F2 Swaps Policy


In order to offer some flexibility in its allocation of programmes whilst ensuring rotations are balanced, the Severn Foundation School will facilitate a swap process whereby F1 trainees can apply for a swap of their matched F2 programme. This will be managed in conjunction with the F2 Special Circumstances, F2 Overseas and Time Out of Foundation Programme application processes.


Broadening the Foundation Programme 2014, recommended that trainees should not repeat posts from the same specialty grouping within their 2 years and 80% of trainees must have a community placement. In order to meet these requirements, trainees are allocated to a 2 year fixed foundation programme which is matched to a compliant rotation i.e. one where the F2 programme is an appropriate balance with their F1 programme.

The School recognises that this allocation of a 2 year programme restricts the choice of posts that trainees can have and, while our obligation is to provide each trainee with a generic programme in which they can achieve the outcomes of the curriculum, we are keen to improve trainees’ satisfaction with their programmes if possible.


  1. Part-way through their first year, F1 trainees will have the opportunity to apply for a swap of their F2 programme within the Severn Foundation School. Trainees will be able to request a swap of their F2 rotation within their allocated Trust, or to a rotation in another Trust within Severn
  2. The School’s ability to meet requests for swaps will depend on several criteria including:
    1. the number of F2 vacancies at the time of running the process
    2. the suitability of potential rotations for any individual trainee (it is the responsibility of the School to ensure that trainees do not repeat posts from the same specialty grouping during their 2 year programme unless one of those posts is community-facing)
    3. the impact of resultant vacancies on patient safety
  3. Trainees can only apply to swap their full programme i.e. it will not be possible to apply to swap part of a rotation (e.g. Oncology for Cardiology), and priority will be given to Special Circumstances applications.
  4. By requesting a swap, trainees agree to put their existing allocated programme into the pool. If a swap is approved, the trainee must accept the swap – they cannot change their mind, as their own programme may have been allocated to another trainee.
  5. If trainees have completed a 4 month F1 post that entails more than one specialty (e.g. the 4 month post is Histopathology/MAU) they can be matched to an F2 programme with any of these posts included in them.
  6. If, in line with the above principles, it is not possible to facilitate a swap that matches a trainee's stated requirements as detailed in their application form, they will remain in their original allocated F2 rotation.
  7. The matching process will be transparent and fair and will not impose an unnecessary administrative burden on the trainees or on personnel associated with the Foundation School.
  8. There will be an appeals process for decisions made as part of the swaps process.

Less than full time trainees (LTFT)

Matching LTFT trainees to F2 posts requires special consideration. It may not be possible for LTFT trainees to secure the rotation they would have gained if they were full-time trainees. This is because by virtue of accepting LTFT training, trainees may be required to slot-share, the full time post may be unsuitable for a LTFT trainee or the post may not have the capacity to take the LTFT trainee in a supernumerary capacity.

An LTFT trainee can still apply for a swap of F2 programme under the policy but it is likely that decisions about their programme will be made outside the policy in order to accommodate other factors.

Academic trainees

Academic Foundation Trainees may apply to swap their AF2 rotation, but swaps will only be considered with other Academic applicants. An Academic trainee cannot apply to swap into a non-Academic rotation, and a non-Academic F1 cannot apply to swap into an Academic Foundation Programme.

Special Circumstances

Trainees wishing to change their F2 programme due to Special Circumstances will need to apply through the F2 Special Circumstances process.

Linked Applicants

Trainees who entered the Severn Foundation School as linked applicants, will be treated as unlinked in the swaps process unless both indicate on their individual forms that they want to be treated as linked. Trainees who were not originally linked but now want to be treated as linked for the F2 swaps process will both need to indicate that on their application forms.

Linking applications with someone else’s may reduce the chances of either of trainee achieving a swap of location.

Withdrawal from the Swaps Process

Once the swaps application window has closed, submitted requests cannot be withdrawn. Swaps of rotations cannot be made outside of the School’s official process.


  1. All F1s will be notified swaps process including the application window and deadline for applying.
  2. Priority will be given to trainees who have special circumstances.
  3. All other swaps will be allocated randomly.
  4. An F2 rotation swap will only be approved if it provides the trainee with a balanced overall Foundation Programme in conjunction with their F1 rotation.
  5. The Foundation School will notify trainees of the outcome of their application.
  6. The Foundation School will notify Trusts of any change to their expected F2 intake resulting from the swaps process.

F2 Swaps Application Form

Application Window: Monday 14th December 2020 to 12:00 midday Friday 22nd January 2021.