London and KSS Foundation School Swapping Process

UPDATED : Monday 17th January 2022


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 programme.

South Thames Foundation School 2022 F1 entry

Doctors starting in STFS in 2022 will be allocated to 2-year programmes either in South London or in KSS.  This is to maintain consistency of education because STFS is uncoupling from 2023 as per the information on London and KSS Foundation Schools | HEE London and South East Foundation Training

For the 2022 F1 cohort, whole year swaps will only be permitted if they are within the same area, ie. within south London or within KSS.  As from 2023 the two areas will be in different foundation schools, transfer between the two areas will only be possible via a successful inter-foundation school submission.

North London Foundation School 2022 F1 entry

For the 2022 F1 cohort, whole year swaps will only be permitted if they are within the same area i.e. within north central and east London or within north west London.


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.

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.

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)


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.

What is the difference between Local Swap and Swap Shop

Local swaps are for trainees who wish to swap one or more F2 placements with another trainee within the same FY2 Trust. You do not need to register for Swap Shop to submit a local swap, just complete a Local Swap form and submit it via the support portal

Swap Shop is for trainees who wish to swap their whole F2 programme with another trainee. The programme swapped doesn’t necessarily need to be within the same Trust but needs to remain within the same region. You must register for Swap shop AND submit an application.

Can Academic Doctors apply for Local Swaps or Swap Shop?

If you have been allocated to an academic programme you are you are not eligible to enter into Swap shop but may apply for a Local Swap. Should you apply for a local swap you may only swap your clinical placements.

Can Military Doctors apply for Local Swaps or Swap Shop?

No. Military placements have specific requirements managed by the Defence Deanery which means they cannot be included in the Swap process.

I have registered by my fellow trainee has not; can we apply to swap?

All trainees wishing to take part in the Swap Shop must be registered. If one trainee is registered and the other isn’t then the swap application will be declined.

I want to request at least two rotation swaps with the same trainee via the Local Swap process; how do I do this?

If you wish to swap more than one rotation with the same trainee via the Local Swap process, you are required to submit separate forms for each rotation you wish to swap. (For example, if you wish to swap your first placement and your second you would need to submit two separate forms, one for each placement)


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