being allocated their preferred foundation school first.

Stakeholders will be invited to give their views on whether to keep the existing system, or to move to a computer-generated ranking system, as proposed in the consultation, which will automatically generate a ranking for applicants, who will rank all foundation schools in order of preference.

The changes, if agreed, will be applied across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Stakeholders have until 28 February 2023 to respond to the engagement exercise with a final decision on how applicants will be allocated from 2024 onwards to be made in spring 2023.

Foundation programme training provides placements to around 8,000 medical graduates every year, many who are making their first steps into their careers as doctors.

Doctors need to complete two-years of a foundation training programme before they move into specialty training and will be allocated to one of 19 foundation schools across eight regions.

Dr Mike Masding, Co-Chair UKFPO said: “We know that preparation for the Foundation Programme application can be very stressful for many applicants, and therefore we are keen to explore ways we can make the process as stress-free, transparent and fair as possible.

“Stakeholders will have the opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns about moving to a new allocation made and we value all contributions.

“At the heart of this work is making sure that there is a fair system that gives everyone who applies the best possible chance to go to their preferred Foundation School.”

Further information about the consultation and proposed changes can be found here.

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