Foundation Programme

The UK Foundation Programme is a two-year structured programme of workplace-based learning for junior doctors that forms a bridge between medical school and specialty training.[1] The programme aims to provide a safe, well-supervised environment for doctors to put into practice what they learned in medical school. It provides them with the generalist medical knowledge and skills to meet the requirements of the General Medical Council (GMC) The New Doctor (2007) and the Foundation Programme Curriculum (2007) and prepares them for entry into specialty training. All medical graduates must undertake, and complete the Foundation Programme in order to work as a doctor in the UK.

The programme was first proposed by England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Sir Liam Donaldson in 2002 in his document Unfinished Business and replaces the old Pre-Registration House Officer year and the first year of the Senior House Officer grade. Introduced as part of a series of initiatives under the Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) umbrella, the programme aims to ensure that foundation doctors develop and enhance their clinical and generic skills at the same time as exploring a range of career options.


  1. Campbell, Denis (5 December 2005). "Almost half of junior doctors reject NHS career after foundation training". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
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