London and KSS Foundation School Swapping Process

Tuesday 10th August 2021


The 3 London and KSS Foundation Schools have been reviewing the availability of the swapping processes available to both F1 and F2 doctors, owing to the increasing administrative burden and the national review of the Foundation programme1.

Position Statement

In December 2019 the London and KSS Foundation Operation Group (FFOG) decided they would mirror the approach to swaps adopted by other UK Foundation Schools, which aims to offer flexibility to trainees whilst ensuring a generic and broad training programme for all.

The decision was taken that only trainees entering an F2 training programme would be allowed to swap, with the window of opportunity for making arrangements being in their F1 year. The process will be supported by the Foundation administrative team.

Swaps can be of an individual specialty placement or an entire F2 programme.

Swapping of Individual Placements

If F1 doctors wish to swap a single placement in their F2 programme they must submit an application via the PGMDE Support Portal here.

This process permits foundation doctors to apply to swap a post with another foundation doctor within the same Trust.

If a more complex swap is planned, eg between 3 or 4 doctors, they should summarise:

  • Which doctors wish to be involved (name and e mail address)
  • All their existing programmes (sites and posts)
  • Their proposed final 2-year programmes

and submit this as an attachment with the request.

The request must be received by the dates laid out in the key dates section below.

Late applications cannot be accepted and there is no opportunity to appeal.

Swapping of Whole Programmes (Swap Shop)

Sometimes doctors’ circumstances change and so they wish to change the location of their training, or experience a different set of specialties.

To facilitate such changes, we offer a trainee led swapping process. in which a doctor may swap their entire F2 programme with another doctor.  

F1 doctors will be asked to notify us if they wish to put forward their entire F2 programme for swapping with other F1 doctors, and agree to their details being shared with others in the same position. The Foundation admin team will manage this data securely.

It is then the trainee’s responsibility to find a swapping partner or partners and complete the appropriate paperwork.

Two (or more) foundation doctors must then submit a joint application confirming that they are prepared to exchange programmes. All foundation doctors involved in the swap must agree to the swap.

If the proposed swap involves more than one doctor then a summary of the proposed arrangements should also be submitted, to include the final 2-year programmes for each doctor if the swap is approved.


The request must be received by the dates laid out in the key dates section below.

Late applications cannot be accepted and there is no opportunity to appeal.

Ensuring Education Balance

All programmes are designed to be educationally balanced and provide exposure to a range of specialties during the two years of the programme. All 2-year programmes should include a community placement.

London and KSS guidance for maintaining educational balance is set out below.

Your two-year programme should contain no more than:

  • 8 months in a surgical specialty
  • 8 months in a community specialty
  • 4 months in a psychiatry placement

You cannot repeat a community specialty (e.g. GP, community paediatrics) but it may be possible to repeat one medical, surgical, or other sub-specialty, depending on availability of posts.

Key Dates

  • 31st January 2022 - Whole Programme Swap Registration Opens and Local Swap application window Opens
  • 7th February 2022 - Whole Programme Swap Registration Closes
  • 9th February 2022 - Swap registrant details shared with other applicants via secure data sharing method and window opens
  • 14th March 2022 - Swap window closes – ALL Swap applications (both local and whole programme) must be received by 5pm on this date.
  • 15th March 2022 - Applications to FSDs
  • 22nd March 2022 - FSDs to inform HET of swap decisions
  • 29th March 2022 - Trainees notified of outcome
  • May 2022 - Trusts notified of change via TROG (May vary from Early Snapshot)


If I was redeployed due to COVID-19 what specialties should I put down?

We would suggest you put the specialties you spent the most significant amount of time in. If you wish to provide supplementry information to go alongside this for consideration by the Foundation School Director you should submit a PSP ticket.

I am a current F1 or F2 Doctor and I want to swap a placement this academic year. Am I able to do so?

Unfortunately, it is now within 13 weeks of the changeover date for April rotations. Therefore, we will not be able to accept Local Swap applications for this academic year in order to ensure the School are compliant with the Code of Practice.

Why can I not swap my F1 placements?

It is felt that it is important for an F1 doctor to settle into their training before deciding to swap the content of their programme. In addition, as we are only running one window to facilitate swapping we are only able to offer this when you are halfway through your F1 year.

If my application to swap is rejected can I appeal?

No, the Foundation School Director’s decision is final and you will be given a reason for their decision.

Do both applicants needs to apply to swap?

No, you can identify a lead applicant and we will notify both of you of the outcome. It is however essential that both of you have registered.

Can Academic Doctors apply for Local Swaps or Swap Shop?

As Academic Foundation programmes are created in line with various specifications and allocated via a competitive recruitments process, these placements cannot be swapped either by Local Swaps or Swap Shop.

Where can I get more information?

Please contact the admin team on 020 7866 3216 or by visiting the support portal: https://lasepgmdesupport.hee.nhs.uk/