Foundation Recruitment

Foundation Programmes 2021-2023

There are 235 linked F1 and F2 foundation programmes in Northern Ireland.  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 2021. 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 2021 – 2023

The Northern Ireland Foundation Applicant Range of Scores for 2021 – 2023

Timetable for  Foundation Programme Recruitment:

12 October 2019 Registration opens on Oriel
19 October – 04 November 2020 National application Period for FP 2020
11 March 2021 Applicants informed of allocation to Foundation School
Academic Foundation Programmes 2021 - 2023

Applications are invited for nine Foundation Academic Programmes in the Northern Ireland Foundation School commencing August 2021.  Please see below for details of the programmes.

F2 Academic Programmes 2021 -2023

Successful applicants can complete a Certificate/Diploma in Academic Medicine through Queen’s University Belfast, details of which are available below:

Certificate/Diploma in Academic Medicine

How does the Application Process work?

The eligibility criteria for the Foundation Programme and the Academic Foundation Programme (AF2) are the same. All final year UK medical students are therefore eligible to apply but must show the potential to fulfil a demanding academic role while still achieving clinical competencies.

The person specification for recruitment to the national Foundation Programme is used as an absolute minimum. It is important that candidates consider their interests and research the possibilities available before making application.  Academic Foundation posts and eligibility will be advertised on the UK Foundation Programme Office website (

Selection criteria for the research posts:

  1. Applications will be reviewed by a joint panel from QUB and NIMDTA
  2. The selection criteria to be applied for shortlisting will be:
    1. i) Evidence of academic activity during their undergraduate training.
    2. ii) Medical School Decile score of 37 or greater (excluding any additional points which may contribute to Educational Performance Measurement) Academic Shortlisting Criteria 2021
  3. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for interview which will be conducted virtually
  4. Candidates should review the list of disciplines available (AF2 Disciplines 2022-2023) and provide their top 3 positions in rank order when they attend for interview (Further information regarding the disciplines can be found here)
  5. Doctors will be appointed, according to their interview score, to the disciplines available
  6. Doctors cannot undertake a research placement in a specialty which overlaps with F2 clinical placements i.e, if Oncology is part of four months clinical placement at F2 this should not be chosen as a research interest.

Application for these academic posts is made through Oriel via the national scheme, UKFPO

Interview Format:

Due to the current pandemic, interviews will be conducted via Zoom. The interview will be a 20 minute station with a mix of Clinical and Academic questions. There will be no scenarios for you to read before you begin your interview.

Candidate Feedback

Candidates may request feedback on Longlisting, Shortlisting and the Interview by submitting this form:

Feedback Template

Written feedback, other than the information identified below, is not provided.  Verbal feedback is also not provided.

The following information will be made available:

  • Longlisting/Shortlisting  – Comments regarding Essential/ Desirable Criteria
  • Your score per station at Interview
  • Your total interview score
  • Maximum Interview score available
  • Your appointability and the minimum score required for appointability

Completed Feedback Templates should be forwarded to

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.

Information in relation to the appeals process will be confirmed as soon as possible.

Timetable for Academic Foundation Recruitment:

12 October 2020 Academic and general applicants register and enrol on Oriel
19 October – 4 November 2020 Complete national application form on Oriel and complete the NIFS Academic application section
10 & 15 December 2020 Northern Ireland Foundation School Interviews
From 13 January 2021 Academic Foundation Programme offers made. All offers must be accepted or declined on Oriel by the stated deadline
Foundation Priority Programmes 2021-2023

Foundation Priority Programmes (FPP) have been developed to support specific training areas of the UK. Northern Ireland will be offering 8 FPP posts from August 2021.

Please see below for details of the programmes:

Foundation Priority Programmes 2021-2023

Please note, a separate application is required for any Foundation Priority placements in addition to the application for the Foundation Programme.

Timetable for Foundation Priority Programme Recruitment:

12 October 2020 FFP registration opens on Oriel
19 October – 4 November 2020 Complete National Application Form on Oriel and complete the FFP Application Form
From 10 February 2021 FFP Offers released

Code of Practice - Provision of Information for Postgraduate Medical Training
Doctors in training require details about the programmes and posts they are applying for, where they will be working and their conditions of employment.  This Code of Practice lays out the agreed set of information that Deaneries and employing Trusts should provide to doctors in training at each stage of the recruitment process.

Code of Practice – Provision of Information for Postgraduate Medical Training

F2 Standalone

The eligibility criteria for F2 Stand-alone posts changed for 2020. Trainees who have initially been allocated to two-year foundation training posts are encouraged to continue in their existing post for the duration of the programme. In the past when F1 trainees have been able to apply in open competition for F2 Stand-alone posts, programmes have been disrupted and trainees have not been guaranteed to rotate through a range of placements in line with the curriculum.

The recruitment process to F2 Stand-alone posts is designed to provide a route of entry to training in the UK for doctors who graduate overseas with full registration, and would otherwise be ineligible to apply for the two-year Foundation Programme at F1 level.

In light of the change in person specification criteria, the Inter-Foundation School Transfer (IFST) process has been liberalised to include additional criterion. F1 trainees who have had a change in personal circumstances since their initial allocation have the option to apply for an IFST.

Please contact UKFPO team via or via the website for further information.

Further Applicant Information

For further information please refer to the UKFPO website.

UKFP 2021 Applicants Handbook 

Right to work in the UK

Information for applicants from the EU

You will be aware that the UK is in the process of leaving the European Union.  This means freedom of movement will be affected after 31 December 2020.  However, the HSC will continue to welcome and value staff and trainees from Europe as it does the whole world.

The UK will have left the European Union on January 31 2021 and we are currently in the transition period until 31 December 2020 during which all EU law will still apply to the UK. EU citizens and their family members will be able to move to the UK until 2021, with the same rights to work and study freely. For EU citizens who live in the UK by 31 December 2020, you are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.  All EU citizens who have lived in the UK for more than five years continuously will be eligible for ‘settled status’ (equivalent to indefinite leave to remain).  If you have lived in the UK for less than five years you will be eligible for ‘pre-settled status’ and can upgrade this to ‘settled status’ when you have been here for five years.  More information on the settlement scheme can be found here:

The UK is introducing a new points based immigration system from 1 January 2021.  If you intend to visit work or study in the UK from 1 January 2021 you can find out more information on what you need to do here

Delay Policy

Trainees can usually only delay their start date for Statutory reasons such Parental leave or Sick leave in line with GMC Guidance.

During these exceptional times, NIMDTA has introduced a Delayed Start Policy for August 2021 which details a select few non-statutory reasons for a delayed start. These are failure to obtain GMC Registration due to the cancellation of the PLAB examinations, Immigration Restrictions or Travel Restrictions.

Delay Policy – Covid 19 Related Requests

As per the policy, requests for delay will only be considered if they have been submitted using the “Application to Delay of Commencement of Foundation, Hospital or GP Specialty Training as a result of Covid19” form (Appendix A). Completed applications should be emailed to the relevant team via the below email addresses: Foundation:

If you have any questions specifically relating to the Northern Ireland Foundation School,  please e-mail