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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Oriel?

Oriel is the UK-wide recruitment portal for eligible applicants applying for Foundation Training. The website can be found here.

What is a 'Group'? 

On Oriel the term ‘Group’ is used to refer to the four regions in Scotland which provide Foundation Training; East, North, South East and West. 

What is a 'Programme'? 

On Oriel the term 'Programme' is used to refer to an approved series of six 4-month posts (or three 4-month plus two 6-month posts) which make up a two-year foundation training programme.  

What is the matching process? 

The matching process is the process by which candidates are allocated to a group and programme. 

What is a Unit of Application (UoA)?

Scotland is one Unit of Application and consists of the four regions in Scotland. 

Am I allocated to a one or two year programme? 

If you are allocated to the North region you will be allocated tothe full two-year programme.  If you are allocated to the East, South East or the West you will be allocated for F1 only and allocation to F2 will take place in discussion with your FPD during your F1 year. 

Will “linked applications” be honoured in the Scottish Foundation School? 

The national system allows linked applicants to express a preference to maintain a link in the process of being matched to a group.  Linked applications to a 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 will typically be honoured in the group matching process if both applicants have listed exactly the same order of group preference 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. 

How could I fail to be matched to any programme in Round 1? 

If you are a single (i.e. not a linked) applicant, this can only happen if all of your chosen programmes have all of their places filled by applicants with a score at least as high as yours. 

How high will my score have to be to guarantee a match to my first choice programme? 

This depends very much on what your first choice programme is. For popular programmes the score required to guarantee a match is likely to be significantly higher than for less popular programmes. 

How does the system distinguish between applicants with the same score? 

Initially, applicants with the same score are distinguished on a completely random basis. However, this randomness can have a significant effect on the matching size (the number of applicants matched) and profile (the number receiving their first, second, . . .choice). The randomisation process may be repeated many times, and the solution that matches the most applicants, with the profile that is most satisfactory, will be selected. 

Should I avoid placing popular programmes at the head of my list? 

If you place popular programmes P1, P2 and P3 in, say, positions 1, 2 and 3 on your list, and a less popular programme Q in position 4, your chances of being allocated to Q are no less than they would have been if you had disguised your true preferences by placing Q first. In other words, there is no advantage in 'faking' your preferences. For applicants with low scores (it is difficult to predict just how low) there is some danger of ending up unmatched; for such applicants it would be risky to include only popular programmes in their list. 

How can I find out the breakdown of my score? 

Score breakdowns are provided as per the UKFPO timeline. 

I have been offered a AFP post, how do I view my SJT score?

Go to Dashboard > My Applications and then click on the FP vacancy.

Will my interview and ranking be released through Oriel? 

No, this information is not provided.

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 Board to Board.  The Foundation School is concerned with the curriculum delivery; it does not have any involvement in determining out of hours and its remuneration.  

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? 

The School does not allow any “swaps”.  All of our programmes are 'balanced' educationally and are quality monitored by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) through its quality management processes.   

Exceptionally, changes can be made for operational reasons relating to the running of the programme, or when specific circumstances warrant it on the basis of 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 and research. 

What is a taster? 

Tasters are designed to give Foundation Doctors an opportunity to gain an understanding of a specialty which they have not otherwise experienced as part of their Foundation Training through spending a short period within this specialty.  A taster should last a maximum of five days and two tasters are permitted over the course of the two years. To fully benefit from tasters, F1 doctors should discuss their career aspirations with their educational supervisor at the middle of the F1 year and plan accordingly for the last block. Please note that tasters cannot be taken out-with Scotland, and should usually be arranged within your current region of training. Please consult with your Foundation Programme Director (FPD) for more information. 

Will I have access to accommodation 

The School has no involvement in the arrangement of accommodation.  Please see the Scotland Deanery website for details of the hospitals which provide accommodation.

Can I do either my F1 or my F2 training abroad if I accept a place in the Scottish Foundation School? 

With effect from August 2010, Scotland will not support applications for Foundation training abroad, either in year 1 or year 2. This is due to the requirement to quality manage all programmes to GMC standards, which cannot be guaranteed abroad. 

When is Shadowing and Induction? 

Shadowing and Induction week for 2018 commenceson 24th July. Your local Board will contact you directly with details and information of the programme. 

When do I start my training? 

F1 trainees will start work on 31st July 2018. 

What is the Study Leave entitlement? 

F1 doctors are not eligible to apply for study leave, however local arrangements exist to enable F1 doctors to undertake tasters and the ALS course. F2 doctors are entitled to 30 days of study leave. All information regarding Study Leave can be found in the Study Leave section of the Scotland Deanery website.

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

All information regarding Less than Full-Time training can be found in the LTFT section of the Scotland Deanery website.

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

Foundation Doctors contemplating requesting TOFP should check the relevant guidance on the UKFPO website.

How do I transfer from one School to another? 

Foundation Doctors contemplating requesting an Inter-Foundation School Transfer should check the relevant Guidance for Applicants on the UKFPO website.

Where can I get Careers Advice? 

Careers advice will be available from your local FPD as well as from theAssociate Dean in each of the regional deanery offices. Further information regarding careers advice can be found on the Scotland Deanery website.

I am an International Medical Graduate (IMG) and require a Tier 4 visa, how do I apply? 

If you are 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 for the purpose and duration of the Foundation Programme (two years).  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 (around April).  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 or Board.  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 UKFPO website. Details on how to complete the application form for a Tier 4 visa can be found on the UK Government website. The UK Government are responsible for determining the rules around entry to the UK and neither the UKFPO, the Foundation School nor the Board 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. 

I wish to place a request re information held by NES under the Data Protection Act. How do I do this? 

Please follow the NES Data Protection Act procedure (external site). 

This page was last updated on: 03.04.2018 at 09.39.