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Recruitment to Specialised Foundation Programmes from 2025

All applications to the Specialised Foundation Programme (SFP) across the UK 4 nations will be incorporated into the main Foundation School allocation process for 2025 recruitment.


There have been a number of discussions across the 4 Nations regarding the recruitment processes to SFPs prior to this decision.

In Wales, SFP moved into the main Foundation allocation in 2022, with no separate recruitment process.  

England and Scotland have made the decision that SFP recruitment will also move into the main Foundation allocation for posts starting in 2025 and a similar approach will therefore also be taken in Northern Ireland.


The decision to make this change is in response to concerns raised across the UK that the use of interviews and white space answers is problematic on equity, fairness, diversity and differential attainment grounds.

Co-locating SFP within the main allocation will now allow applicants to link which is not possible under the current arrangements.


The SFP approach in Wales has continued to be positive and has not prevented doctors pursuing academic interests. 

NIMDTA will continue to work closely with Queen's University Belfast and Ulster University to promote, encourage and widen access to academic training and research for all foundation and specialty trainees.


This will take effect from August 2025 and will ensure a consistent approach to recruitment aligned across the 4 Statutory Education Bodies in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales.


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NIMDTA, along with its sponsor partners; Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster Medical Society, and Ulster University are seeking abstract submissions to this year’s Research for Clinicians Day!


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