Foundation Priority Programme

You MUST apply for Foundation Programme (FP) before applying to Psychiatry Foundation Fellowship (PFF) or Foundation Priority Programme (FPP)

Foundation Priority Programmes (FPP) have been developed to support specific areas of the UK that have historically found it difficult to attract and retain trainees through the foundation and specialty recruitment processes. The main aim is to maximise the opportunity for applicants who wish to be located in less popular areas and therefore improve supply for specialty training and beyond.These programmes also often a range of incentives.

Successful applicants will be offered specific programmes prior to national allocation to foundation schools.

Applicants are advised to visit local foundation school websites for further details of individual programmes that will be included in the FPP process and the incentives they have to offer. Priority programmes offer a range of opportunities such as:

  • Longer programmes (up to three years) that provide opportunities to undertake additional training or train more flexibly and provide geographic stability for those that desire it
  • Opportunities that might allow trainees to realise their potential by undertaking parallel management and leadership programmes
  • Opportunities to gain academic experience
  • Opportunities to undertake quality improvement projects or teaching roles
  • Offers of increased geographical stability
  • Other incentives such as financial support with accommodation and innovative rotas.FPP Flowchart

Applications will have a maximum score of 100 points and this will consist of two components:

  1. Educational Performance Measure (EPM) – 50 points maximum 
  2. Situational Judgement Test (SJT) – 50 points maximum 

The EPM and SJT are added together to make the total score. From this, the applicants are then matched in accordance with their score and preference.

Educational Performance Measure (EPM)

The EPM is a measure of clinical and non-clinical skills, knowledge and performance up to the point of application. The EPM comprises two elements: medical school performance in deciles for which 34-43 points are available, and educational achievements, which are worth up to 7 points. A maximum of 50 points is available.

All applicants applying to the Foundation Programme, including the Academic Foundation Programme, will be awarded an EPM score. Please click here to view the 2020 EPM Framework.

Situational Judgement Test (SJT)

The SJT is an assessment methodology designed to test aptitude for employment and the professional attributes expected of a Foundation doctor, as defined in the 2020 National Person Specification. It is used for selection to the Foundation Programme together with the Educational Performance Measure and presents applicants with hypothetical work-relevant scenarios asking for non-clinical judgments about possible responses.

While the evaluation of the SJT for selection to the Foundation Programme is ongoing, research into SJTs as a measurement methodology shows that they are a valid and reliable selection tool and can help predict later job performance.

The SJT is taken under invigilated conditions and consists of 70 questions in 2.4 hours. It contains 2 question formats: rank 5 possible responses in order and select the three most appropriate responses. 

A maximum of 50 points is available.

All applicants to the Psychiatry Foundation Fellowship commencing in August 2020 are required to take the SJT in the UK on either:

10.00 – 12.20 GMT, Friday 6th December 2019 

10.00 – 12.20 GMT, Monday 6th January 2020

Guidance for special circumstances for UKFP 2020 will be published soon.

SJT Guidance & Reports
SJT Practice Papers

The UKPO and MSC Assessment have produced two 70 item practice SJT test papers (a second practice paper added in October 2017), to help you familiarise yourself with the test format. The answers and rationales to these questions are also provided for reference. Questions, answers and rationales in these papers are copyrighted MSC Assessment.

PDFs of the practice paper, questions and rationales are available by clicking the relevant link below:

Tier 4

Non-UK/non-EEA nationals who graduate from a UK medical school wishing to undertake a recognised, 2-year full-time Foundation Programme (including academic programmes) are eligible to apply for Tier 4 sponsorship.

This is provided by Health Education England (HEE) working across West Midlands.

Applicant queries regarding Tier 4 visas should be sent to

Supporting Trainees Entering Practice (STEP)

We are currently developing the STEP process. Information will be available soon.

Still have Questions? Please see the  UKFP Application FAQs