Purpose of the foundation programme

The foundation programme is part of the continuum of medical education. It is the only point in medical training common to all UK medical students and doctors. It ensures that newly qualified doctors demonstrate their ability to learn in the workplace, develop their clinical and professional skills in the workplace in readiness for core, specialty or general practice training.

The foundation programme aims to ensure that all doctors deliver safe and effective patient care and aspire to excellence in their professional development in accordance with the General Medical Council (GMC) guidance laid down in 'Tomorrow's Doctors' (2009), 'Promoting Excellence: Standards for medical education and training' (July 2015) and 'Good Medical Practice' (2013).

During the programme, foundation doctors work in a supportive environment where they are properly managed and supervised, enabling them to learn through service delivery whilst ensuring that patients are not put at risk. Foundation doctors practise within their own level of competence and are provided with adequate supervision and feedback to reach higher levels of competence in existing skills and to acquire new skills. The foundation programme builds on and develops the responsibilities of clinical professionalism. Satisfactory progress through the foundation programme indicates that a doctor is moving towards increasing maturity of practice.

Throughout medical school and the foundation programme, medical students and foundation doctors should draw upon career information and guidance and reflect upon their abilities, interests and opportunities as well as anticipated service needs to make informed choices about their future career. The career management section in the reference guide and healthcare careers are useful resources.

The foundation programme aims to: