Foundation competence guide

The 'foundation competence applicants' guide'  has been produced centrally, and relates to recruitment to all CT1/ST1-level posts. This can be downloaded from the document library. This is particularly aimed at those who require alternative evidence of competence who have not completed UK-affiliated foundation training.  In addition to the applicants guide, the document library also contains a guide to assist signatories when signing off applicants competences.


It is a requirement for all CT1 applicants to have achieved the competences equivalent to that of a trainee who has completed UK foundation training.

The way in which this is demonstrated varies depending on the previous training of the candidate. There are five main categories of candidates with a section explaining what each of these mean and how foundation competence can be demonstrated:

  • Current F2 - candidates currently on the second year of a UK affiliated foundation programme
  • Completed F2 - candidates who have a completed a UK affiliated foundation programme, within three and a half years of the advertised post start date (February 2016 for 2019 recruitment)
  • Current specialty trainee - candidates who are currently working in active clinical or clinical and academic practice in a UK educationally approved training post and had thier foundation competences assessed upon appointment
  • Alternative - candidates who do not fit into one of the above categories
  • Refugee doctors - candidates with exceptional circumstances that prevent them supplying the standard evidence; in most cases this will because they are a refugee but could include other candidates if they have very exceptional circumstances

Candidates who are currently on a foundation training programme

Candidates currently on a UK/UK-affiliated foundation training programme will not need to provide evidence of achievement of foundation competence at time of application - due to not yet having completed foundation training in full.

This means that any CT1 post offer you are made will be subject to your successful completion of foundation training and your being awarded a Foundation Programme Completion Certificate (FPCC) before August 2019. 

Please note that this also applies if you are undertaking a stand-alone FY2 programme, provided it is within a UK/UKFPO-affiliated foundation school.

Please visit the foundation programme website for more information.

The information you will need to provide is as below:

On your application: give the name of your foundation school.

At interview: none.

Candidates who have already completed foundation training

Three and a half year limit

Please note - as stipulated in the IMT person specifications - candidates must have evidence of achievement of foundation competences within three and a half years of the advertised post start date, so as to ensure competence is up to date.

If you have completed foundation training since February 2016, all you will need to do is upload your Foundation Programme Completion Certificate (FPCC).

On your application: select the appropriate options on the application form, and upload the certificate(s) to your Oriel account; further guidance is available in the 'Providing evidence' tab.

At interview : none.

Before 2016

In the event you have completed foundation training prior to February 2016, you must use the alternative certificate to provide assurance that you have been maintaining foundation competence - further information can be found on the next tab.

Candidates currently working in clinical practice in a UK training post

If you are currently working in active clinical or clinical and academic practice in a UK educationally approved training post (CT/ST/LAT or equivalent - eg. general practice) and had your foundation competences assessed upon appointment, you will not need to give details of this when applying for internal medicine training/ACCS-AM.

The information you will need to provide is as below:

On your application: add your national training number (NTN), or deanery reference number (DRN) for core programmes, to the personal section of the application, and in the employment section enter details of your training programme.

At interviewnone.

Candidates in neither of the previous categories

If you have not completed, or will not complete, a UK-affiliated foundation training programme between February 2016 and 7 August 2019, you will need to take alternative steps to demonstrate your achievement of foundation competence.

Certificate of Readiness to Enter Specialty Training

The 'Certificate of Readiness to Enter Specialty Training' provides a list of the foundation competences you are required to have gained prior to entering an IMT programme. It is permissible to use previous versions of the certificate, assuming these have been signed by a supervisor that you have worked with for at least three continuous months since February 2016. The alternative certificate is downloadable from the document library.

Also available there is detailed guidance for applicants and supervisors on using the certificate.

Completed by supervisor

You must have it completed by a consultant who has supervised you for a minimum of three months since February 2016.

This must be a single period of at least three consecutive months and is whole-time equivalent.

The 'consultant' could be a general practitioner, clinical director, medical superintendent, academic professor, or anyone on the specialty register (or eligible for that level if your supervisor is not based in the UK).

If you cannot get all competences signed off by one supervisor, you can submit multiple certificates with your application; however, all competences must be signed off as demonstrated across the forms you are submitting.

Please note: If more than one form is required to demonstrate a complete set of foundation competences, the version of the form must be the same for comparable purposes.

Using the certificate

On your application: select the appropriate options on the application form, and upload the certificate(s) to your Oriel account; further guidance is available in the 'Providing evidence' tab.

At interview: none.

In most cases, applications made without evidence of foundation competence, other than those currently in UK foundation training, will not be eligible and their application will be rejected.

However, it is recognised some doctors have exceptional circumstances, such as refugees, and may not be able to provide a Certificate of Readiness to Enter Specialty Recruitment at time of application. 

Applicants in this position will have the opportunity on the application form to explain their circumstances and, subject to approval, may be given more time to submit a certificate. Although candidates with exceptional circumstances can be initially considered without a certificate, this will be required before being able to take up any offer of a programme.

Candidates who think they may have exceptional circumstances should contact their local postgraduate region for further advice - please refer to the regional contacts page of this website. Where possible, regions will be able to provide assistance for bona fide refugee doctors in obtaining a certificate of competence.

Unless you are a current foundation trainee, or have exceptional circumstances, you will be required to upload/attach evidence of your achievement of foundation competences (where applicable) with your application form. 

Deferring post start date

If you wish to defer your post start date, you must still be able to demonstrate evidence of achievement of competences in line with these rules.

Evidence must be uploaded where necessary

If you are required to supply evidence but submit your application without it, your application may be rejected as ineligible. Therefore, please ensure you have this ready to attach to your application prior to submission.

If your status requires evidence to be supplied at time of application, the application form prompts you to attach this and will not let you submit without. It is not permissible to claim you have exceptional circumstances and submit without evidence unless your circumstances warrant this.

Uploading/attaching documentation

Where required to provide evidence with your application, an electronic version must be uploaded to your Oriel 'dashboard' before submission. 

To attach a document, log into Oriel, click 'dashboard', and then click on the 'document upload' tab once there. Click the 'Add' icon to upload a new document.

On the next page choose an appropriate category:

  • Foundation Programme Completion Certificate or
  • Alternative Foundation Competency Certificate (this is the former name of the 'Certificate of Readiness to Enter Specialty Training' prior to 2019)

Please ensure you select the correct category, only categories which match the options you choose in the form can be attached to your application. 

The maximum size of an upload is 10MB. However, if the document you wish to upload is bigger than 10MB, you can divide and upload this as multiple files.

Once you reach the end of the application you will be prompted to confirm the documents you wish to attach to your application.

In the event you encounter any difficulties with uploading or obtaining a document - please contact as soon as possible.