Who's Who in the Foundation Programme

The entire programme is centred around the foundation doctor, who is supported through clinical and educational supervisors. They, in turn, are supported by Foundation Programme Directors (FPDs), clinical tutors and Directors of Medical Education (DMEs), who are supported by the Foundation School structure. All of this is supported by and overseen by Severn PGME and the Foundation School.

FD Centered

Clinical Supervisor

The clinical supervisor is the professional responsible for teaching and supervising foundation doctors. Clinical supervisors are responsible for:

  • supervising day to day clinical and professional practice
  • supporting the assessment process
  • ensuring that foundation doctors have the appropriate range and mix of clinical exposures
  • arranging a work programme to enable foundation doctors to attend fixed educational sessions

Foundation doctors will have at least one named clinical supervisor in each training placement. They will be told the name and contact details of their clinical supervisor at the start of their placement.

Educational Supervisor

The educational supervisor is the doctor responsible for making sure foundation doctors receive appropriate training and experience. They will also decide whether individual placements have been completed. The educational supervisor must be involved in teaching and training, and should help with professional and personal development. The educational supervisor is responsible for:

  • undertaking regular formative appraisal
  • providing support so foundation doctors can develop their learning portfolio
  • ensuring foundation doctors understand and engage in assessment
  • being the first point of call for concerns/issues about training
  • ensuring appropriate training opportunities are available for foundation doctors to learn and gain competences

Foundation doctors will have a named educational supervisor for each foundation year. They will be told the name and contact details of their educational supervisor at the start of the year.

Foundation Programme Director (FPD)

The Foundation Programme Director is appointed by the postgraduate dean and the trust. 

They are responsible for the overall management and quality control of programmes designed for foundation training across a health economy (acute, mental health and primary care trusts). The FPD will work with the local lead educators to ensure that each placement of the programme and the programme as a whole meets the Severn PGME standard for training and that each foundation doctor is able to access a comprehensive range of experiences which will enable them to gain the competencies necessary for full registration and completion of foundation training.

Director of Medical Education and Clinical Tutor

The Director of Medical Education or Clinical Tutor is the individual appointed by the postgraduate dean and the trust to manage postgraduate medical education within the trust. It is their responsibility, on behalf of the dean, to ensure that the learning environment within the trust supports the provision of high quality postgraduate medical education and training.

They provide professional leadership and vision for the organisation on medical education issues and work closely with the postgraduate dean and foundation school to develop the team of consultants and other health professionals that are responsible for supporting elements of the Foundation Programme as well as the provision of specialty training.

Foundation School

Foundation schools are not brick and mortar institutions, but rather a conceptual grouping of institutions, which is administered by an actual (rather than conceptual) staff. The foundation school staff brings together medical schools, the local office of NHS England, trusts (acute and mental health), Primary Care and other organisations (e.g. hospices) to offer training in a range of different settings and clinical environments. They offer all the placements required to gain the competences required to become a fully qualified doctor, as set out in the curriculum.

Foundation schools in the UK accommodate several hundred F1 and F2 doctors each. The schools have a number of foundation training programmes, each under the supervision of a Foundation Programme Director (FPD). Each FPD will have responsibility for 20 – 40 foundation doctors.

Each Foundation School has a Foundation School Director, who is responsible for the overall management and quality control of the foundation school. Supported by a Foundation School Management Committee, a foundation school manager and appropriate support staff, the foundation school director will be responsible for developing and supporting the organisational framework within which Foundation Programmes are delivered.

Details of the Severn Foundation School can be found on our About Us page.

Local Office of NHSE (Severn PGME)

NHSE and Deaneries engage in arrangements with local NHS trusts and others to ensure that trusts, GP training practices and other organisations provide a suitable learning environment to meet the requirements of general medical and specialist training. There are 13 local offices of in England, each headed by a Postgraduate Dean. They have operational responsibility for ensuring that the Foundation Programme is delivered to national standards set by the GMC. They are responsible for ensuring there is an effective educational infrastructure for foundation training through the foundation schools. In particular, they are responsible for:

  • information about and recruitment to the Foundation Programme
  • shadowing arrangements in some parts of the country and induction (together with the NHS trust)
  • ensuring that local assessment procedures are in accordance with wider national procedures
  • ensuring that appraisal is undertaken regularly and appropriately
  • training individuals that undertake assessments
  • through the foundation training programme director, identifying an educational supervisor for each doctor in training within a Foundation Programme
  • through the foundation training programme director, ensuring that foundation doctors’ regular appraisals take place and that Learning and Development Portfolios are supported within the process
  • ensuring smooth progression of foundation doctors from year one to year two, offering appropriate career management and development opportunities
  • ensuring that individual foundation doctors receive the training necessary to meet the competences required
  • providing careers advice (along with the NHS and medical schools/university)

Information about the Severn Deanery can be accessed via the Deanery website.

Adapted from ‘The Foundation Programme Rough Guide’.