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Foundation Recruitment

Choose Northern Ireland as your first choice for Foundation Training

Some Trusts are undergoing major reconfiguration of services and occasionally services are moved due to unforeseen circumstances. Posts in some programmes may change in location prior to August 2024.

There are five Health and Social Care Trusts or Local Education Providers (LEP) in Northern Ireland who contribute to the education and Training of foundation doctors.

Each Trust has a Director of Medical Education who is the doctor who is responsible to the Deanery for the quality control processes within each Trust with respect to all doctors in training posts which may be Foundation, General Practice or Specialty.

Foundation Programmes 2024 – 2026

Timetable for Foundation Programme Recruitment:

12 September 2023 FP Registration opens on Oriel
20 September - 4th October 2023 12pm National application Period for FP 2024
07 March 2024 Applicants informed of allocation to Foundation School
To Be Confirmed Match Programme Results Released

Northern Ireland Foundation School (NIFS) Specialised Foundation Programmes 

When applying for the UK Foundation Programme applicants also have the opportunity to apply to a Specialised Foundation Programme. These programmes focus on academic research, medical education and in some regions, leadership.

Specialised Foundation Programmes available in Northern Ireland

The NIFS offers 15 two year coupled Specialised Foundation Programmes commencing August 2023 in conjunction with Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and Ulster University (UU) Magee Campus in Derry/Londonderry. During the F2 year there is a dedicated 4-month placement in research/medical education. At present NIFS does not offer any specific leadership placement options.

12 Specialised Foundation Programmes have their F2 based in Belfast with the clinical placements in the Belfast Trust hospitals. Their research disciplines are affiliated with QUB. Further information can be found here.

3 Specialised Foundation Programmes have their F2 based in Derry/Londonderry with their clinical placements in Altnagelvin Area Hospital in the Western Trust. Their research disciplines are affiliated to UU. Further information can be found here

QUB disciplines and UU disciplines are NOT interchangeable. F2 research 4-month placements are not interchangeable between Belfast and Derry/Londonderry. 

A list of available disciplines can be found below:

Combined Available Disciplines

Specialised Foundation Programmes 2024 – 2026

Application Process

To apply for any of the Foundation Programmes, first you need to ensure you are eligible to apply. If you graduated (or are graduating) from a UK medical school within the last 2 years, your medical school will confirm your eligibility on your behalf. For medical school graduates applying from outside of the UK or beyond the 2 year graduation window, your eligibility will be confirmed via UKFPO’s eligibility application process.

Applications are made on Oriel. An applicant can apply for a maximum of 2 Specialised Units of Application (SUoA). Each SUoA undertakes its own recruitment process.

Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed by a panel from QUB UU and Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA)

Scoring criteria and selection process details can be found below:

Shortlisting Criteria

Please note, White Space Questions are not used as part of this selection process.

Approximately 30-35 candidates will be invited for interview. These will be held remotely with a panel of 3 interviewers. Interviews last 20 minutes and cover a set of clinical and academic questions.

Candidate Feedback

Candidates may request interview feedback by submitting the following form to

Feedback Form

Verbal feedback will not be provided. Written feedback on the following will be provided:

  • Scoring Criteria for interview selection
  • Score for each question
  • Total interview score out of the maximum score
  • Minimum appointability score

Requests for scoresheets / interview notes will be dealt with under the Subject Access Provisions of the Data Protection Act.  For details of how to make a request, please visit our Data Protection and Freedom of Information Page.

Appeals Process

Appeals process information can be found here.

UKFPO Specialist Foundation Programme Timetable

12 September 2023 Register on Oriel
20 September 2023 Application on Oriel
4 and 5 December 2023 NIFS SFP interviews
From 10 January 2024 SFP Offers made

The application window for F2 Standalone Recruitment starting in August 2024 opens 9th January 2024 and closes on 23rd January 2024.

Applications are made through the Oriel System.

If you have any queries regarding this programme, please contact UKFPO team via or visit for further information.

Please note applicants  who are currently working as part of the two-year programme or have successfully completed the F2 year and  received a Foundation  Achievement of Competency Document (FACD) / Foundation  Programme Certificate of Completion  (FPCC) are not eligible to apply for F2 stand-alone  posts. Current F1 trainees  are advised  to consider  alternate  guidance  in relation  to options  for applying for an Inter-Foundation  School Transfer (IFST).


Requirements for Starting Foundation Training:

Pre-Placement Health Assessments (PPHA)

All trainee doctors and dentists will require a PPHA prior to taking up their first post with the Northern Ireland Deanery. Trainees will normally only be required to have one PPHA check on entry to the health service in NI as a doctor or dentist in training. However, if there is a break in training at the Northern Ireland Deanery or a period of out of programme (OOP) for more than 4 weeks in a high risk TB country an additional assessment will be required.

Trainees who are required to complete a PPHA will be notified of this by email.
The assessments will take place at the following locations:

  • F1 doctors undertaking a clinical assistantship within Northern Ireland will complete their assessment during this period, at the hospital where their clinical assistantship is being undertaken.
  • The Professional Support department will email all other trainee doctors and dentists to advise them of the OH department that they should submit their forms to.

Documentation Required

The following forms must be downloaded and returned (in either PDF or word format) with the additional documentation as detailed on the Immunisation and Screening Checklist for PPHA’

• Regional HSC Pre-Placement Health Questionnaire
• TB Pre-Placement Screening Form
• Consent Form NIMDTA Sharing Information

You will also be required to provide evidence of your vaccination history when completing the PPHA, please ensure you have this information readily available in order to expedite the process. Vaccination details may be obtained from GP Practices, OH Departments or Student Occupational Health Providers. Please note it can take up to 4 weeks for some organisations to provide this information on request.

If you require an appointment the relevant Occupational Health Department will be in contact with you in due course with details of the appointment.

Please ensure that you also read the ‘TB Professional Responsibility’ form.

For further information about the PPHA process, please download the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’

PPHA Contact Email Addresses

The Professional Support department will confirm which OH department you need to forward your documentation to. The email addresses are as follows:

South Eastern
Western – Altnagelvin
Western – SWAH

Data Privacy

The following documents outline how NIMDTA and occupational health will process, store and share your personal information.

• Occupational Health Privacy Notice
• NIMDTA Information Sharing Policy

If you have any queries in relation to these documents, contact us via the details below:

Tel: 028 9536 0224

If you have any questions specifically relating to the Northern Ireland Foundation School, please email: