Curriculum & Assessment

“The Foundation Programme Curriculum sets out the framework for educational progression that will support the first two years of professional development following graduation from medical school. Under the Curriculum foundation doctors have to demonstrate that they are competent in a number of areas including communication skills, patient safety and team work as well as the more traditional elements of medical training.

The Foundation programme provides generic training that ensures foundation doctors develop and demonstrate a range of essential interpersonal and clinical skills for managing both acute and long-term conditions regardless of the specialty.

Foundation doctors will be assessed against the outcomes in the Curriculum and should keep all of their assessments (not just the good ones) in their Foundation Programme e-portfolio.”

Extract from Foundation Curriculum 2012 with 2014 update.

The Foundation Programme Curriculum has been mapped to the four domains of the General Medical Council, illustrating where the standards have been fulfilled in the Curriculum syllabus.

  • Domain 1 – Knowledge Skills and Performance
  • Domain 2 – Safety and Quality
  • Domain 3 –Communication Partnership and Teamwork
  • Domain 4 –Maintaining Trust

A full copy of the Curriculum and syllabus can be obtained from the Foundation Programme website.

It is important to remember:

  • The rotation in your practice is part of a 2 year programme.
  • The Foundation doctor will not cover all competencies during his/her time with you in general practice.
  • Some competencies may well be more readily met in general practice than in some other rotations e.g. Relationships with patients and communications. The curriculum is nationally approved and applied across all LETBs/Deaneries. Some assessments may not necessarily be done during the general practice component.
  • Clinical skills requiring acquisition during the F2 year are listed in the Curriculum and syllabus and the most recent update (2014) should be used.

These skills may be provided during a hospital based triplet or through the clinical skills laboratory at the local trust. This will be organised between the F2 doctor and their base hospital.


The Foundation Year 2 assessment programme is intended to provide objective workplace-based assessments, on the progress of the Foundation Doctor through the Programme. The assessment will be used by the LETB/Deanery to decide whether the doctor can be signed up as satisfactorily completing the programme.

  • The assessments are designed to be supportive and formative.
  • The Foundation doctor can determine the timing of the assessments within each rotation and to some degree can select who does the assessment.
  • It is important that all assessments are completed within the overall timetable for the assessment programme.
  • Each F2 Doctor is expected to keep evidence of their assessments in their portfolio. These will then form part of the basis of the discussions during appraisals.
  • The F2 doctor is an adult learner and it will be made clear to them that they have responsibility for getting their assessments done and for getting their competences signed off.

The Assessment Tools

The following tools are used for F2 doctors starting in August 2014 with the addition of supervised learning events introduced in 2012. Assessors are obliged to attend a training session on all of the tools. Full details can be found at the and can also be accessed through the Foundation Learning Portfolio.

Multi-Source Feedback (MSF) – Mini-PAT

This is very similar to a 360 degree feedback. Each F2 should nominate 12 people within the practice to complete the mini-PAT form

Mini Clinical Evaluation Exercise (mini-CEX)

This is an evaluation of an observed clinical encounter with developmental feedback provided immediately after the encounter.

Direct Observation of Procedural Skills (DOPS)

This is another doctor-patient observed encounter assessed by using a structured check list

Case Based Discussion (CBD)

This is a structured discussion of real cases in which the F2 doctor has been involved.

Supervised learning events (SLEs)

Supervised learning events represent an important opportunity for learning and improvement in practice, and are a crucial component of the Curriculum. It is the duty of the foundation doctor to demonstrate engagement with this process. This means undertaking an appropriate range and number of SLEs and documenting them in the e-portfolio.

The clinical supervisor’s end of placement report will draw on the evidence of the foundation doctor’s engagement in the SLE process. Participation in this process, coupled with reflective practice, is a way for the foundation doctor to evaluate how they are progressing towards the outcomes expected of the programme which are specified in the Curriculum.

The purpose of the SLE is to:

  • Highlight achievements and areas of excellence
  • Provide immediate feedback and suggest areas for further development
  • Demonstrate engagement in the educational process.

SLEs are designed to help foundation doctors improve their clinical and professional practice. They do not need to be planned or scheduled in advance and should occur whenever a teaching opportunity presents itself. The SLE should be used to stimulate immediate feedback and to provide a basis for discussion with the clinical and/or educational supervisor

The minimum number of SLEs required in each placement is as follows:

  • Mini CEX/DOPS 3
  • CBD 2 or more
  • Developing the Clinical teacher 1 per annum
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 11:11

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