Leaving The Foundation Programme Early

If you wish to leave before the official end date of your F1 or F2 programme in order to take other employment/training opportunities (eg in North America) you will not be signed off as having met foundation training requirements (as the Foundation Programme is time limited).  

Leaving early is a major decision requiring careful thought, and worth discussing with your educational supervisor and foundation training programme director.  The KSS foundation school director or a member of their team would also be happy to make an appointment with you to discuss further.  

Things to consider:  

If you leave before completing F1 then you will not achieve full registration and would not be able to carry out any medical role in the UK unless you re-entered foundation training.  This would need to be within a foundation school, as other posts are not suitable for provisionally registered doctors.  

If you leave after F1 but before completing F2 then you would not be able to enter further training in the UK.  In order to do so you would need to re-enter foundation training, for example via obtaining an F2 standalone post via national recruitment.  

If you decide to leave early you will be required to complete a withdrawal form.  

Withdrawal from Training

Deciding to leave your medical training is a major decision which should be considered carefully.    

Good people to discuss this with are your educational supervisor and foundation training programme director, and the KSS foundation school director would also be happy to do so (you can make an appointment with them via the KSS FS admin team).  

You should consider:  

  • Why do you wish to leave?  Has this been building up for a while, or more recently, perhaps precipitated by a recent event?  
  • Are some elements of foundation training especially problematic?  If, for example you are finding the hours tiring the training less than full time (LTFT) may be worth considering.  
  • Is there another area you wish to explore, or you need time to attend to life events such as a major illness in a family member?  If so then applying for Time Out of Foundation Training (ToFP) would give you more options than leaving completely.  
  • Re-entering foundation training is not always easy.  If you leave during the F1 year, before gaining full registration then you would not be able to work as a doctor in the UK.  If you subsequently wished to restart your F1 year then you would need to reapply for foundation training with support from your medical school.  
  • If you left during the F2 year then you would be able to work as a doctor, though the posts you could take would be limited and you would need to make arrangements for annual appraisal and 5-yearly revalidation by the GMC.    
  • You would not be able to apply for further training without completing F2, and obtaining another F2 programme could be difficult.  Currently applying via CREST (Certificate of Readiness to Enter Specialty Training) is not open to doctors who have started but not completed a foundation programme.  

Additional support  

You can arrange confidential and impartial support and advice via the Professional Support Unit. 

Information about alternative roles is on the Health Careers Website.