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Foundation Training - Special Circumstances

There are a small number of students entering their first year of foundation training who need extra support in ensuring that the geographical location of their training programme is manageable with existing care commitments for their children, or others dependent on them, as well as their own personal support needs. These students may be eligible to apply for pre-allocation to a foundation school on the grounds of their special circumstances.

Application Process

The Special Circumstances application process for pre-allocation to a foundation school is a national process. The national guidance and application form can be downloaded from the UKFPO Website. The process is managed locally by medical schools and the foundation school. Medical students are required to submit their special circumstances application form, along with all supporting documentation, to their medical school by the national deadline (please refer to the national applicant handbook and timeline for full details). Applicants should check with their medical school to which address the form and documentation should be sent.

F2 Special Circumstances

The Northern Ireland Foundation School does not permit you to change your F2 Placement, except in special circumstances as we recognise that a Foundation Doctor’s situation can change during their F1 year.

The Special Circumstances process is open to existing F1’s whose situation has changed since applying for the Foundation Programme. Current F1 Doctors may only apply for Special Circumstances to change their entire allocated F2 programme e.g. Acute Medicine/ General Surgery / GP, not individual four month placements e.g. General Surgery.

If you are a current F1 Doctor and wish to apply to change you F2 placement under Special Circumstances, please complete and return the Special Circumstances application form, with supporting evidence to

The application window is open from Monday 15 January 2024 and closes on Friday 16 February 2024.

Applications received after this date will not be considered

Please note the following (in isolation) do not constitute grounds for making a Special Circumstances application:

  • Wishing to stay in the same Trust/wishing to move to a different Trust
  • Living/owning property in a specific location
  • A spouse’s/partner’s geographical location
  • Career aspirations (ie: your allocated programme does not contain the specialty you want)

Please click below for the policy and relevant application form:

NIMDTA Special Circumstances Policy
NIMDTA Special Circumstances Application Form – Criterion 1 Primary Care
NIMDTA Special Circumstances Application Form – Criterion 2 Medical Condition
NIMDTA Special Circumstances Application Form – Criterion 3 Significant