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Medical specialty training

After successful completion of the Foundation programme doctors are awarded the Foundation Programme Certificate of Completion (FPCC).* They are then able to go on to training in a chosen specialty, or general practice (GP) training.

Training programmes differ in length and structure according to specialty:

  • General practice lasts three years.
  • Other specialties can last 5-8 years.

Length of training can also depend on your rate of achievement of competencies. It can also depend on whether you take time out eg Out of Programme Research (OOPR), or if you train less than full-time (LTFT).

Types of training programme

There are a number of different types of training programmes which are different for each specialty:

Run-through training

Entry to some specialties is very competitive. Competition ratios show numbers of applications received against posts available.

For some specialties training is through a run-through programme. Doctors only have to apply once, at the beginning of the programme, and are recruited for the full duration of the specialty training.

Uncoupled training

Other specialties consist of core training and then competitive entry into higher specialty training.

The length of core training can differ:

  • core training for two years - eg Core Medical Training and Core Surgical Training
  • core training for three years - eg emergency medicine and psychiatry

The length of higher specialty training will also differ per specialty. Entry to some specialties is very competitive.

*NB until August 2016 this was called the Foundation Achievement of Competency Document (FACD).