Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Oriel?


Oriel is the UK wide recruitment portal for eligible applicants applying for Foundation Training.  

What is a 'Group'?


On Oriel the term 'Group' for the North West of England School is used to refer to the acute trust hosting foundation training.

What is a 'Programme'?


The term 'Programme' is used to refer to an approved series of six 4 month specialties which make up a two-year foundation training programme. A programme may also be referred to as a 'Track'. 

Who employs Foundation Doctors?


The acute trust hosting the foundation programme will be the employer for the whole programme. This is usually the Trust where trainees are based for the majority of their programme. This arrangement is particularly important for trainees undertaking placements in general practice, as indemnity will be provided by the acute Trust. Any employment related issues (such as maternity leave for example) should be raised with the employer.

Will I be required to have an interview for the Foundation Programme?

The North West of England Foundation School will not be conducting interviews for any part of the FP matching process, including any matching processes relating to reserve list allocations. However, if you have applied for an Academic Foundation Programme, please read the information on our Academic Recruitment page. If you have applied for a Standalone Foundation Programme, please visit the UKFPO website.

All trusts will require all applicants to successfully complete pre-employment checks, including two satisfactory references, occupational health, and CRB checks, before any offer of employment can be made.  Applicants may be required to attend in person to undertake pre-employment competency screening, in these cases trusts will be in contact with applicants allocated to them, individually, to invite them to attend any mandatory checking sessions.

This session will be used to identify any specific training needs of the individual applicant and a targeted training plan agreed.

Will “linked applications” be honoured in the North West of England Foundation School?


The national system allows linked applicants to express a preference to maintain a link in the matching to group process.  Linked applications to UoA can only be honoured if both applicants have been allocated to the primary list.  If one of the linked pair is allocated to the reserve list then the link is automatically broken.  Links to group will typically be honoured if both applicants have listed exactly the same order of preference to group and there are sufficient vacancies for both applicants.  The national algorithm will match a linked pair using the lower of the two scores of the two applicants.  If the link is broken applicants will be allocated independently on the basis of their own score.


Will there be any indication of which posts have out of hours and on-call opportunities (formerly referred to as 'Banding')?


Financial supplements for out of hours duties and on-call arrangements are a matter for the employer, and not an educational matter related to the Foundation School.  Out of hours opportunities vary from trust to trust so applicants are advised to make the necessary enquiries before selecting their preferences to trust and programme through the recruitment process.  HEE is concerned with the curriculum delivery, it does not have (nor has it ever had) and involvement in determining out of hours and its remuneration.  

The new trainee doctor contract is likely to completely change the current payments for out of hours work in affected posts, if you're worried about this aspect you must seek clarification from the trust as to what the likely situation may be from August 2024. 

If I don't like where I am matched, is there any "swap" system for me to change or can I have changes made to my programme?

All of our programmes are 'balanced' educationally and are quality monitored by Health Education England - North West through site visits to each hosting trust. They are approved a year in advance by educational and financial committees at Health Education England - North West and approval is given for specific combinations of specialties and experience to enable all trainees to gain the competencies required by the national Foundation curriculum.  As such, there would rarely be any educational argument favouring swaps or alterations.  Exceptionally, changes can be made for operational reasons relating to the running of the programme, or when specific circumstances warrant it for a trainee's health or well-being.  


 Trainees should not worry if they don’t secure exactly the foundation programme of their choice. The placements will not have a direct bearing on their chances of getting into a specific specialty training programme. Trainees should ensure that they can demonstrate commitment through other means, for example tasters, arranging their own observations, meetings with consultants, courses, research.

If applicants do not wish to accept their FP offer on Oriel they will need to decline the offer and re-apply for the Foundation Programme the following year. 

Please visit the Training Programme page for more information on the structure of a two year programme. 


Will I have access to accommodation at the Trusts within the North West of England Foundation School?


The School has no involvement in the arrangement of accommodation.  If you have a query relating to a particular trust, please use the Trust Location page or the Postgraduate Centre Contacts page to contact trusts directly.

Can I do either my F1 or my F2 training abroad if I accept a place in the North West of England School?


