NHS Education for Scotland Logo

Scotland Deanery

Home of medical and dental excellence

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

These FAQs are for current Foundation doctors in Scotland. FAQs relating to the Foundation recruitment process can be found on the Scottish Medical Training website.

If your query is not answered here or you have a suggestion of information which should be included on this page, please contact sfas@nes.scot.nhs.uk

Does Paediatric Life Support count instead of ALS for curriculum/FPC purposes?

No. The competencies relate to adult life support, so you will need to demonstrate additional skills even if you have paediatric life support.

Do we attend teaching in person or via Microsoft Teams? 

We are hoping to maximise ‘in person’ as much as possible, but restrictions on numbers mean that some virtual teaching will be necessary.

Can I do a TAB and PSG in the same block?

You can do both TAB and PSG in the same block.

If I have done a Quality Improvement project in F1, can I link this as evidence in my portfolio in F2?

There is no recommendation on numbers of QI projects to be done in Foundation and you cannot link last years evidence to this current training year. You will be required to provide evidence of engagement of QI work in F2 but it doesn't need to be a full project. There are plenty ways of evidencing QI; attending teaching, working on modules for QI etc. It is not an absolute requirement to have a fully completed QI project in foundation but each year needs QI evidence.

What is a summary narrative?

The rationale behind the Summary Narrative is that the Foundation doctor will review their learning progress and ensure that they have the required range of evidence. As a consequence of the reduced burden of assessments and having removed the minimum numbers of SLEs the Foundation doctor and their supervisors will need to be confident that the Higher Learning Outcomes (HLOs) have been met.

The summary narrative allows the Foundation doctor to write a supporting piece that will explain to the Educational Supervisor why they have selected the evidence they have for sign off. It will allow the Educational Supervisor to understand the rationale for the evidence provided.

The practicalities of writing the summary narrative are simple. Each HLO will require a 300-word maximum piece that explains the rationale for the selection of the evidence provided.

Ideally the Foundation doctor should start writing each summary narrative towards the end of post 1 to help them critically appraise their progress and help inform their PDP for the subsequent posts. The Educational Supervisor will be able to review this progress.

The content of the summary narrative is not summative (i.e. pass/fail) however having 3 completed summary narratives in place by ARCP will be mandatory.

What is the Educational Supervisor progress rating?

The Educational Supervisor progress rating is a new functionality in the Turas portfolio that allows the Educational Supervisor to provide feedback to the trainee on the progress of their portfolio.

At the end of each post the Educational Supervisor will be asked to rate the trainees progress in completing each of the HLOs. The options for each HLO are in a drop-down list.

  • Satisfactory
  • Not yet met
  • Partially met
  • Not yet rated

Please note that the satisfactory box will only be visible if there is a link to EACH of the FPCs in the HLO. Please also note that having 1 link may not be satisfactory and the content of the linking is the important concept. The trainee should be looking to provide a range of good quality evidence from the Millers pyramid to satisfy the educational requirements.

Where can I get Careers Advice? 

Information about careers can be found on the Careers section of this website.

Will I still be able to access my portfolio after the end of my Foundation Programme?

Yes; if your Grade has expired then you will get the view of a former trainee rather than current, but will still have access to everything.

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

Please follow the NES Data Protection Act procedure. 

What is the Study Leave entitlement? 

All information regarding Study Leave can be found in the Study Leave section of this website.

Can I get study leave to work towards exams?

No. Study Leave an be used for the day of the exam, but you cannot use days to study for exams.

I am an army reservist, what should I do?

Armed Force reservists may be entitled to Special Leave, for example, for training purposes. Please contact your employing Board and the Deanery team to discuss this further.

How do I request time off to attend meetings as a trade union representative (BMA)?

This type of time out of work should be processed under the Special Leave Policy. Each of the four employing Boards has their own policy available on their websites. Links to the employing Boards' policies sections of their websites can be found on the Turas Hub. Trainees should submit a leave request in line with their employer's process.

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

Scotland does not support applications for Foundation training abroad, either in F1 or F2. This is due to the requirement to quality manage all programmes to GMC standards, which cannot be guaranteed abroad.

How will I be allocated to my F2 rotations?

Information about F2 allocations can be found here.

Where can I find out what my rotations are?

If you are unsure about your rotations please contact your Training Programme Administrator. Please note that the information on the Scottish Medical Training website is for recruitment only and does not provide information about rotations to current trainees.

If I don't like my rotations, 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 in 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 and see the Tasters section on this website.

How can I find someone who will offer a taster week? 

Please see the list of Taster contacts hereIf your local departments aren’t responsive, please contact your FPD. 

Can my service department limit my Taster?

Yes. They may ask you to try a different week, or split the week etc., if there are specific rota service issues. They should not be able to ‘block’ this completely, without a clear reason. If you are not satisfied, please discuss with your FPD. 

How do I transfer from one School to another?

Foundation Doctors contemplating requesting an Inter-Foundation School Transfer (IFST) should check the relevant guidance.

How to do I transfer from one region of Scotland to another?

Foundation Doctors contemplating requesting an Inter-Regional Transfer (IRT) should check the relevant guidance.

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

Scotland does not support applications for Foundation training abroad, either in F1 or F2. This is due to the requirement to quality manage all programmes to GMC standards, which cannot be guaranteed abroad.

This page was last updated on: 23.09.2021 at 13.47