Doctors who wish to join the UK “residency program” (to put it in USMLE terms) need to apply via the UK Foundation Program Office (UKFPO), to their Eligibility Office. The Eligibility Office will act like your Medical University. By the end of the process you will be allocate you to a Deanery (of your preference if you are lucky) where you will be spending the next 2 years of your Foundation training.
Who is eligible?
A lot of the questions I have been asked is regarding who is eligible for the FY1 posts.
To the best of my knowledge, local graduates, EU graduates and IMG’s who have a UK or EU spouse at the moment are eligible to apply. I am unfortunately not very familiar with this area of the process.
The best source I can direct you to is the official UKFPO website, which states:
“This document is for applicants to the national UK Foundation Programme 2018 (UKFP 2018) who:
1. are studying at or have graduated from non-UK medical schools or
2. have graduated from a UK medical school on or prior to 01 August 2016
3. are a non-UK or non-EEA national studying for a UK medical degree at a campus outside the UK.
Applicants in any of these three groups need to submit an eligibility application BEFORE the main
recruitment round opening in order to have their eligibility to apply for UKFP 2018 confirmed.”
How to start applying for Eligibility
To start this, you will be required to open/activate an Oriel account. Through this account you will be able to apply for eligibility, register and apply for Foundation vacancies.
Worth highlighting are the multiple deadlines the UKFPO has at every stage. Familiarize yourself with these deadlines (there are many!) and add them all to your calendar! All these deadlines will be provided in the UKFPO Handbook which you can find on their main web page.
To register with the Foundation Program, IMG first need to apply for Eligibility during the period of June – August.
This will involve providing the following documents by post:
- Deans Statement (this is a specific form which is updated each year. Make sure you use the right one when asking your Medical College to fill this in. The Dean of your Medical School will be asked to sign this form).
- Passport sized photo (no older than 12 months).
This will need to be sent to :
UK Foundation Programme Office
St Chad’s Court
213 Hagley Road
The remaining documents you will be required to upload (to complete your eligibility application) via Oriel are the following :
- Passport copy (coloured)
- Medical School Degree
- IELTS certificate (academic). You are required to score a minimum of 7.5 in all categories.
- Evidence of name change (if applicable)
- Evidence of GMC Provisional Registration (can be submitted later but is required months before starting work).
- Evidence of your right to work in the UK.
For any queries, you can send an email : firstname.lastname@example.org
The outcome of the eligibility is announced about 2 weeks later (near the last week of August).
Candidates will either be “eligible”, “eligible with conditions” (these IMG will be required to submit missing documents, e.g. PLAB before the mentioned date) and “ineligible” (as well as “eligibility conditions not met”).
Those who wish to appeal this process can do so (which I did…I’ll explain more later). The appeal will take about 3 weeks to be processed and will be reviewed twice. Once by the UKFPO and finally by an independent panel committee. As I went through this process it is quite stressful but if you unfortunately end up here, don’t loose faith! Thankfully, my appeals process was approved.
When your eligibility becomes approved, more options become available on the your Oriel account.
What is worth understanding is the application scoring system …