No. The North West of England does not approve F1 or F2 training abroad.

Will I get better training opportunities in the larger Teaching hospitals compared to the District General hospitals?


Every Health Economy within the North West provides the highest standard of training and each trust is monitored regularly & closely by Health Education England - North West to ensure these standards are being met.
The training experience and exposure to acute illnesses may differ between teaching hospitals and DGH’s as factors such as patient to trainee ratios vary.  If you are allocated to the North West of England you should consider speaking with current foundation doctors at the site(s) where you would like to train.

What is the Study Leave entitlement?


F1 doctors are not eligible for study leave. However, The New Doctor says that ‘training must provide regular, formal educational sessions that cover topics of value and interest to foundation doctors, who must be facilitated to attend. In formal educational sessions, foundation doctors must not be on duty and should give their bleeps to someone else so that they can take part’.

F2 trainees are eligible for 30 days study leave per year. A number of days, typically 20, is deducted from this for the formal teaching programme leaving trainees with 10 additional days which they can utilise to explore career opportunities.  Further details on Study Leave can be found from the Policies and Procedures page.


Who should I contact if I wish to work less than full time (LTFT)?


All information regarding LTFT can be found in the Less Than Full Time section of the website.

Can I take time out of the Foundation Programme (TOFP)?


Foundation Doctors contemplating requesting TOFP should check the relevant guidance in the Curriculum & e-Portfolio Documents section of the UKFPO website.

How do I transfer from one Foundation School to another (IFST)?

Foundation Doctors contemplating requesting an IFST should check the relevant Guidance for Applicants on the UKFPO website.


Applicants for an IFST will need to fulfil one of three transfer criteria (detailed in the UKFPO IFST guidance) for their application to be considered and be able to show how their personal circumstances have changed since the point of application. Applications that do not meet the transfer criteria and guidelines may be declined.

How do I transfer from one site/employer to another within the North West of England Foundation School?

Intra School Transfers (within the foundation school) are not permitted. Swaps are also not permitted. If a trainee wishes to transfer to a different hospital trust within the North West at the end of FY1 due to a change in their personal circumstances as of October 2019, they will also no longer be eligible to apply for an F2 Standalone post.

Where can I get Careers Advice?


Careers advice will be available from individual trusts, as well as the deanery careers advisor. Further information regarding careers advice can be found in the Careers Advice section.

I'm an overseas national and will require a Tier 4 visa, how do I apply?

If you're an overseas national who is currently at a UK medical school on a student visa then you will need to apply for a Tier 4 visa for your Foundation training. Applicants who are UK medical graduates will be entitled to Tier 4 sponsorship by the national Tier 4 team for the purpose and duration of the Foundation Training Programme.  Full details on how you can register for a Tier 4 account will be sent to you by the national Tier 4 team once the final allocations have been published on Oriel (April time).  The national Tier 4 team will issue you with a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) number which you will need when applying for your Tier 4 visa.  Your application will be made to the UK Home Office and not to UKFPO, the Tier 4 team or your allocated School/Trust.  It is your sole responsibility to apply within the appropriate time frames and within the Home Office rules and regulations.  

Information regarding Tier 4 sponsorship can be found on the national Foundation Programme website.  Details on how to complete the application form for a Tier 4 visa can be found on the UK Government website

Important note for those interested in applying to the Isle of Man (IoM) - the IoM is part of the NWoEFS but it is not part of the UK and overseas nationals who are UK graduates allocated to the IoM for their two-year programme will apply for a visa to the IoM Immigration Office and not to the UK Home Office.  Applicants intended for IoM will still be entitled to Tier 4 sponsorship from the national Tier 4 team for the purpose and duration of the Foundation Programme and will need to provide their CAS number in their application.  Applicants should note that if/when returning to the UK after completion of the FP they may be required to leave the IoM and return to their home country to make an application to the UK Home Office to return to the UK.  The UK Government are responsible for determining the rules around entry to the UK and neither the UKFPO, the Foundation School or the trust are able to influence these decisions or rulings. 

Applicants are advised to seek guidance and advice directly from the UK Home Office on entry to the UK following time on the IoM.